The Real Deal New York

Real estate shutterbug Evan Joseph talks hanging out of helicopters for new book

Collection includes photos shot at dizzying heights from Woolworth Building, 432 Park

January 13, 2016 06:16PM
By Katherine Clarke

Aerial night view of Midtown Manhattan by Evan Joseph

Aerial night view of Midtown Manhattan (credit: Evan Joseph)

Have you ever wanted to dangle upside down from a low-hanging helicopter immediately above Times Square?

Now, you don’t have to.

Evan Joseph, the go-to shutterbug for the city’s highest-priced homes, has done it for you, documenting the experience in his most recent book, “New York from Above.”

The book, due for release in early February, features two years’ worth of New York City shots taken from some of the city’s most exclusive vantage points, including the pinnacle of the Woolworth Building and one of the highest floors at 432 Park Avenue, as well as from various hair-raising helicopter excursions.

“Getting on a tourist helicopter is like going for a pony ride at the state fair,” Joseph told The Real Deal. “This is the rodeo and the helicopter is a bucking bronco.”

Aerial View of One World Trade Center at sunset, photographed from a helicopter by Evan Joseph

Aerial View of One World Trade Center at sunset, photographed from a helicopter by Evan Joseph

The resulting images? There’s that panorama of Times Square shot from the sky, a bird’s-eye view of the famous glass Apple cube on Fifth Avenue and even an up-close-and-personal shot of the Statue of Liberty at sunset.

But the building most frequently featured is One World Trade Center, which served as the inspiration for the book in the first place.

Joseph had been working on shooting images for Legends, the company that operates the building’s observatory, as part of a visual presentation offered to visitors when he began talking to the company about images he’d shot of the World Trade Center over several years.

Aerial view of the Helmsley Building on Park Avenue by Evan Joseph

Aerial view of the Helmsley Building on Park Avenue by Evan Joseph

Legends eventually got involved in publishing the book. The first edition will be offered for sale exclusively at the observatory for $99.95.

“I lived and worked Downtown during 9/11,” Joseph said. As my photography career grew, I started spending more time in the air shooting, and every time that I was in the helicopter or high on a rooftop nearby, I would make it a point to photograph the World Trade Center site to chart the progress. It became a through point in my work.”

One of Joseph’s images of One World Trade Center’s triumphant spire adorns the cover of the book.

Evan Joseph (credit: Kenneth Chen)

Evan Joseph (credit: Kenneth Chen)

As for hanging out of helicopters, Joseph said it’s all a matter of perspective.

“I’ve been working with the same pilot for eight years and air traffic control knows us both by name,” he said. “Normally, I won’t even go on the Tilt-A-Whirl, but, somehow, when I’m working, it’s totally different. I don’t have time to get scared because I’m so focused on getting the composition just right.”

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