Ultra-high-resolution aerial images reveal the world's mega-cities

The height of civilisation! Ultra-high-resolution aerial images reveal some of the world’s most astonishing mega-cities and structures in a whole new light

  • Photographer Ryan Koopmans captures some of the world’s most awe-inspiring views in his book ‘Vantage’
  • Mr Koopmans spent ten years travelling all over the world to capture some of mankind’s greatest triumphs 
  • The Dutch-Canadian photographer toured Asia, Africa, Europe, North and South America for his epic book

Ultra-high-resolution aerial images of the world’s megacities picture life from above for the 55 per cent of the population living in bustling metropolises. 

Photographer Ryan Koopmans, 33, spent ten years travelling all over the world to capture mankind’s greatest triumphs, touring Asia, Africa, Europe, North America and South America and compiling the views as he went.

Now a decade later Koopmans has released his compilation entitled Vantage as a book featuring some of the world’s most awe-inspiring views in the most densely populated cities.  

His pictures showcase the stunning variation in architecture in places like Dubai, Singapore, London, South Africa, Rotterdam and Chicago.   

But with the global population growing at an unprecedented rate the emerging megalopolises all have one thing in common – they are densely packed, home to 4.14 billion people, over half the population.

The Dutch-Canadian photographer said: ‘I have spent the last decade working in travel, documentary and architecture photography and have therefore been extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to visit many places around the world.

‘What interests me most are not specific buildings or landmarks, but the lived experiences of the people who interact with them.

‘The growth of global populations has led to rapid urbanization and the emergence of megacities.’

To capture the masterpieces the award-winning photographer searches for the dizzy heights of a skyscraper, rooftop or mountain. 

Adding: ‘I sometimes use a drone but I prefer not to, as shooting with the handheld camera gives me more control of the framing and a higher resolution.’

Temple of Commerce, a night street market in Kowloon, Hong Kong, November 2018. It is named after the Tin Hau temple located in the centre of its main walk

Buildings in Hong Kong’s private housing estate Whompoa Garden, including a giant yacht which is actually a shopping centre, December 2018

The Hong Kong skyline at night, 2018. A luminescent blue hue surrounds billboards shining from the top of a skyscraper

The New York skyline, 2015. In recent years complaints have been made about the looming shadows cast by very tall buildings on areas such as Central Park

An enormous roundabout functions as an ornament and traffic control in the financial heart of Shanghai, China March 2012

An industrial area of Huaxi, China, 2012. The industrial centre is east of the city centre of Jiangyin, in Jiangsu Province, which claims to be the richest village in the country

Yellow stars of the Chinese flag seen in the socialist village of Huaxi, China, 2012

Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, 2015. Rows of suburban houses with greenery can be seen in the city which was founded in the eighth century

Buildings in Hong Kong, December 2018. Due to staggering housing prices around 200,000 people in Hong Kong are estimated to live in around 88,000 ultra-small ‘coffin homes’

The capital city of Kazakhstan, previously called Astana, was recently renamed Nur-Sultan in honor of former president Nursultan Nazarbayev, June 2011

Maidan Nezalezhnost in Kyiv, Ukraine, the main square in the country, 2014. Vendors sell food and souvenirs

Frosted buildings in Stockholm, Sweden, December 2017. Most of the buildings in Stockholm are yellow as the paint was produced as a byproduct of the copper industry

A built up area in Shanghai, China, 2012. The Chinese government set out to make Shanghai the New York of Asia

The Ponte City Apartments in Johannesburg, South Africa, July 2017. The unique building has been used as a filming location for several sci-fi thrillers such as District 9 and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

An international cruise ships at Singapore’s Keppel Harbour, 2011. Singapore is undoubtedly one of the 20th century’s greatest success stories, with what was once swampland now a sea of skyscrapers that is home to a  global business hub

Farmer’s housing in Jiangsu, China, 2012. A leading province in education, tourism and home to the world’s leading exporters of electronic equipment

View from observation deck of the Shard of the surrounding London environment, 2013. The £2billion Shard skyscraper towers over London Bridge Station and dwarfs some of the capital’s most iconic landmarks, including Tower Bridge

Modern towers of Erbil’s ‘Empire World’ rise in Iraqi Kurdistan, 2015. The development is valued at $2.7billion and is the largest in the country

Favela Rochina in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. 2017. Fewer murders, gunfights and robberies, rising real estate values and increased tourism in the slum areas have been cited as examples of what Brazilian police are doing right in their fight against gang violence

Favelas in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, 2018. Some favelas such as Vila Cruzeiro, which is considered one of Rio’s most dangerous favela, is owned by the church but overrun by drug warlords

A collection of private villas, factories, apartment blocks, working farmland and construction sites in Huaxi Village, Jiangsu, China’s most densely populated province, March 2012

A tall ship passes by the breakwater of Monroe Harbor in downtown Chicago, USA, September, 2013

A fully automated metro rail line crosses over roads and a manicured garden in Dubai, UAE, September 2019

Artificial ‘supertrees’ line Singapore’s manmade marina, serving as vertical gardens, as it was under construction in 2011

A huge car park near London, England, 2019. The image shows the incredible infrastructure needed to house London’s 8.9 million inhabitants

The bottom of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE, 2017. The Burj Khalifa, is the tallest structure in the world at 2,716.5ft and more than 160 storeys

Huaxi Village is a collection of private villas, factories, apartment blocks, farmland, and construction sites in China’s Jiangsu Province, 2012

Princess Amalia Wind Farm in Amsterdam, Netherlands, in the North Sea, September 2019. It lies 14 miles west of the village of Egmond aan Zee

Buildings in Chicago, Illinois, USA, 2018. The city has skyline filled with iconic skyscrapers such as the John Hancock Center, 1,451-ft. Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) and the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower

A train entering London Bridge station as seen from above, England, March 2017

Baghdad, Iraq, 2015. Vibrant yellow new builds offer hope for the recovery of the country after war

Rows of Roman Pillars, somewhere in China, specific location not known, 2018

The first monograph of photographer Ryan Koopmans, an award winning Canadian/Dutch photographer whose work is exhibited and published across the world, Vantage explores the earth’s manmade structures, surreal architecture and megacities


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