New worlds

At a casual glance, Andrew Brooks’ arrestingly vivid, vibrant photographs appear to be simply beautifully shot scenes in very bold colours.

However, on closer investigation, each of these stunning composite images is, in fact, painstakingly digitally created from up to 600 images per scene.

Coney Island at Dusk by Andrew Brooks
Coney Island at Dusk by Andrew Brooks

This intricate technique produces images that are truly breathtaking – each is bursting with an energy and effervescence that conveys the exotic scenes they depict. The subjects range from New York’s gloriously gauche Coney Island, with its neon lights and down and outs; to the manic streets of Shanghai, to a re-imagined Manchester skyline.

Brooks has been using the technique for about eight years, with each image taking anywhere between two days and two months to create.

NYC by Andrew Brooks
NYC by Andrew Brooks

He says, ‘It’s all about trying to travel as much as possible and collect the raw information. Then I take them back to the studio and obviously try to represent how the place looks, but also the atmosphere there.

‘It’s not an automated process- the way I work is very hands on I select all the images by hand, not using anything computer generated. It’s its almost like painting with images to create my version of the scene.’

Empire State by Andrew Brooks
Empire State by Andrew Brooks

The New World Exhibition that opens this weekend will display 15 previously unseen photographs from Brooks, including images of the Australian outback and the 5-600 photograph-strong image of the Baroque splendour of St Peter’s Basilica, alongside a 10 foot by 8-foot image of Downtown Manhattan.  

Nanjing Road by Andrew Brooks
Nanjing Road by Andrew Brooks

Brooks adds, ‘I aim to show the definition, energy and movement of a place through still photography. To achieve this I build my images out of hundreds of captures giving me control over the light, detail and emotion of the finished pieces.

‘My goal is to get somewhere near the sheer awe and scale you experience from looking on to a breathtaking view when you are actually there.’

Unisphere by Andrew Brooks
Unisphere by Andrew Brooks

New Worlds runs from 18 February – 3 March at The Hive, 49 Lever Street, Manchester, M1

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