NYC photography

Discussion in 'Travel' started by teresa_earnest, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. Hi all, I usually post in the wedding forum, so pardon my intrusion... I will be traveling with my Husband to NYC for a few days while he does business, and was wondering if you all would suggest some must have shots of the city or places to visit to get great shots. I have a 10D with a 550 EX (which I rarely use). I have a slave system, but I am really wanting to travel light. I plan on taking one lens, my 2.8 24-70 and plenty of cards. What would make your list of must-haves for packing? Thanks so much! Teresa
  2. NYC is a great place to photograph street scenes and architecture. The 24-70/2.8 is good
    for the street scenes, but you may want to also bring something longer if you like to shoot
    architecture. I brought only a 28-135 IS and I found myself wishing I had my 70-200/2.8
    at times. There are amazing views of the major skyscrapers (like the Chrysler building)
    from all over the city. Grand Central Station is also a good place to shoot both street
    shots and architecture, but you will definitely need a tripod inside the station. Times
    Square is always interesting and challenging. Mulberry Street (the Italian area) and
    Chinatown are also interesting. And, of course, the subway. You will want your flash for
  3. david_henderson


    My last visit to NYC in April saw me using a Mamiya 7 and
    50/80/150 lenses . I didn't feel at all inconvenienced by lens
    choice and shot everything hand-held on 400 ISO b&w, no flash.
    I've generally found NYC to be full of people telling you that you
    can't use a tripod here, there, everywhere not least because they
    equate it with professional usage . Walking round with the
    Mamiya I had no interference at all- even in the lobby of the
    Chrysler Building for example.

    My advice- best evening skyline view is from behind the
    Exchange Place station, now re-opened. Best morning skyline
    place is from Brooklyn Heights promenade from the southern
    end. I like the Meat Packing district early at the weekend when
    its very quiet. The middle area of Central Park near Bow
    Bridge/Ladies Pavillion /The Mall. Walking over Brooklyn Bridge.
    Chelsea's brownstones or those on the upper west side;
    Soho's cast-iron district. water tanks everywhere, best view of
    Chrysler building is from opposite Grand Central on the south
    side of 42nd Street, just east of a bridge. Lower East Side
    round Orchard street. Even downtown in places like Pearl Street
    there's good photographs of fire escapes etc available. I got a
    couple of nice shots in Coney Island , accessible by subway
    from downtown, and in Brooklyn's Park Slope area ( though I
    didn't rate Prospect Park at all). You can photograph inside the
    Guggenheim . For me the views from Empire State are just too
    big and amorphous to make good photographs, but if you have
    any chance to get on a lower rooftop -maybe 5th-20th floors, then
    take it.
  4. I was NYC a couple of weeks ago, a 28-70 & 70-200 served very well. Grand Central makes for some good pictures, and yes a tripod will be needed as an earlier poster stated. Beware though, I got yelled at for using my tripod without a permit!! (Land of the free... yeah right ;-)
  5. Coney Island Mermaid Parade, June 26.
  6. Oh boy....there's alot of don'ts shooting in NYC. No more can you
    shoot the bridges, tunnels, federal buildings, some city and
    state buildings if I am correct and most recently, no picture
    taking in the subway system. That's the new one.
    In fact, on another forum there are photos from a protest by
    photographers shot on Sunday 6/6/04

    Have fun in the Big Apple. But be careful what you shoot.
  7. Some photos from a pre 9/11 trip to NYC are here.
    I was in NYC exactly a month ago and I could shoot whatever I wanted - the Brooklyn and Verrazano bridges, inside the subway etc. My cousin who was driving me was nervous about taking my shots of the Holland Tunnel and told me of a cop who stopped an earlier person and exposed the film and returned the camera to the photographer. In four days, I was never stopped, questioned or even looked at twice.
    For sure, post 9/11 there are some changes like the NYSE entrance being barricaded somewhat, the Statue of Liberty being closed etc. but overall I noticed little impediment to photography. I will try to post these newer photos also to my site.
    What should you take? I think the 10D+the 24-70 should do just fine. Carry a tripod if it isnt a bother.
  8. Hey there,

    As a Brit living on the upper west side in Manhattan I shoot all over the city and the only
    times I have ever been challanged were outside the UN building shortly after 9/11 and that
    was for walking into a restricted area and NOT for taking photos. The other incident was
    when a police office tried to claim he could confiscate my camera for taking a picture of
    him manhandling protesters at the 2004 peace rally in NY. The fact that I outweighed the
    officer by 100bls meant the only way my camera was going anywhere without me is once
    he's prised it from my cold dead hands.

    As for shooting in Grand Central the reason aginst tripods is more to keep the flow on the
    go as opposed to restrict your photography but I also use the 10d canon and found
    pushing the ISO to 400 gives good results all round in places like the station.

    The incident where Raghus friend had his film exposed by an NYPD officer is incredulous
    and I would have filed a law suit aginst not only the officer but also the city.

    Now as for good locations, my favorites are the circle line cruise boat that takes four hours
    and does a complete circle of manhattan offering graet views of the city from the water
    but take at least a 200mm and also the lake in central park.

    Hope you enjoy the visit.
  9. I'm sitting in my hotel in Hell's Kitchen, watching it start to get light out. I have my tripod set up in front of an open window in my 16th floor room and a planned skyline shot with the morning sun rising on it.

    I am in NYC at least 5-6 times a year on assignment. I spend most of my off time roaming the streets, riding the ferries, walking over bridges. All looking for the 'best' shot. Since my first photo safari to NYC 15 years ago, I have NEVER been hassled by any public agency person. My only problems have been with private security people when I attempt to set up my tripod on private property, like a courtyard of a office building (this happened today). I'm going to have about 25 of my photos published in a book about Hudson river and the Bridges over it, and those were all shot since 9/11. One prominently features a mounted policeman.

    If I was to only take one lens here, it would be my Vivitar Series 1 35-300.

    NYC is an exciting, difficult, stimulating, daunting place for photography.
  10. Thanks everyone! I was considering taking my rebel instead of my 10D, and just leaving the tripod at home, but after reading your responses, I am very much anticipating getting as many interesting shots with my 10D as possible, and I don't want to miss anything because I didn't have my tripod. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I'm not as scared now to just get out there and shoot!

  11. -Brooklyn Promenade (for sky line and bridge shots). It's one stop from downtown
    Manhattan on 2,3,4,5 M or R lines. One of a handful of places where you can see the sky
    line. Once there, walk over the Brooklyn Bridge back to Manhattan.
  12. This is a really photo-friendly town. Every tourist has a camera, and there pros and students wandering around with all sorts of exotic gear. You won't likely have any trouble at all. If you do, just play the dumb tourist.
  13. You didn't specify when you'd be going, but I'd agree with the majority of the advice except to say that dragging a long lens around with you may or may not be useful....does your preferred method of operating usually encompase long lenses? (mine doesn't)
    Regardless, never miss the opportunity for just walking around on the look out for interesting things. Take a look at what I found in front of the flat iron building on November day last year:
  14. Hi Teresa, As the main hall of Grand Central Station is surprisingly dark it is difficult to photograph it without a tripod. One tip for photographing the main hall without a tripod is to place your camera on the balcony located halfway up the stairs located at either end of the hall. I noticed that Raghu had a photo of the main hall taken at probably the same location as one I took back in March. Hope you have a great trip. Patrick

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