Summer Time: Why don’t We Go To NYC?


With globally recognized icons like the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, New York City is one of the most photographed places in the world. Follow along with us and we’ll show you where and how to get great photos of NYC. Remember to tag your photos of the City with #thisisnewyorkcity on your social network of choice.


What are the main attractions in this city?


  • Photo Safaris

    New York Photo Safari. Photo: Joe Buglewicz

    Novice and experienced photographers alike can benefit from a photo safari of NYC. Zim Pham’s New York Photo Safari is equal parts hands-on workshop and tour. In her Central Park safari, for instance, she’ll show you some of the park’s most photogenic spots while giving you tips on composition and mastering your camera in different kinds of lighting. Pham’s safaris also cover iconic New York architecture, the High Line and NYC after dark. Another great photo tour and workshop option is Remember Forever, whose mission is to ensure that every aspiring photographer who visits the City learns the art of travel photography and returns home with postcard-perfect pictures. Remember Forever offers tours of Times Square, Battery Park and Central Park as well as more intensive beginner and advanced workshops that include nighttime visits to NYC’s bridges and buildings.


    • Times Square at Twilight

      Photo: Joe Buglewicz
      Photo: Joe Buglewicz

      Times Square’s greatest draw, its lights, also poses its greatest challenge to photographers. Our tip? Shoot just after sunset. The sky will be dim enough that the lights really stand out against the blues and violets of twilight, but not so dark that the harsh contrast between a black sky and bright lights confuses your camera’s light meter. Get there just before sunset and scout out some spots from which to shoot. We like the location above, but there are almost as many angles to cover as there are lights.


      • Central Park: Bethesda Fountain

        Photo: Alex Lopez
        Photo: Alex Lopez

        Bethesda Fountain and its surrounding terrace are among the most photographed features of Central Park. If you’re trying to frame a friend or family member in the shot along with the fountain, Zim Pham of New York Photo Safari suggests something that seems counterintuitive: have your human subject stand closer to you, away from the fountain. First, Pham says, put some good distance between you and the fountain, enough so that it fills up the right third of the frame when you’re holding the camera in landscape orientation. Then position your friend or family member in the left of the frame, but close to you and the camera so he or she fills the photo. Don’t worry about getting them completely in the photo. The goal is not to get a head-to-toe depiction, just from the torso up—enough that both the fountain and person are clearly visible. This technique works not only for Bethesda Fountain but for any large subject (the Statue of Liberty, for example) that you’d like to frame along with people.

        • Central Park: Bow Bridge

          Photo: Joe Buglewicz
          Photo: Joe Buglewicz

          A short walk northwest of Bethesda Fountain is Bow Bridge, a pretty cast-iron crossing whose gentle arc gives it its name. As you approach the bridge from the southeast, you’ll see the two towers of the San Remo building. Your first impulse might be to shoot the San Remo from the foot of the bridge itself, but if you step off the path there’s a little outcropping into the lake that allows you to frame the bridge and the San Remo together—and if you wait long enough on a nice day, a rowboat or two. It’s one of the more iconic images of the park.


          • The Unisphere

            Photo: Phil Kline
            Photo: Phil Kline

            Commissioned to mark the dawn of the Space Age, the 12-story-high Unisphere in Queens’ Flushing Meadows–Corona Park was the symbol of the 1964 World’s Fair. It has since become an icon of the borough of Queens and the City itself. Keep in mind our Bethesda Fountain tip if you’re trying to place friends into the frame. Pro tip: if the fountain surrounding the Unisphere is off and empty, you can get a striking photo looking up from underneath the globe.


            • One World Trade Center from the Back of the Staten Island Ferry

              One World Trade Center is fast becoming a visual representation of NYC. Since we’ve already got you on the Staten Island Ferry (see previous slide), we should point out that you can get a pretty nice shot of the 1,776-foot-tall tower from the back of the boat. As you head away from Manhattan, you can use the ferry’s wake as a visual element that draws your eye toward Lower Manhattan.


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