Benjamin Lowy’s Walkscapes mash-up multiple images and leave you reeling in a sea of color and motion. With a few apps and clever editing, the series is like seeing a city street through a kaleidoscope (or after a wild night of drinking).
Lowy makes the images with his iPhone, using an app to snap multiple, regularly timed images as he walks the city. Then he blends everything together, cropping and processing to create the electric colors and frenetic movement. It’s done entirely on his phone, and rolled out on his Instagram.
He’s a bit secretive about his process, but says the final images are created from 15 to 30 photos. The time between each image varies—sometimes he shoots every second (creating a tunnel-like effect) and sometimes it’s more of a collage. Lowy loves the geometric lines of skyscrapers, pedestrians with umbrellas and rainy streets. He shoots mostly in New York City, but has made images around the world while on assignment.
Often he’ll map a certain path, other times he just wanders. Lowy usually holds the phone vertically with his arms directly in front of him at about chest-height. It’s a little conspicuous when walking down a busy city street. “People are probably like ‘what the fuck is that guy doing?’” he says. “I must look like a total tool, but I love it.”
Lowy is primarily a war photojournalist, but sees Walkscapes as a way to talk about the vast number of images out there. In a place like Manhattan, thousands of photos are being taken at any given moment. If you imagine all the images of one street snapped simultaneously, they probably would look a lot like his photos. He wants the photos to depict the visual noise of all those cameras constantly clicking.
“If we are sitting at a Starbucks and a car accident happened, everyone would take a picture. Every ATM has a camera and every street corner has CCTV,” he says. “In other words, there is an over abundance of documentation.”