“When capturing a city, train station or highway, they look like blood vessels or neurons, and I can’t stop imagining looking deep into our bodies.”
Michael Hitoshi had to overcome a battle with vertigo to create his distinctive twilight images of man-made structures from a helicopter.
And lucky he did because major brands like Microsoft, Conde Nast, AOL, eBay, Discovery Channel and Time are now using his distinctive work in their campaigns.
“When I first asked Michael if he was interested in aerial photography he confessed he suffered from vertigo and even hesitated to cross a pedestrian bridge!” Masaaki Kobayashi, a Senior Art Director at Getty Images said. “Finally one day, he said that he wanted to push his visual comfort zone, overcome his fear and go up in the air with his camera.”
The idea first came to the Japanese photographer while on a flight from Nice to Paris, watching the city lights come on as the sun was setting. The natural light merging with the artificial inspired him and he decided it was something worth capturing.
“Michael found himself obsessed by combining two things,” Kobayashi said. “The magical, ephemeral moment of the city at twilight combined with the direct, straight down bird’s-eye view.”
These twilight moments only last for a quarter of an hour during which Michael creates these images that conjure up concepts of freedom, simplicity, tranquility, connection and ‘Wonderlust.’
“We’re not able to recognize how road signs, airport runways, parking lots, and houses look perfectly straight from ground level,” Hitoshi said. “From above, they look just simply straight and beautiful.”
Michael hopes that people will recognize beauty in his work and feel an emotional connection with human life.
“When capturing a city, train station or highway, they look like blood vessels or neurons, and I can’t stop imagining looking deep into our bodies. I feel these subjects are small puzzle pieces of a bigger planet.”Explore more creative aerial photography on Getty Images