Photographer Captures World’s Biggest Cities at 12,000 Feet


Sydney, Australia – click to enlarge

Tall buildings, bright lights, bustling traffic and the general buzz of people flow have been used to describe 21st century “mega-cities”. At street level, spectacular views abound in cities such as New York, Barcelona, Las Vegas, Sydney and London. But, what about the view from thousands of feet above these cities? SPECTACULAR! Photographer Vincent Laforet spent time in 2015 edging out of a helicopter door at heights of up to 12,000 feet photographing them. His new book, “AIR,” compiles the best and most spectacular aerial images captured throughout the project. However, you can view some of these images by viewing the video below. For more photo’s, and CNN’s feature article on this project, click here.  Enjoy!

“When you are in any of these metropolitan areas on a street level, you feel a lot smaller and isolated,” Laforet told CNN over the phone from New York. “You are overwhelmed by the noise and the differences you see on the ground.”

“But when you are above these cities at several thousand feet or several kilometers, somehow they feel much more within grasp. You definitely feel more connected to the city and the people within it. There’s this energy that’s almost palpable.”

William C. Sturgeon

This bio was originally published at

WCS_NEW_0609Born in New York City’s the Bronx in 1917, William “Bill” C. Sturgeon worked as a power company lineman in Utica after graduating from high school, and as a ranch hand in Montana before enlisting in the U.S. Army Signal Corps six months prior to the draft for World War II. He served in all grades from Private to Captain during five years of service. His battalion, involved in the invasion of Iwo Jima, was responsible for installing the radar that guided the bombers between the Mariana Islands and Japan.

Thereafter, he worked as an elevator helper and constructor, and, in 1947, became president of the Mobile Elevator and Equipment Company, Inc., a contracting company operating in Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle. From 1952 to 1956, he served as the volunteer Civil Defense Director of Mobile County, Alabama, and directed the only two evacuations held in the U.S., the last involving the movement of 55,000 city school children. He acted as consultant to federal Civil Defense Administrator Val Peterson, and founded and edited the national civil defense magazine – Civil Defender – for three years. During that time, he covered several atomic tests in Nevada and the first hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific Proving Grounds at Enewitok.

Bill Sturgeon founded the first trade magazine of the elevator industry – ELEVATOR WORLD – in January 1953. After selling his contracting business in 1961, he devoted himself full time to the editing of ELEVATOR WORLD until retiring from the editorship in 1997. Sturgeon was a founder of Local 124 of the International Union of Elevator contractors. In 1961, he was chosen the elevator industry’s Man of the Year, and, in 1995, the National Association of Elevator Contractors created the William C. Sturgeon Distinguished Service Award to be given annually to the member of the industry making the greatest contribution to the well-being of the elevator field. Sturgeon is also a founding member of NAEC, the Canadian Elevator Contractors Association, The National Association of Elevator Safety Authorities and the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation.

Sturgeon has served as president of the Mobile Mental Health Association, the Mobile Symphony Orchestra and the Mobile Kiwanis club, as well as a board member of the Alabama Mental Health Association, the Mobile Federation of Christian Churches, the Mobile Art Gallery and the Friends of the Library. He served as Chairman of the Governor’s Alabama Commission on the Arts and the Alabama Rehabilitation Foundation. Mr. Sturgeon passed away on October 11, 2012, at the age of 95.

Our online bookstore is offering a discount on the William C. Sturgeon Collection, which includes his memoir, More Ups Than Downs, and his monthly editorials, Speaking of Issues.