Diverse cultural delights abound in a city of icons, proffered to never come to rest, yet managing to lace together a rich tapestry of beguiling scenes that long to be captured.
Nikon and Secret Escapes recently sent one aspiring photographer along with a professional to New York to learn how to capture the perfect shot. Armed with the Nikon D7500 and the Nikon D850, this is their journey. Find out more at secretescapes.com/nikon/competition/
This dense collection of island spits and daringly unique neighbourhoods offers urban wanderers a veritable host of irresistible eye candy. Walking the electric streets renders vivid snapshots of life – it is, without doubt, a street photographer’s paradise. From the tough glass-and-concrete playpen of the Financial District to the hipster cool of Brooklyn, you’ll find the most fascinating subjects to shoot – they positively illuminate the streets. Away from the hustle at street level you’ll discover glorious views over this iconic skyline. Head to the towering heights of the Empire State Building or the Top of the Rock for irresistible panorama, before losing yourself in the charged frenzy of the urban scene below. Hop across neighbourhoods and find cyrillic shop signs, espresso bars and dim-sum joints that stand as symbols of New York’s rich cultural diversity.
It helps to pack light when out and about – grab your camera and head into town. A rough plan of key sights you want to see is a great starting point, but one of the fundamental joys of shooting here is capturing those fleeting moments that greet you at every turn. A small tripod works nicely for long exposures, be they street scenes or night shoots. A selection of lenses is nice to have, but in reality, you should aim to be able to quickly lift your camera and shoot, and not feel weighed down by your gear.
Discover our top picks to help inspire your very own photographic adventure in New York.
Top of the Rock
The observation deck atop the Rockefeller Center offers superlative views over Lower Manhattan on one side and Central Park on the other. It’s less crowded than the deck at the Empire State Building and includes great views of, you guessed it, the Empire State Building! An evening slot is perfect for catching great light over the city, with the skyscrapers and distant streets lighting up one by one.
A disused, suspended railway line that snakes through the old slaughterhouses of the Meatpacking District is now an elevated park with truly spectacular views over the city. You’ll see New York like you’ve never seen it before, looking down at the pedestrian traffic and catching long views down the endlessly straight streets from your elevated position. This would give a truly unique perspective on Manhattan street life.
Little Italy & Chinatown
New York’s streets sing with diversity, built on a history of immigration that has crafted a thriving cultural powerhouse. These two adjoining neighbourhoods are stalwart examples of how new communities thrived in Manhattan, offering iconic shots of roasted ducks hanging in windows, quaint trattorias that time seemingly forgot, and illuminating night-time neon. Head for hidden parks and catch old timers animatedly playing mahjong or practicing their dance moves – a delight for street photographers.
Another famous Manhattan landmark, Central Park offers unique views of the city while also allowing time to recharge from the hustle and bustle. Fascinating contrasts between the lush fauna of the park and the seemingly impenetrable wall of high rises that mark its edges make for unique images. Frame the vast reservoir against the looming skyscrapers of the Upper West Side before exploring the acutely rectangular sprawl.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
This location has become something of a hotspot for passing photographers. It offers great shots of the Lower Manhattan skyline, with the East River dominating the foreground. The wooden stumps add great foreground geometry to make your skyline shots even more interesting. From here you can also take pictures of both the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges.
Inspired yet? Discover our Journey
Nikon and Secret Escapes recently sent one aspiring photographer along with a professional to New York to learn how to capture the perfect shot. Armed with the Nikon D7500 and D850, discover their own selection of unmissable photogenic spots. Follow their journey, with professional tips and tricks to help you get the most out of a New York photography adventure.
Stop dreaming, start shooting
Win a trip to New York plus a Nikon D7500
Enter now to win a four-night stay in iconic New York, plus a Nikon D7500 to ensure you’ll return with a photobook of gloriously sharp photos.
Enter now at: secretescapes.com/nikon/competition/