Tom Leighton Unravels the Drama in Chicago’s Urbanscapes

All photos by Tom Leighton. Used with Creative Commons permission.

It’s been a while since we shined the spotlight on Tom Leighton and his dramatic aerial photography featuring the otherworldly Nevada Desert and his abstract monochrome series on contrails. This time, he brings our eyes to the city of Chicago, where he was inspired to put together a visual showcase of its highrise cityscapes and modernist tendencies. If you’re looking for a cinematic inspiration for your architectural photography, we invite you to check out this series and study how he unravels the drama in the city.

The London-based artist, photographer, and filmmaker has been fascinated by the urban environment and been photographing some of the world’s iconic and hidden architecture. This gives us no surprise that he found Chicago as the perfect playground for an architectural series that celebrates the highrise and the unique visuals it presents to photographers. “The L train weaves its way among the Chicago’s distinctive buildings and the light, particularly in the months of autumn and winter, strikes the city in a truly arresting way,” Leighton said on what about the city he found particularly inspiring.

To create his own dramatic rendition of the city, he made great use of the light to “give emphasis to the materials that have gone in Chicago’s impressive construction.” As he described, the light bouncing off the concrete, metal, and glass add to the dramatic narrative of the city. To draw our eyes to this light, he deepened the shadows and limited the color palette to deep blue and fiery orange. The result is a minimalist, dramatic portrait of the city gleaming in the golden light in all its architectural brilliance.

Don’t forget to visit Tom Leighton’s website and Behance portfolio to see more of his work.