One of the more common first purchases upon relocating to Los Angeles is a car. It’s practically a requirement—at least, it is if you want to visit any of the city’s vast, complexly connected subsections without a thousand bus transfers. Of course, none of the distinct, traffic-buttressed parts of the city look so far away from each other when glimpsed from over 10,800 feet above.
Everything looks somehow smaller and larger at once in Vincent LaForet’s images, which he captures from inside a helicopter. The magnitude of the cities the photographer shoots is scaled down, for sure, but their majesty remains undiminished. When LaForet soared above Las Vegas recently, he revealed the heavily lit city to be as closely situated as a children’s tea party. In his new project, the photographer takes on Los Angeles, and makes the city’s immense sprawl seem like dense and concentrated sections of a quilt.
As seen at night, Los Angeles’ highways are purple and yellow circuits connecting the areas with tall buildings to the places with palatial mansions. Even in stillness, you can sense a powerful bustling energy from the lit-up gridlines and the unexpected deviations that distinguish the city from previous LaForet conquests New York and San Francisco.
The full set of Laforet’s photos of Los Angeles can be seen here on Storehouse. You can also sign up to pre-order a book on his Air series here. Watch a short film about the shoot, entitled Air, below.