Portfolio: Sergey Semenov


So iconic is its topography that this oblong Arcadian idyll surrounded by a skyscraper-domineered metropolitan sprawl could scarcely be anywhere else in the world. Yet it's doubtful that many of us have seen New York's Central Park quite like this before.

The reason? Sergey Semenov was 800m up in the air when he shot it.

The 30-year-old Russian visited the city several times as part of the Air Pano team, a Moscow-based group of photography enthusiasts who create 360-degree virtual tours of significant places by shooting from rooftops, hotel windows and – as here – helicopters.

After shooting a spherical panorama using a fish-eye lens, Semenov effectively "flattened" the photograph and smoothed out the bevelled, blurred edges created by the fish-eye focus. The result: a vista usually afforded only to passing birds, and one which won Semenov the prestigious amateur prize at the Epson International Pano Awards.

"I joined Air Pano to share my photographs with those who cannot travel," says Semenov – "so I can show the most beautiful places in the world in a way nobody has before."

And indeed he does – for the 360-degree results (see airpano.ru/files/Manhattan-New-York-Virtual-Tour/2-3) are like Google Earth on steroids.

For more: sergesemenov.com