Philly Is Ugly

Now this is a project that's right up my alley!  Philadelphia photographer Nathaniel Dodson has created a time-lapse video showing the beauty of Philadelphia from all different angles, from sunrise to sunset. It just launched August 15th, and I haven't been able to stop watching. By why is it called Philly Is Ugly?
The name “Philly is ugly” came about as I was casually thinking of some funny or interesting names for the project. I did not want to give it a cliche, or “fluffy” name like “Philly Lights”, or “Philadelphia is Beautiful”, or “Philly, Philly, Philly, Vanilly”, well maybe not that last one, but I knew I wanted to do something different, something that would punch you in the mouth. The more I thought about the name “Philly is ugly”, the more I loved it. “Philly is ugly” will make both those who love and those who hate Philadelphia (surely there isn’t anybody like that out there!) turn and look at the film. If I did my job, the film will show everybody just how beautiful Philadelphia is. It was mildly terrifying sticking with the name, but once I bought the domain name, there was no going back! You will never influence the world by trying to be like it. Step out and do something different. Be daring.
It's a pretty breathtaking project, showing different sides of Philly from unique perspectives and times of day. So to those who love Philadelphia, watch it and it will warm your heart, and to those who are on the fence, it might just change your mind!


Read more about the project here (including camera equipment and how he found his locations).
And check out Nathaniel's Twitter Page.
Check out the full film here.

Photography by someone
Words by Chaucee Stillman
First published on

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Maira Gall