New ‘City Silhouette’ Portraits by Jasper James

Jasper-James photography

Over the past decade Jasper James, currently based in Beijing, has lived and worked in New York and London covering assignments around the globe for some of the world’s leading magazines, design and advertising clients. Of this series, City Silhouettes, he writes:

‘These photos are part of an ongoing project that I have been shooting for the past few years in various cities around Asia. Sometime in 2008, the number of people living in urban areas outnumbered those living in rural areas for the first time in history. I thought it would be interesting to shoot portraits of these city dwellers combined with the image of a cityscape.

‘The images are made in camera with just a basic adjustment in contrast and colours but no retouching. I’m currently planning exhibitions of the images and looking for an interested publisher.’

Jasper James photography

Jasper-James photography

Jasper-James photography

Jasper James photography

Jasper-James photography

  • Really nice. I particularly like the airplane silhouette..

  • Great pictures.
    I’m not sure I understand how they are done.
    Is it multiple-exposures?
    He is outside of the building, on some balcony, shooting at the reflection of the city-landscape, with people inside the building and some light source behind them in order to reduce contrast outside of the silhouette?
    Any hint would be appreciated!

  • What a great job of ‘seeing’, of vision. How many of us have walked past glare on windows and not seen latent images like these? Many of us, but not Jasper James. This brings to mind Farm Security Administration Photographer Dorothea Lange’s interesting take on visual documentation, “The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”

    James’ images take me further down that road of seeing without a camera.

  • Pentool

    I think it would something like this: 1-take a normally exposed city shot from a high-rise window, 2-with the camera remaining in place, place person in front of window in silhouette, 3-set the exposure long enough to capture some detail of the person while at the same time blowing out the city exposure without losing all detail, 4-adjust contrast in image editor to increase the contrast, making the shapes darker and the surrounding city lighter.

    Pretty simple really, but a neat idea.

  • What a great idea with lovely execution.

  • Karen Simon

    Great artist – amazing artwork!
    WOW! I found a nice interview article with him:

    great guy! x K

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