Good vantage points in NYC

Started Dec 3, 2012 | Questions thread
cplittleton Regular Member • Posts: 401
Re: Good vantage points in NYC

I grew up in NYC and left about 15 years ago, when I was just starting to take pictures. However, one photo experience that helped throw me into the hobby before I moved was a 4-week (one night per week) photo class at a community college. We did the whole photo thing, from basics to a studio model shoot to outdoor work.

Our outdoor night shoot was at Astoria Park in the boro of Queens. The park sits on the extreme west end of the Long Island sound, where the sound meets the East River at Ward Island (there's probably a name for the waterway, but I can't remember it). The class set up tripods along the west sidewalk of Shore Drive between Hell Gate Bridge (Amtrak railroad bridge) and the Triboro Bridge (I-278, now called the Kennedy Bridge from what I've heard). We got some great skyline shots of the northern part of Manhattan (from the Empire State Building uptown) framed by the bridge. One of my photos that has the whole eastern span and the skyline in it is still hanging on my wall, after three house moves and 15+ years of photographic growth. I still get an occasional compliment on it.

Unfortunately, the negative has been lost and I haven't taken the frame apart to scan the print yet, so I can't post my image. Thanks to a Google search, here's a link to a daytime image taken from just north of where the class set up.

When we took the class, we were careful to stay together as a group since the neighborhood was not considered the best and some of my classmates had some pretty expensive camera gear for the time. I have no idea how the neighborhood around the park is these days, but I would encourage attentiveness carrying around camera gear anywhere at night in NY.


Should have added - access to the park is free, but you'll probably need a taxi or a rental car to get there from Manhattan.  You could also take the N or the Q (check schedules at to the Ditmars Blvd station and walk about 10 blocks west to the park along Ditmars Blvd, which ends at the north end of the park.

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