One of my favorite subjects to shoot is the skyline of New York City. Perhaps it’s because it’s so unique, iconic and easily identifiable. Perhaps it’s simply because I live here and I find it comfortable and familiar. Either way, I consider myself very lucky that I get to live here and shoot this magnificent scene.
There are many places to see the Manhattan skyline and I have yet to shoot from all of them. However, I do have three favorite spots that I frequent:
1. Brooklyn Bridge Park
Brooklyn Bridge Park is located on the northern tip of Brooklyn, just across the East River from lower Manhattan. The park itself is very new – construction began in 2008 and the first part of it opened in 2011. Even if you’re not going to photograph or enjoy the skyline, it’s a wonderful place to relax, bring the family and enjoy some time outdoors. You could spend time eating from one of the shops here, riding Jane’s Carousel, playing in the playground with the kids, and enjoying the spirit of Downtown Brooklyn.
Of course, the view of the southern tip of Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge are magnificent.
One of my favorite shots taken from here is a panorama that I took on a photo walk in May 2014.
If you can get here towards sunset when there are lots of interesting clouds in the sky, you’re practically guaranteed to get a great picture.
The next two places are actually in New Jersey, which is across the Hudson River from Manhattan. From here, you can get terrific shots of the west side of Manhattan.
2. Liberty State Park, NJ
Liberty State Park (located in Liberty, NJ) is not (in my opinion) as vibrant and lively as Brooklyn Bridge Park, but that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to do. There are places to sit, eat and enjoy the wonderful view. You can also see and photograph the remnants of the railroad that used to run through the area as well as visit the Empty Sky memorial dedicated to the people who perished in the September 11 attacks. And if you have kids, you can’t go wrong visiting the Liberty Science Center.
But again, for me, it’s all about the pictures.
From here, you can get wonderful shots of lower Manhattan during the day or night. Some of my favorites are:
As an added bonus, you can also take some nice shots of Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island from here as well.
3. Weehawken Waterfront Park
I’ve only been at this park twice, but it was where I captured my favorite NYC skyline panorama. From here, you can see practically the entire west side of Manhattan, from the George Washington Bridge in the north to the Verezzano-Narrows bridge in the south. If you want a shot of the Empire State Building lit up from across the river, this is the place to go.
The first time I was here, I came on the night of a full moon, hoping to catch the moon rising over the city. The result? Well, judge for yourself…
Aside from the fact that it’s a nice image, this picture also has additional meaning for me as this panorama was the first canvas print I ever sold.
There are certainly other great places to go to shoot the New York City skyline and I plan to continue exploring them in the coming months.
What about you? What are your favorite places to go to see the skyscrapers of Manhattan? Have you taken any great pictures of the skyline? If so, I’d love to see them. Feel free to share in the comments.