My New Favorite Picture of New York City

Want to see my other favorites?  Check out my Five Favorite Pictures of New York City!

I’ve featured New York City quite a few times in the Picture of the Week segment mainly because, well, it’s New York City!  What is there not to like?  I mean aside from the noise, commotion, rats, smell during the summer, tourists blocking the sidewalk, a slice of pizza costing $6 just off Times Square, Times Square itself, and LaGuardia Airport.  But other than THAT what’s there not to like?  Right right, the cost of living, overpriced “boutique” hotels where “boutique” is just code word for “really small rooms”, and the taxes.  But other than THAT, New York City is pretty awesome.

For someone like me who loves landscape and cityscape photography it’s pretty easy to see why New York City is a photographer’s dream.  Massive sudden skyscrapers, iconic views, and in the middle of it all the incredible Central Park.  It’s just hard to beat.

My real job (in financial technology) places me in New York City quite often and I know the town well.  There’s one picture I have always wanted to take, having seen it on 500px and Pinterest quite a few times.  As an aside, yes I wanted to take the picture even though others had already taken it, that’s never a concern for me.  I had some extra time during my trip last week and made my way out to Brooklyn, to the intersection of Washington and Front street.  From that intersection (you can spot it by looking for all the photographers) you can see a really unique site: the Manhattan Bridge perfectly framing the Empire State Building!  I took the picture, converted it into black and white, and it immediately became my new favorite picture of New York City.  So here it is, this week’s (slightly delayed) picture of the week!

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For the photographers: this was taken with my Sony a7rII with the 24-70 f2.8 G Master lens.  I actually shot it handheld, 1/20s exposure, f8, ISO 200.  I normally wouldn’t shoot 1/20 exposure time handheld (especially at a focal length of 62mm) but the a7rII’s in-body stabilization kept things nice and crisp for me.

Post-processing was surprisingly minimal thanks to the dynamic range of the Sony cameras.  Getting this shot in one exposure can be tricky because the Empire State Building will typically be overexposed, so you may need to take two shots and blend them in Photoshop afterward.

I pulled the shadows up, suppressed the highlights, threw it into Nik Silver Efex Pro 2, and then just made some light vignettes on either side to draw the focus directly into the middle of the frame.

8 Comments

  1. Wow, very cool picture!

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  2. NICE!

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  3. Nice shot.

    Pro tip – If you go there at sunrise on a weekend, you’ll miss the crowds.

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  4. Great shot Andy! Is this a shot that we can request from you? I actually like the life that the crowd brings to your photo, and the aspect ratio. Well done!

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    • Thanks JC! What do you mean request from me?

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      • Is it possible to get the hi-res photo? I’d love to print, frame and hang this beauty!

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  5. took my engagement pictures in DUMBO in that area!

    Reply
  6. Love it – thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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