Digital Cameras

Surreal photographic visions of modern urban high-density living

Surreal photographic visions o...
Herlan's photography looks up from the inside of massive apartment blocks in Hong Kong, revealing incredible symmetry 
Herlan's photography looks up from the inside of massive apartment blocks in Hong Kong, revealing incredible symmetry 
View 16 Images
"I am always looking for geometry and symmetry obsessively in each composition and Hong Kong is a perfect place for it," Herlan says
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"I am always looking for geometry and symmetry obsessively in each composition and Hong Kong is a perfect place for it," Herlan says
The series is called Urban Density
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The series is called Urban Density
The series is primarily focusing on government apartment blocks in Hong Kong
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The series is primarily focusing on government apartment blocks in Hong Kong
"I use Adobe most of the time, Lightroom for color grade, and then I tend to use a technique of a Digital Blending, which consists of manually blending multiple bracket exposure in Photoshop in order to obtain the maximum dynamic range," says Herlan
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"I use Adobe most of the time, Lightroom for color grade, and then I tend to use a technique of a Digital Blending, which consists of manually blending multiple bracket exposure in Photoshop in order to obtain the maximum dynamic range," says Herlan
One of two pictures in the series taken in Macau, China
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One of two pictures in the series taken in Macau, China
One of two pictures in the series taken in Macau, China
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One of two pictures in the series taken in Macau, China
Herlan's photography looks up from the inside of massive apartment blocks in Hong Kong, revealing incredible symmetry 
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Herlan's photography looks up from the inside of massive apartment blocks in Hong Kong, revealing incredible symmetry 
"I am always looking for geometry and symmetry obsessively in each composition and Hong Kong is a perfect place for it," Herlan says
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"I am always looking for geometry and symmetry obsessively in each composition and Hong Kong is a perfect place for it," Herlan says
All the images are available as prints from Herlan's website
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All the images are available as prints from Herlan's website
Herlan does not mirror any of his images, so all these patterns are hardcoded into the architectural designs
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Herlan does not mirror any of his images, so all these patterns are hardcoded into the architectural designs
"I am always looking for geometry and symmetry obsessively in each composition and Hong Kong is a perfect place for it," Herlan says
11/16
"I am always looking for geometry and symmetry obsessively in each composition and Hong Kong is a perfect place for it," Herlan says
"I use Adobe most of the time, Lightroom for color grade, and then I tend to use a technique of a Digital Blending, which consists of manually blending multiple bracket exposure in Photoshop in order to obtain the maximum dynamic range," says Herlan
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"I use Adobe most of the time, Lightroom for color grade, and then I tend to use a technique of a Digital Blending, which consists of manually blending multiple bracket exposure in Photoshop in order to obtain the maximum dynamic range," says Herlan
A block at night with the dark sky in the distance
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A block at night with the dark sky in the distance
The same block during the day with the sky becoming a light at the end of the tunnel
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The same block during the day with the sky becoming a light at the end of the tunnel
"I use Adobe most of the time, Lightroom for color grade, and then I tend to use a technique of a Digital Blending, which consists of manually blending multiple bracket exposure in Photoshop in order to obtain the maximum dynamic range," says Herlan
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"I use Adobe most of the time, Lightroom for color grade, and then I tend to use a technique of a Digital Blending, which consists of manually blending multiple bracket exposure in Photoshop in order to obtain the maximum dynamic range," says Herlan
"I am always looking for geometry and symmetry obsessively in each composition and Hong Kong is a perfect place for it," Herlan says
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"I am always looking for geometry and symmetry obsessively in each composition and Hong Kong is a perfect place for it," Herlan says

Urban Density is an extraordinary photographic series from fine art and travel photographer Dietrich Herlan. The series primarily examines high-density government apartment blocks in Hong Kong, finding profoundly symmetrical compositions in architecture that is often considered ugly, impersonal and Brutalist.

Herlan's journey into photography is relatively new. After initially studying in England to be a software engineer he began traveling around the world and became determined to share his experiences with others. His Urban Density series focuses on the imposing residential structures of government housing seen during his trips to Hong Kong.

A block at night with the dark sky in the distance
A block at night with the dark sky in the distance

The most compelling images in the series come when Herlan turns his view toward the sky. An astounding series of images looking up from within these apartment blocks reveals an incredible symmetry undermining the often impersonal buildings.

"These residential apartments are incredibly symmetrical and I set up my Nikon D810 camera on a tripod looking up with an ultra-wide angle lens," Herlan tells New Atlas. "By looking straight up I can create a tunnel effect between the building and the sky. Hong Kong Government Housing is the perfect example of this."

Herlan does not mirror any of his images, so all these patterns are hardcoded into the architectural designs
Herlan does not mirror any of his images, so all these patterns are hardcoded into the architectural designs

These incredible compositions are all created in camera, depicting the geometric patterns that are hardcoded into the massive structures. Large prints of all these remarkable photographs are available from Herlan's website and his latest work can be seen via his Instagram.

"I am always looking for geometry and symmetry obsessively in each composition and Hong Kong is a perfect place for it," Herlan says
"I am always looking for geometry and symmetry obsessively in each composition and Hong Kong is a perfect place for it," Herlan says

Take a look through our gallery at more stunning symmetrical visions from Herlan's Urban Density series.

Source: Dietrich Herlan

3 comments
Daishi
Some of these feel like they came out of the movie 5th element. I honestly don't view this type of housing as a bad idea for the US. If I were moving to a new job in a new city I would probably live in one of these cramped inexpensive efficiency apartments close to work before I would chose to spend every penny I made to live in a place where I had a 2 hour a day commute. I think more companies in the US should build dorm style housing near work as an option for their employees like Foxcon does. As cities continually become higher population and people struggle to afford housing it seems like a viable option.
thx1138
And then there is the view of the "plugged in" humans in The Matrix.
Helena
What a complete hack job! This exact series has been done numerous times before by famous photographers such as Romain Lagreze, Peter Stewart and Michael Wolf.