Core77 is pleased to partner with Windows Phone to bring you a series of photo diaries this summer. Based on the theme of Reinvention, we're looking to capture the fleeting moments and highlight the often-overlooked facets of the world around us through the lens of the Nokia Lumia 928, especially in the low-light settings in which its camera excels. (All photos were taken with the Nokia Lumia 928 smartphone and are published without postproduction unless otherwise noted.)
Reporting by Ray Hu
New York City's new-ish High Line is nothing if not photogenic, offering sylvan respite from the concrete jungle, a thoroughly considered green space that is at once removed from and embedded in the thick of Lower Manhattan. Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Field Operations' seminal public park is a sui generis locale, and although both the architectural features (benches, water fountains, criss-crossing paths) and impeccable landscaping allude to overgrown railroad tracks, the High Line is a remarkable urban space regardless of its history.
If it's rather difficult to take in the various art installations and commissions peppered throughout the park once the sun goes down, the tasteful lighting and ambient cityscape happen to emphasize that the High Line more of an attraction in itself. Leafy silhouettes obscure skyscrapers in the distance; cross streets afford unusual urban vistas; highrises in the immediate vicinity offer an incongruous—and at times voyeuristic—backdrop to the greenery.
But the yin/yang contrast of gray and green doesn't feel artificial—on the contrary, it feels entirely organic (for lack of a better term), and the 'supernatural' setting makes sense as a sort of post-industrial rendition of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
Indeed, there is a sense in which the High Line is like a 'design fiction' come to life, what by all means could have remained a detailed rendering of a hypothetical future or alternate universe, somehow realized in the present. This occurs to me upon reading an opinion piece suggesting that Elon Musk's Hyperloop should be regarded as such, and the fact that the High Line is real—that it is a site-specific domain of embodied memories for its countless visitors—affirms its significance in the canon of urban design.
Of course, there's no need to intellectualize it: the one thing that strikes me about the park is that everyone there—tourist and resident alike—seems entirely relaxed, appreciative of the space and at peace with the world around them.
Check out the photo comparison widget below to judge the Nokia Lumia 928's low-light photography capabilities—versus another well-known smartphone—for yourself.