So you’re finally going to visit the Big Apple? Make sure you get some fabulous photographs to show off to friends and family on your return. Here are six photographic highlights New York City has to offer and our tips on how to get the best results – illustrated by some of the pictures taken by other visitors and uploaded to Flickr.com (and one of mine)…
Image obtained from Flickr.com under Creative Commons (c) Katie Killary
Not only is the Brooklyn Bridge an instantly recognizable New York icon, a photograph taken from the Brooklyn side will allow you to include the Manhattan waterfront and skyline for perhaps the ultimate cityscape.
Here we are concentrating on the widest view; so for our purposes Brooklyn Bridge Park is ideal.
An ultrawide-angle lens will allow you to include the entire bridge in your composition so is probably your best bet. If you want to shoot at night or are keen to achieve the sharpest image possible then a tripod should be considered. A polarizing filter is good if shooting during the day.
The classic answer rings true here – the “blue hour” just after sunset will give you fantastic light for your picture – but you’d be hard pressed to get a bad photo of such a scene. Hopefully the repairs will have been finished when you visit – the bridge was covered in tarpaulin when I was there which rather ruined the effect.
Image obtained from Flickr.com under Creative Commons (c) Alex E. Proimos
Grand Central Terminal opened in 1913 and its exquisitely painted ceiling has to be seen to be believed. Given the amount of people rushing through the main concourse a photograph here captures the bustle of modern New York against a backdrop of flamboyant architecture – for the best results try to include the blur of the crowds hurrying through.
Find a spot in the Upper Level main concourse and wait for a Kodak moment – it shouldn’t too long.
Again I would recommend going ultrawide so as to capture the scale of the place. Use a slow shutter speed to blur movement but you’ll have to rely on steady hands unless you obtain a permit to use a tripod, which is compulsory.
The morning rush hours is best – not only are the crowds at their most intense but the sunlight streams through the huge windows providing excellent natural lighting too.
Image obtained from Flickr.com under Creative Commons (c) be11boy
For many people the Statue of Liberty is the symbol of New York City – and one of its absolute “must-see” attractions. Indeed more than 15,000 people visit Liberty Island each day with 3,000 obtaining passes to the Statue itself. There are a myriad of potential photographic angles but here we’ll focus on shooting from the base of the pedestal.
Looking up at the Statue of Liberty from a vantage point at the base of the pedestal allows for great contrast with the sky in the background.
You will hardly be surprised when I suggest an ultrawide-angle lens again – you’ll fit the entire subject in the frame and the exaggerated perspective makes it look even bigger. As you are not permitted to bring bags into the statue you may prefer to fit your camera with a super zoom lens instead to give you a ‘one size fits all’ solution. A polarizing filter helps to darken the sky and increase contrast.
The time of your visit may be dictated by the tickets you have bought in advance; in any case you’ll get a great shot no matter when you get there. Just make sure you come prepared for the weather.
Image obtained from Flickr.com under Creative Commons (c) Phil Photostream
It’s yet another New York icon and one of the world’s first skyscrapers. It is also rather mind-boggling in its unique triangular design.
You’ll get a great photo op from the junction of 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue.
Guess what? I’d go ultrawide-angle. Having said that, the distortion will be severe and will make the already extreme angles of the building even more pronounced, so you may want to use a standard zoom as well. I’d definitely recommend a polarizing filter too, especially when the sky is blue.
Early morning and late afternoon light will give you the best results.