NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Thursday, January 28, 2016, 5:02 PM
Behold the final, dazzling pictures taken by a budding young photographer who died in pursuit of the perfect shot.
Connor Cummings, 20, fell to his death Dec. 30 while snapping the city skyline from a scaffolding atop the Four Seasons Hotel in midtown.
Four days later, the NYPD returned to the family his prized Canon Mark III camera.
Connor Cummings fell through a hole in scaffolding atop the Four Seasons Hotel shortly after taking this photo.
Looking at the stunning images captured on his memory card, his mother Linda felt a mix of awe and dread.
“I thought they were beautiful but scary at the same time,” Linda Cummings told the Daily News.
“He actually died doing what he loved best. It’s supposed to give me some consolation, someone told me, but it hasn’t yet.”
Linda Cummings said she wanted to speak out to honor a young man who saw beauty everywhere he looked and loved helping people sort through their problems.
But she also felt strongly about rebutting the perception that Connor, a sophomore psychology major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, was a reckless thrill-seeker.
“He wasn’t a daredevil,” Linda Cummings said from her home in Rockaway, N.J.
“Ninety-nine percent of his thousands of photos were of people and places and landscapes.”
“This was just a tragic accident,” she added.
Linda Cummings last saw her son Connor, 20, just a few hours before he left for the city the day before New Year’s Eve.
Linda Cummings last saw her son just a few hours before he left for the city the day before New Year’s Eve.
Connor appeared to be coming down with a cold, so his mother joined him at a doctor’s appointment.
It had been a magical past few days for the family. All three of the Cummings boys were home for the holidays.
Connor, who received the Canon camera for Christmas, couldn’t stop talking about the job he was about to start next semester shooting pictures for his school.
Olivares snapped this photo of Connor Cummings at a building near Times Square before they made their way to the top of the Four Seasons Hotel.
“He was so excited,” Connor’s mother recalled. “After the interview, he called up and said, ‘I killed it, ma.'”
The doctor, after a quick examination, said Connor was going to be fine and suggested he take some Mucinex.
Connor told his mother he was going into the city with his photography-loving pal, Dimitri Olivares, 18.
Connor Cummings and his friend Dimitri Olivares took an elevator to the top floor of the 52-story hotel, then walked up two flights of stairs to an unlocked door leading to the rooftop, sources said.
Because of the fog, Connor told his mom, the pair were going to travel by train rather than drive.
“He kissed me goodbye, waved and left,” Linda Cummings said. “I wasn’t really that concerned about it. They were going safely.”
Connor’s mother went home and left some Mucinex for him on the windowsill. But Connor would never get the chance to take it.
“That was the last time I saw him,” Linda Cummings said, referring to the sight of her son leaving the doctor’s office.
Connor and Dimitri first took a series of photos atop an unidentified building a couple of blocks south of Times Square.
This is a picture taken by Connor Cummings atop the Four Seasons Hotel shortly before he fell to his death.
Sometime after 10 p.m., they headed uptown to the Four Seasons Hotel on E. 57th St.
The pair took the elevator to the top floor of the 52-story hotel, then walked up two flights of stairs to an unlocked door leading to the rooftop, sources said.
Once outside, they clambered up a 25-foot ladder that brought them to metal scaffolding surrounding cooling equipment.
“He saw beauty in so many different things,” Connor’s mom said. “He would have been a great photographer.”
“Ninety-nine percent of his thousands of photos were of people and places and landscapes,” Linda Cummings said.
Detectives told the family that Connor was backing up to take a picture of Dimitri unaware there was a second opening on the scaffolding.
Connor fell down the hole. His camera landed on the platform unscathed.
“They said it was quick — that he died right away,” Linda Cummings said. “It’s a small blessing.”
More than 3,000 people turned out for Connor’s funeral. Many of them were already familiar with the brilliant photos and philosophical musings that he posted to his Instagram account under the name consception.
He had told his family and friends several months ago that his goal was to amass more than 2,000 followers. By the time of his death, the tally had surpassed 4,000.
“It’s been almost a month, but for me it’s like it just happened,” Linda Cummings said, choking up.
“He saw beauty in so many different things,” she added. “He would have been a great photographer.”