Central Park Photography rules

Started Feb 19, 2014 | Discussions thread
BruceB609 Contributing Member • Posts: 506
Re: Central Park Photography rules

It looks like several responses go with my own experience, if it's personal, no problems, enjoy. The rules I know of are for commercial, heavy gear and production teams.

You mention mid March. That might be unpredictable weather wise but then strange weather can often make a great shot like low, up lit clouds over the buildings or fog etc... perfect for hiding the new ultra high One57 building. With all the snow melt and ground moisture we're in for, I'd predict it. I prefer locations for night shots at the south end of the park where I usually find more opportunities and light without walking a long way and I get more peripheral detail and lighting around the perimeter. Unless long time exposures, a really small, very light tripod, mini tripod or a prime lens with reasonably high ASA and stabilization is usually better for me because NYC photo opportunity is definitely about walking a lot. The last option, my E-M5, is the best but I sometimes take a walking stick with a head on it (monopod). Carrying gear or too big a bag can be a real pain unless you have a planned in and out objective. Alone, I'd hesitate going into the depths of the park at night with obvious photo equipment though I've never encountered a problem. I think the inside of the park, except for the south end, is better for dawn to dusk anyway. Although park lamps are everywhere, it gets quite dark and I can't recall any big reason to stay after dusk unless I'm nearer to Central Park South.

There's good opportunity around Columbus Circle (Merchant's Gate /southwest corner) and across from the Plaza Hotel (southeast corner) but one location to check out is on top of Cat Rock, right between the Wollman Ice Rink and the East Drive. It's a huge outcrop of bare granite, a good overlook toward Columbus Circle. You also have the Pond right below it. Great for reflections.

It may be seasonal but another good overlook is on top of the Metropolitan Museum where you can go out onto the garden roof. I shot from there during Christo's "Gates" project (February, a few years back). I'd contact them first.

Otherwise, if I have the time and energy, a rarely leave without something good wherever I go in the park.

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