Central Park Photography rules

Started Feb 19, 2014 | Discussions thread
OP local novice Regular Member • Posts: 470
Re: March dreary, April better

BruceB609 wrote:

Michael L NYC 99 wrote:

local novice wrote:

Thanks for all the advice everyone. This is why I love this forum. Looking at the historical weather data I think you guys are right on the cloud cover, oh well we will see what long exposures will look like at dusk/night. Thanks again.

Cloud cover can be very good for night photography. It adds brightness to your shots and if you're looking for skyline shots, the clouds will show the buildings better than on a clear night.



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See my Flickr photostream here Michael.Lee.Pics.NYC

...buildings better with clouds than clear night? Yes, day or night. Often would agree, a great way to use the skyline as a backdrop for foreground detail. However, if city lighting is enhanced by sunrise or sunset, a clear dusk can work nicely (Port Imperial and Dumbo, below). I do find clear night shots of the skyline all start to have the same look and turn repetitious or monotonous. You see one, you see them all. It's like looking down each block in Manhattan. Every canyon seems dressed the same so I have to use the foreground to differentiate.

Every season or month offers its own character and photo preferences in NYC. It's just a very diverse climate. I usually take advantage of seasonal characteristics. In March, you'll still be able to shoot through trees. Lighting effects and detail aren't hidden by tree foliage. Another advantage is the day still being short enough that lights are on fairly early in the evening. If you're on the street or along the paths in the park, people are wearing coats and hats which is usually more photo wise than t-shirts, shorts and flip flops, even if you use them for subtle foreground props to frame your shot. Of course, it all comes down to your tastes.

As for low clouds, they can be great above brightly lit areas and buildings will silhouette beautifully which I too, usually prefer to clear night detail. I think it also amplifies heights. With a normal time exposure you capture cloud detail but with long exposure, you can capture the flow just as some photographers prefer longer exposures of stream water currents. Atmosphere, composition and lighting are my most important considerations.

Are you familiar with NYC? One night shot that never goes wrong for me during cooler seasons is up on the Brooklyn Bridge. The Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges also have walkways but are often obscured by fencing or subway rail. The Brooklyn is panoramic. Again, in March, people are still wearing something better, the atmosphere may give you an even softer backdrop behind people or bridge detail and, of course, there's plenty of city light detail. Even a rain can yield a dazzling effect with reflections off the wood decking and umbrellas are everywhere. Good bicycle shots too in the bike lane and you can always capitalize on the road traffic below you if you shoot over the sides for stronger color effects. Take a taxi to NY City Hall and the pedestrian walkway starts right there. Just follow everyone. After a 10 min. walk up the bridge, you'll start getting great opportunities. I walk over to the Brooklyn end and stroll back looking for the shots (like this one). You'll end up with a potential quantity of images that will justify the whole trip to NYC. Warning... it may also lure you back, especially in early November (along with Central Park).

Brooklyn Bridge walkway

Brooklyn Bridge

Port Imperial, NJ with skyline fog

Dumbo (from Brooklyn Bridge with clear dusk)

So often what I might catch from the Port Imperial ferry terminal at dusk.

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Thanks for all the advice. Were your Brooklyn Bridge pics hand held? Have been to NYC a long time ago and took the standard bus tours.  We are determined to explore by foot this time and have deliberately booked a hotel close to the Brooklyn Bridge to get early morning and evening pics. What do you think about safety on the bride and on the Brookyn end during these hours?

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