The first time I visited New York City, I wasn’t all too sure how I was going to feel about it. As a travel photographer, I was excited for things like the Brooklyn Bridge and the various chaotic street photography scenes. But, coming from a small town, New York City also carries with it the weight of that big city feeling.
In the end though, it didn’t take me much more than about 15 minutes to start taking images, and slowly becoming obsessed with capturing the feel of this incredible city. It is one of the best cities on the planet to take pictures.
Below is a collection of the best places for photography in New York City that I’ve found on my various visits to the city.
Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge Park
The Brooklyn Bridge may be the most iconic places for photography in all of the United States. For photographers, the best part about the Brooklyn Bridge is that not only is it a great place for photographs, but there are dozens of different photo locations here. And, honestly, I’m sure even locals don’t get bored of finding new images from this location.
The 3 best places for photography at the Brooklyn Bridge park are from on the bridge itself, as seen below.
Then, over in the middle of the park, there are some really nice clean views of the Manhattan skyline. You can also go over to the far side of the park where there are some wooden pillars in the river that make a fantastic foreground to the New York skyline.
Finally, there’s a pretty classic photo location of the Brooklyn Bridge itself from an area called Dumbo. However, I’ve never photographed it as it’s one of the busier places to get a camera up and has definitely swelled in busyness since the eras of Instagram and TikTok.
I love Central Park. I love how in the middle of one of the biggest, busiest cities in the world there is a place that one can get away from the noise and crowds. For me, a walk through Central Park early in the morning clears my mind and gives me a nice bit of necessary grounding. It’s so nice to be able to get away and smell fresh air, listen to the birds play, and watch squirrels race around in the middle of the city. The North Woods in particular is one of my favourite places in the whole city.
From a photography perspective, Central Park does have its spots. Personally, I think that anywhere you can find in the park that has some exposed viewline to the skyscrapers of the city make a really nice juxtaposition.
It’s hard not to get carried away with emotion while wandering through Times Square. Any time of day there are people from all over the world taking photos or simply looking around in awe. There are few places in America that are so inspiring and exciting.
Times Square may be the most photographed place in the city. For many photographers, the fact that it’s so busy makes it a challenge to photograph. For me, I like the chaos. I also love going to Times Square for photography when the weather is bad. It adds another element to the photograph.
The Eiffel Tower
There are surely more famous sites than I photographed in my time in New York City, and there are certainly enough to spend a good part of your life visiting. However, what struck me about New York City is that a simple wander around the city will put you face to face with them. Without knowing it, you can turn a corner and me stood right in front of the Empire State Building. You may be walking along the street only to notice Ellis Island and The Statue of Liberty across the street. It’s that concentration of great attractions which makes New York such a great place to visit.
One of my favourite places in New York City for photography is Highline Park. The park is essentially an old overpass system that’s been reclaimed as a park.
And while the park itself is really cool, what’s fun about this location is the ability to get a little bit higher above the streets and get photos that lead through the city streets. It’s so much fun trying to photograph the classic yellow cabs – for example – as the punch through a city block.