John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.
These photo manipulations may inspire feelings of nausea, dizziness, and impending doom.
Terrified of heights? Then you might want to turn away from these photos, which show roller coasters so tall that to get to them you'd need the Space Shuttle. One can only imagine the nauseating progression of screams as the brutal g-forces slammed in: wheeeeeeeaaaaaaaaOOOHHHGOD!!
These heady manipulations are the work of Robert Jahns, a 26-year-old art director from Hamburg, Germany. Jahns started in the digital arts 15 years ago with Photoshop, but technology has advanced so rapidly that he now makes his stunning images with just an iPhone 5s and a few apps (ArtStudio and Filterstorm, for instance). The visceral impact of his work is obvious in the hundreds of thousands of people who follow his nois7 Instagram; typical fan comments include "best feed ever!," "I'm still trying to pick my jaw up off the floor," and "Thanks for making me dizzy while I'm sitting down."
"When I started my Instagram account 2 years ago I saw that many artists had success," Jahns emails. "I wanted that many people [to] see my work and I wanted to inspire them and exalt their imagination. That's what I am able to do nowadays, it's a passion."
Exalt, petrify – potato, potahto. Below, find example of some of Jahns more electrifying scenes of cities like New York, Chicago, and Hong Kong, which are based on images donated by other photographers. You can find the full credits on his Instagram, as well as a slew of fantastical manipulations like these monstrous thunderstorms ostensibly conjured by a furious god. All aboard!
In Jahns' thinking, the freezing sky is also a swell place to engage in sports and leisure activities:
He's also made an excellent series of parallel-universe Venices, such as one where whales cruise the canals and another where the water's frozen over:
Images used with permission of nois7 on Instagram