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Spencer
Los Angeles

New York City

Where are the best places to photograph in New York City?

As many times as I've been to NYC, I don't have a single good photo, and I'm going Monday and want to take a ton of photos in Manhattan, from the New York Public Library to the Empire State Building and more. Where are your favorite places to photograph in Manhattan?


11 Answers

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answered first by
Richard from Cape Town

Hi Spencer, My girlfriend is a photographer and also well travelled. She suggests that NYC is a great place to photograph people and real life amongst some of the most beautiful city scenery in the world. Obviously Central Parkgives you great opportunity to get images of the beautiful pathways with the city as a backdrop. In Gramercy Park you can get stunning shots in front of the black iron gate and the gorgeous brownstones. It is iconic and we see it in so many movies. There were some cool murals on Mott St and the lights in the West Village that she photographed that I liked a lot. My favourites for people is SoHoand then I am of course a history buff so Brooklyn Bridge and the Empire State Building is a must for me. If you want to get the Empire State building in your shot of the city skyline you have to do it from Top of the Rock. I also got good shots at Long Island City. That should keep you busy. 


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Central Park (attraction)
  2. Gramercy Park (neighborhood)
  3. Mott St (attraction)
  4. West Village (neighborhood)
  5. SoHo (neighborhood)
  6. Brooklyn Bridge (attraction)
  7. Empire State Building (attraction)
  8. Top of the Rock (attraction)
  9. Long Island City (neighborhood)
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answered by
Melissa from Massachusetts

Mentioned in this answer:

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  1. High Line Park (attraction)
  2. Chrysler Building (attraction)
  3. Grand Central Terminal (attraction)
  4. Flatiron Building (attraction)
  5. West Village (neighborhood)
  6. Brooklyn Heights Promenade (attraction)
1 thanks


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answered by
Devra from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

I think it really depends upon if you want up close photos or pictures of the skyline. If you want the skyline, I really recommend walking over the Brooklyn Bridge at Sunset. The views are incredible. The water front in WilliamsburgGreenpoint, and Long Island City, also offer great views. If you want to get a bird's eye view, you can try a cocktail on the new terrace at SixtyFive, which is located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The drinks there are pricey, but less expensive than taking the elevator to the top, so in a way it's a great deal. 


Mentioned in this answer:

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  1. Brooklyn Bridge (attraction)
  2. Williamsburg (neighborhood)
  3. Greenpoint (attraction)
  4. Long Island City (neighborhood)
  5. 30 Rockefeller Plaza (attraction)
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answered by
Regan from Brooklyn


Hi Spencer.  NYC photographer here.  Agree that it's the people and the street life that are the most unique and interesting thing to photograph if you've got a good eye.  But if it's landmarks and such then the secret is time of day.  The first two hours of sunrise and the last two before sunset.  Especially for building because you'll still see the detail without the sun blowing them out.  As for vistas some of my favorite are:

  • Walking towards the city on the Brooklyn Bridge during sunrise.
  • Photographing the city from Brooklyn Bridge Park between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges at sunrise, sunset or night.  Hands down the BEST sightlines of the iconic NYC skyline.
  • The view of Central Park from on top of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Go up there for a beer after seeing an exhibit.  The view is worth it alone and the photographing opportunities are great.  
  • TriBeCa for architecture.  The old flatiron architecture is uniquely preserved in that neighborhood.
  • Chinatown for people and street photography.  Hardcore Chinatown, not the touristy part.  Go below Canal and east of Bowery.
  • Dumbo in Brooklyn has some great architecture, graffiti, shots of both bridges, great cobblestoned streets, etc.  And if you go on a weekday, it's rather quiet.

I'm attaching some of my own photos to give you some ideas and show you what I'm talking about and you can see more on my website www.reganwood.com.  Have fun!


Sunrise on the Brooklyn Bridge riding my bike towards Manhattan.

Sunset on the Flatiron, a building that's been photographed ad nauseum.  Oh well!Nighttime shot of the city with the Empire State off to the right.  I'm standing just south of the Manhattan Bridge on the bank of the East River.  Side note:  there was a Dixieland jazz band playing for seemingly no reason.  That's NYC!


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answered by
Dee from New York City

If you have time, check out the view of Manhattan from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade both before and after sunset . Very romantic! But be safe and take a friend. There's usually lots of people there during the day but the population thins out after sunset. Its  located just a stop or two from Manhattan when taking the subway. if you arrive early you can do some shopping and/or have dinner at one of the restaurants located on Montague Street or at Junior's where the cheesecake is to die for! or see one of the shows at BAM Peter Jay Sharp Building I would also visit the  Brooklyn botanical gardens to see the cherry blossom trees In bloom.


Mentioned in this answer:

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  1. Brooklyn Heights Promenade (attraction)
  2. Montague Street (attraction)
  3. Junior's (restaurant)
  4. BAM Peter Jay Sharp Building (attraction)
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answered by
jami from New York City

A lot of that depends on your tastes and what you're into...if its history then head Lower Manhattan, its the older part of the city. There are cobblestone streets and interesting buildings. If culture inspires you then head to Chinatown New York its colorful, vibrant and full of characters. If art catches your fancy then the The Metropolitan Museum of Art has some amazing sculpture gardens full of fantastic light for uber fancy pics. If you are outdoorsy then I recommend Fort Tryon Park and the The Cloisters its gorgeous what can I say! :)


Mentioned in this answer:

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VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Lower Manhattan (attraction)
  2. Chinatown New York (neighborhood)
  3. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (attraction)
  4. Fort Tryon Park (attraction)
  5. The Cloisters (attraction)


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answered by
Aloringny

Central Park West in any season; also try to get some good sunset shots from Battery Park in lower Manhattan.  The garden terrace at the top of the The Metropolitan Museum of Art also offers some great vistas. Enjoy!


Mentioned in this answer:

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  1. Central Park West (attraction)
  2. Battery Park (attraction)
  3. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (attraction)


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answered by
Scott from San Francisco

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  1. Grand Central Terminal (attraction)


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answered by
Fritzi from San Francisco

I love to photograph the architectural details in the old buildings. If you walk the upper east side between 59th and 86th, between Fifth and Madison, you will see so many artistic brownstones with decorative gargoyles, staircases and bay windows. 

Some streets in the West Village are also amazing, in particular Jane St

 The Cloisters Museum and Gardens Cafeteria, in upper Manhattan, is super photogenic. 

 As a photo op, Manhattan is somewhat overexposed. But you can have fun capturing images which are special for you.


Mentioned in this answer:

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  1. West Village (neighborhood)
  2. Jane St (attraction)
  3. The Cloisters Museum and Gardens Cafeteria (restaurant)
  4. Manhattan (attraction)


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answered by
Grace from New York City

I love Grand Central Terminal and the bridge in Tudor City Pl is great for a view of the UN and looking across 42nd!


Mentioned in this answer:

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  1. Grand Central Terminal (attraction)
  2. Tudor City Pl (attraction)


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answered by
Polly from Washington, DC

Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, then continue on to the Brooklyn Heights Association Inc for great skyline views of downtown Manhattan.


Mentioned in this answer:

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  1. Brooklyn Bridge (attraction)
  2. Brooklyn Heights Association Inc (attraction)




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