These Mesmerising Cityscapes are Stitched Together From Dozens of Photos

By Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan on at

No one ever lingers on their commute home—at least not on purpose. But photographer Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao has made a career of it by setting up his camera at the busiest, most recognisable places in the city and... waiting. Then, he stitches together dozens of shots into incredibly complex panoramas that capture hours of movement.

Liao was born in Taiwan and grew up in Vancouver, which might help to explain his patience with New York, where he's lived and worked for 15 years. In a new show at the Museum of the City of New York called Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao's New York: Assembled Realities, we get a look at 40 of the gigantic panoramas he's shot around the city, usually in super-recognisable areas like the Flatiron building or Coney Island.

Here's how The New York Times' Lens blog describes the long process of making a single image:

Hauling about 50 lbs of gear — a view camera, film and a tripod — he divides a scene into three segments, then does as many as 10 exposures per segment. He then scans the film and manipulates it digitally. It demands a lot of advance preparation and planning. All told, it could take two weeks to make an image.

The images feel still, like they're encased in a slowly-hardening amber—it's a strange, interesting lens through which to see the city's most kinetic places. Check out the show from October 15th to February 15th at the MCNY. Open the images in a new tab for the full effect.

All images courtesy of Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao/Museum of the City of New York.