[Manhattan] What places would you recommend to shoot architecture?

Discussion in 'Travel' started by slecoanet, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. Hello everyone!

    I'm about to spend 1 week holidays in NY and intend to shoot
    Manhattan by night. I browsed the guides to try to find some places
    to get nice views, but it's hard to guesstimate it on maps!

    I'd need any advice to shoot:

    - isolated skycrapers (Woolworth, Chrysler, Met Life, UN
    headquarters ...) from inside Manhattan, and I don't know how to find
    places where they wouldn't be hidden by other buildings.
    I intend to shoot from ground, I already tried from the Empire State
    building but it's not the kind of view I like for architecture shots.

    - side wiews of Manhattan, either from Brooklyn or New Jersey (or
    from any place else I don't know yet)

    I already shot some pics from Brooklyn heights but now that I have a
    rather wide angle (FOV=90 degrees) I'd need to get as close as
    possible of Manhattan, and still see interesting things.
    Is it too much asking?

    Thank you in advance for any hint!

    Stephane Lecoanet
  2. For the side view and the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge, there is a park right at the Brooklyn side of the bridge, I believe it's called Brooklyn Bridge Park. I've been there once, but I forget the exact name of the park.

    Also, from the Long Island/Brooklyn side, almost anywhere you can stop along the BQE (Brooklyn-Queens Expressway) is going to offer up a nice side view. Not sure about the Jersey side, but I know that many of the well known pictures of Manhattan have been shot from Jersey.

    If you can afford it, one of those 15 minute helicopter rides around Manhattan might give some really spectacular views that would be impossible to get otherwise. Whether you can get a decent shot through the helicopter's glass is another story...
  3. IMO, the best place to shoot the NY skyline is from Alexander Hamilton Park on River Road in Union City. Another place is Liberty State Park in Jersey City, which offers a close-up view of lower Manhattan (and the area where the WTC was), the Statue of Liberty (from the side & behind) and Ellis Island.

    If you're driving, to get to Liberty State Park, take the Lincoln Tunnel. Follow signs for the NJ Turnpike south, and then watch for signs for the park. I think its around exit 15. Its pretty big, but the roads take you through it pretty well. My favorit spot is near the old railroad terminal and ferry slip.

    From there, head back north on the Turnpike towards the Lincoln Tunnel, but get off at the last exit in NJ at the top of the helix which goes down to the tunnel. At the bottom of the ramp, turn left, and follow that road as it goes up hill & curves around. After the last curve, you come upon a view of NYC that will take your breath away. A little farther down the road on the right is the Alexander Hamilton Park (its pretty small) which offers panoramic views, especially of midtown (Empire State, Chrysler), but you can also see downtown. If you get there shortly before sunset, the light reflects off the buildings witha beautiful golden glow like the one posted here.

    If you're not driving, there are ferries from NY, which go near to both places, although it might involve a bit of walking.

    Here's a link to these and some other spots.

    Have a great time.
  4. Definitely check out Long Island City if you get a chance. Take the #7 train from Times Sq. or Grand Central to the first stop in Queens (Jackson Ave). Walk to the water (if you are unsure which way, look for the only two highrise buildings and walk towards them). There is probably no better spot to photograph the UN than from here. Also very good views the Empire State and Chrysler.

    For the Met Life building, I highly recommend walking north on Park Ave. towards the building, taking pictures every several blocks (and do the same walking south). You will get some amazing (and varied) perspectives.

    Another possibility is to take the Water Ferry around from stop to stop (the ferry operates in both East and Hudson rivers).

    Finally, if you are on the adventurous side, you can go to the west-side "El" train. It is an old elevated train line that no longer operates, but still stands in Chelsea (around 10th ave from about 14th street to 30th). There are still a few stairways up at various points -- I think there is one around 16th street). You will get some stunning and rare views from up there. A word of caution, however, because I do not believe it is technically open to the public (although people do go up there often, and I have never had a problem).....

    Hope this helps and enjoy your trip!
  5. I always loved the view looking south from the Triborough Bridge. Try it early in the evening - 6:00ish - when the office lights are still blazing.
  6. Take the PATH train from Manhattan (e.g., from 14th, 23rd, or 34th) to Exchange Place in
    Jersey City. Once you come up to street level, there is a pier and a little park area right on
    the waterfront. You can walk up and down along the Hudson to get different angles. If you
    are ambitious, you can also walk down to Liberty State Park - although it might be easier
    to take a cab. I'm sure you know that the light hits Manhattan from the Brooklyn side in
    the morning - well, here it does so in the evening, basking downtown in that oh-so-
    pleasant light we all like.

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