Welcome to New York City, an urban jungle and a photographer’s paradise! There will be no shortage of subjects to photograph during your stay: monuments, street scenes, views of the skyscrapers… you’ll have plenty of memories to capture.
But if you’re wondering where to go to take the best pictures in New York, here are my top 10 of the most Instagrammable spots with some tips on how to get the best shots.
The Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge is particularly photogenic! With its stone pillars and the cables that support its deck, it is a beautiful playground for photographers with, as a bonus, the view of Manhattan in the background.
The photo tip: this bridge is very popular with tourists, you’ll have to be patient to get the perfect photo without anyone on it! Try to go there early in the morning to have a nice light and avoid the crowd.
The High Line
This suspended park created on the site of an old railway line stretches over 2.3 km and zigzags between the buildings. It offers spectacular views of New York with beautiful perspectives on long avenues, as well as on street art.
The photo tip: juggle different focal lengths. Use a wide angle lens to show the high line in the middle of the skyscrapers but also a telephoto lens to zoom in on certain perspectives.
Located at one end of the High Line, The Vessel is an amazing building created simply to be able to climb on it! Unfortunately, due to several cases of suicides, it is closed for an indefinite period. At the time of writing this article it is only possible to access the center of the building to admire it from below, which allows you to take some nice pictures.
The photo tip: opt for an ultra wide angle lens to be able to capture the whole structure!
Prepare your stay in New York
What are the must-sees in New York? What are the best places to go and what are the best deals? Prepare your stay with this free travel guide :
The Top of the Rock
Several skyscrapers offer a breathtaking view of New York. The “Top of the Rock” (top of the Rockfeller Center) with its observation point on the 70th floor and its view of the Empire State Building is a must.
The photo tip: go there one hour before sunset. With one ticket you can enjoy a day and night view of the city and capture different atmospheres. The main observation floor is surrounded by security glass, but there are small spaces between the windows that allow you to take decent pictures, provided you fight a little with other visitors to get a place! Also consider using a telephoto lens to zoom in on the streets and observe the bustling activity of the city.
The Oculus Center
Located right next to ground zero, the Oculus Center is a modern train station that replaces an old station, also destroyed during the attacks. We owe this futuristic construction to the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.
Its atypical architecture of an immaculate white makes it a nice photo spot, both from the inside and the outside.
Saint Patrick’s Cathedral
This surprising cathedral in neo-gothic style seems lost in the city! Built between 1858 and 1879, it has been surrounded by skyscrapers over the years. This unusual and unexpected view is perfect for a photograph.
The photo tip: use an ultra-wide angle lens to show the cathedral in the middle of the urban jungle.
The Manhattan Bridge
At the intersection of Water Street and Washington Street, you’ll find a very nice view of the Manhattan Bridge, which can be seen in the middle of the buildings.
The view of Manhattan from a ferry
Taking a ferry offers a double advantage: it allows you to contemplate the Statue of Liberty but also to step back on Manhattan and have a distant view on the forest of skyscrapers.
Tip: the Staten Island ferry is free and runs every day, 24 hours a day. Boarding is from the Whitehall Ferry Terminal.
Central Park is the green lung of New York, a huge park that takes an hour to cross on foot! In the middle of the park there is an expanse of water in which the skyscrapers are reflected, which makes it a very good photo spot.
Finally, it may seem a triviality but the streets are a great playground for photographers. Use the perspective of long avenues and skyscrapers to build your picture. Also wait for yellow cabs to pass in front of you to get a 100% New York photo!
The photo tip: at nightfall, play with the smoke coming out of the basement to add atmosphere to your shots.
Map of photo spots in New York
Find on this map all the photo spots mentioned in this article:
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