A bird's-eye view of the Empire State Building. Courtesy Jeffrey Milstein

New photographs from Jeffrey Milstein capture both cities from the sky.

When we last saw the work of photographer Jeffrey Milstein, he was capturing the strange beauty of airports from the perspective of the sky. Milstein is back in bird’s-eye form but now he’s focused his lens on the city—in particular, New York (where he lives) and Los Angeles (where he grew up).

The east-west project began when Milstein was taking walks around Beverly Hills only to find his views of the lush properties stymied by the tall fences and security cameras and guard dogs. “I thought: I wonder what’s behind the fence?” he tells CityLab. “It would be interested to get a helicopter and photograph these houses.”

So Milstein did just that—eventually choppering not just over and across L.A. but above New York as well. The styles of both sets of photographs are similar: “straight down like a plan view,” he says. But of course the texture of the cities varies tremendously, from the flat, spread-out, single-family feel of L.A. to the intense verticality of New York.

“People have said to me, ‘That picture gives me vertigo,’“ he says. “That’s exactly what I want. To get a visceral reaction from it.”

The “LA NY” work will be showing in both cities: at the Benrubi Gallery in New York (on display now) and at the Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles (beginning this weekend). As for where Milstein prefers to be when locked on land like the rest of us, he hedges: “I would be bicoastal,” he says.

New York

(Courtesy Jeffrey Milstein)
(Courtesy Jeffrey Milstein)
(Courtesy Jeffrey Milstein)

Los Angeles

(Courtesy Jeffrey Milstein)
(Courtesy Jeffrey Milstein)
(Courtesy Jeffrey Milstein)

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