There are many wonderful and interesting spots to photograph while in New York City. In fact, there are so many places to enjoy with your camera, you may want to visit “The World’s Greatest City” more than once! And if you need more ideas on things to shoot and places to go, check out the newly released photography book, “New York Cityscapes: Seven Top Photographers Explore the Classic Landmarks & Hidden Spaces.” In this book you’ll find 128 pages featuring nearly 200 photos of all the best places to go. Seven photographers – Peter Alessandria, Bill Bernal, Viktor Buriak, Gina Brake, Max Guliani, Jason Risorto, and Karine Sayegh – take you on a photographic tour of the Big Apple. From the Empire State Building to the Statue of Liberty to the New York Public Library, they cover it all. See for yourself – get your copy on Amazon today!
1. Empire State Building – 20 W 34th Street, Manhattan
Completed in 1931, at 1,454 feet high (including the airship mast at its top) the Empire State Building held the title of the World’s Tallest Building for nearly 40 years. (It was surpassed in 1970 by the original World Trade Center). Located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, this Crown Jewel of New York still shines brightly every night until 2AM and is visible from almost every part of New York City. An added bonus: its Tower Lights are often illuminated in a dazzling array of colors to commemorate a cause or event. And sometimes it even has video projected on to one of its sides! Photographic opportunities abound endless for this Art Deco Masterpiece – the views of the building, and from this building – the 86th and 102nd Floor Observatories are not to be missed – are always worth exploring.
2. Statue of Liberty – New York Harbor –
A gift from the people of France to the United States in 1886, this 151 foot copper Statue greets visitors from around the world as they enter New York Harbor. From her torch to her crown to her tablet inscribed in Roman numerals with “JULY IV MDCCLXXVI” (July 4, 1776 – the date of the U.S. Independence), this iconic symbol of Freedom and Liberty is recognized by people around the globe. There are many ways to view the Statue including from Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, Jersey City, NJ, as well as by boat or ferry. Lady Liberty looks amazing by day, and each night at dusk she is illuminated with picture perfect lighting. She is especially fetching with the explosion of fireworks around her during the July 4th celebration!
3. One World Trade Center – Lower Manhattan –
Opened in 2014, the new One World Trade Center (a/k/a “Freedom Tower”) replaces the Twin Towers destroyed during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Topping out at 1,776 feet, this glass and steel tower represents America’s resilience and determination. The Tallest Building in the Western Hemisphere and the Sixth tallest Building in the World, One World Trade is visible from many points in New York, New Jersey and surrounding areas. Its complex exterior glass surface consists of eight elongated isosceles triangles, which create a mesmerizing and ever-changing look to the building as the sky and clouds are reflected in it. At night, the 400 foot spire and 60 foot base are illuminated in multi-colors and flashing lights.
4. Times Square – 42nd Street and Broadway, Midtown Manhattan –
Times Square is one of the world’s biggest tourist attractions, drawing an estimated 50 million visitors annually. Brightly adorned day and night with cutting edge billboards, LED signage and other advertisements, it is often referred to as “The Crossroads of the World”. With its recent pedestrian-friendly redesign (Broadway was closed to vehicle traffic), Times Square is more than ever the pre-eminent “people watching” spot in NYC. It’s not uncommon to hear a dozen different languages being spoken by visitors on any given night. And of course if you’re not afraid of the cold or the crowds, the best time to be in Times Square is New Year’s Eve when more than 1 million people crowd in to watch the giant ball drop as one year passes into the
5. Street Photography – any street in New York City –
while Times Square may attract the greatest number of most tourists, often the most interesting subjects to photograph in NYC are the locals. From the tree-lined streets of Brooklyn to the graffiti covered buildings of the Bronx to the residential neighborhoods of Queens to gleaming skyscrapers of Manhattan, it’s the people in those places and on those streets that create a vibrant and fertile focus for your photography. Of course, don’t miss Central Park especially in the summer. It’s filled with the City’s residents looking for a break from the hustle and bustle that is New York. In addition to the streets, there are also the bridges. More than 15 major bridges span the rivers surrounding Manhattan. From the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to the Brooklyn Bridge to the George Washington Bridge, each presents you with the perfect canvas to photograph the
City and its residents.
6. Manhattanhenge – 42nd Street and Tudor Place, Manhattan –
many people are familiar with the prehistoric stone monument in England known as “Stonehenge”. Lore has it that as the sun aligns with the monument’s sandstone pillars, the ancients were able to gauge when to plant or harvest their crops. Well New Yorkers have taken this idea to the next level: twice per year, in late May and mid-July (a certain number of days before and after the Summer Solstice), the setting sun aligns with the street grid of Manhattan. While the need to gauge the seasons by the position of the sun has long since passed, tens of thousands of locals and tourists alike take this occurrence as an excuse to gather and watch the sun break the horizon in perfect symmetry with canyons of NYC. On those special days, the cameraphone
wielding Manhattanhenge faithful pile into 34th and 42nd Streets, blocking traffic and generally creating havoc, all to get a glimpse this heavenly event. Hey – New Yorkers will make any excuse to party!
7. New York Public Library – Fifth Ave between 40th and 42nd Streets, Manhattan –
the New York Public Library is the third largest public library in the World and is National Historic Landmark. Founded by businessman and real estate tycoon John Jacob Astor in 1854, the stunningly photographic marble exterior of the Main Branch is easily recognizable by its lion statues named “Patience” and “Fortitude” that sit on either side of the entrance. The inside of the Library is equally breathtaking with its ornate wood-carvings and rich textured seating areas. The Rose Main Reading Room, in particular, will take your breath away with its arched grand windows and hanging chandeliers. But beware: While taking handheld photos inside the library is allowed, tripods aren’t. And of course, whatever you do, don’t disturb the other visitors, or you may be asked to leave!
About the Author: A former Entertainment Attorney, and current day professional fine art and commercial photographer, Peter Alessandria has won 63 awards for his photography and has been published nationally and internationally. He is an Official Photographer for Fireworks by Grucci®, the world’s preeminent fireworks entertainment company, and regularly shows his work in galleries and exhibits around the New York City-area.