A local photographer offers a rarely seen view of Detroit in new series on display in Ferndale


  • Photo by Brian Day

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a ... drone?

The latest collection from photographer (and chief technology officer for Henry Ford Health System), Brian Day explores an angle of Detroit that is often overlooked — the upside down.

"Perceptions of Detroit have evolved dramatically over the years, both with respect to the people in and around the city as well as the appeal of the city as a relevant destination," Day tells Metro Times. "What many people outside of Detroit may not realize is that there is tremendous beauty in both respects. Ironically, however, even for those of us that were born and raised in Detroit, it’s easy to take for granted some of the city’s structural gems because we experience it at street level on a day to day basis." 

By using a drone, Day challenges his own technical skills and creative vision, which has, before now, remained horizontal and at ground level. Though collectively the images featured in Detroit From Above resonate as abstractions, the skyscrapers, fountains, and dizzying highway loops are meant to feel familiar.

"I hope viewers feel an element of surprise and some delight in identifying these cityscapes as seen from an almost abstract perspective. And perhaps, on some level, this helps the conversation that in more ways than one, Detroit never left," he says.

As for Day's favorite piece of architectural eye candy, he admits he's got a couple.

"I'm a big fan of Westin Book Cadillac Hotel, Noguchi’s Dodge Fountain and, of course, the Belle Isle Bridge. Clearly, I can’t choose just one," he says. 

Detroit From Above opening reception is Friday, Feb. 16 from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. at M Contemporary Gallery; 205 E. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 347-665-7011; mcontemporaryart.com; Exhibit will remain on display until Friday, March 9.

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