PDN Photo of the Day

A Labor of Love: 400 Fifth Avenue

A Labor of Love: 400 Fifth Avenue

Cover image from 400 Fifth Avenue © Evan Joseph

Cover image from 400 Fifth Avenue © Evan Joseph

Cover image from 400 Fifth Avenue © Evan Joseph

New York-based architecture photographer Evan Joseph is known for his dramatic images of cityscapes and luxury buildings. With his first book, New York City At Night (Thunder Bay Press, 2010), Joseph photographed out of a helicopter 400 feet above Manhattan. For his second book, New York Then And Now (Thunder Bay Press, 2012), Joseph took historic images and rephotographed them from the exact angle as they were originally photographed. For his new book, 400 Fifth Avenue (Rizzoli, 2013), Joseph photographed the 60-story condominium tower situated between the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building in midtown Manhattan, at various times of the year and in various weather conditions. PDN asked Joseph which image in the book proved to be the most challenging. Joseph said it was the cover image (pictured).

“I had been scouring the skyline to find a rooftop from which to shoot 400 Fifth Avenue, something that would be high enough to see most of the building, low enough to place it’s crown above the horizon and situated so that the subject would sit in context to the known landmarks in the area. I did many aerials for the project, but for this I wanted a long exposure from lower down. While doing another shoot in the new Metlife Building on Bryant Park I realized that this was the perfect spot…but a snowstorm was approaching and it would change the look of the city for weeks. After some last-minute negotiations, I was able to secure all the paperwork to get up there for sunset in a perfect clear winter sky. Wedged into the corner of the roof, perched on the window-washing track, I switched lenses and cameras with freezing fingers and finally captured this image at the perfect moment on the perfect day in the ideal position. It was an obvious cover for the book, wrapped all the way from front to back.”

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