Traveling to New York City is always somewhat of a challenge and sometimes a nightmare. No difference on my last photo tour to the Big Apple. I left Boston before lunchtime only to get stuck on the last few miles to a NYC skyline photo location I had on my list for a couple years now. I was on a mission to capture the New York skyline from Brooklyn Bridge Park. At the last leg I hit a ton of traffic and it took me an extra hour to arrive at my destination. Real funny what goes through your mind as a photographer; will I make it before sunset, will the cloud cover break open, will the lighting hold up, what if there is a complete standstill and I miss everything, should I just get off the highway, give up on my efforts and check into the hotel – every thought was a battle against my persistence and determination and would have been a bummer and not a good start into this photography adventure.
Turns out I worried for nothing that evening. When I finally arrived I quickly parked in a nearby parking garage; there was really no time to gamble, circling the blocks and looking for an open spot. It comes in handy to know your way around, I had visited Empire Fulton Ferry State Park in the past to take a New York panorama skyline photography image and to photograph the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. My research paid off and I found my way quickly to this hot spot. The sun was setting to my left and was painting the downtown skyline in warm hues. I composed a frame filling image with the Freedom Tower as the architectural anchor and used the wood pilings as an interesting compositional element to invite the viewer into the picture. The sky painted in orange and the sun setting fast I knew the moment would fade quickly. Equipped with a split neutral density filter I was able to overcome the strong contrast between dark foreground and bright sky colors and cloud formation. In addition I placed a neutral density filter into the filter holder to lengthen exposure times and create the silky water effects in the East River.
After capturing the first sunset photography picture of downtown New York I stayed put at this location and patiently waited for twilight. My patience was rewarded and I captured a couple more images past sunset and with a different angle.
This was a multi day photo endeavor and I photographed the city lights from Queens, Hoboken and Queens and within Manhattan. I crossed off my photo list historic and Iconic New York Landmarks like the Chrysler Building, Gantry Cranes, Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, United Nation Headquarters, Freedom Tower and the Empire State Building.
This trip made me hungrier for more New York Cityscape and Skyline Photography and inspired a return trip in the near future – can’t wait to make it back to New York!
Good light and happy photo making!