When Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Vincent Laforet goes up in a helicopter high above your city, he doesn't come back down until he's got a camera full of delicious urban eye candy. For the past year Laforet has been flying over various cities at night to gather images for his deluxe new book AIR, coming out just in time for the holidays. (You can also purchase lithographs on his website.) Click around for a preview featuring his aerial photos of NYC and other cities.

Recalling his NYC shoot, which reached heights of 7,500 feet, Laforet writes, "Had we gone just a few thousand more feet up (around 11,000-12,000 feet) we would have needed oxygen masks! One veteran pilot that we often fly with refused to go up to the altitude we were at ... He said that 'helicopters are not meant to live in that realm'—which I kind of agree with following this flight." Here's video:

"The cameras weren’t capable of doing it until a year or two ago. The sensors weren’t sensitive enough, and cities were much darker," Laforet recently told The Australian, adding that when he's shooting from a helicopter "the city feels so much more within grasp, and you can see how much smaller the world is. You don’t really see boundaries, you don’t see ­ethnicities, you don’t see borders or politics up there."