A week in my favorite city, with a full load of photographic equipment and early mornings, late evenings and an incredible whole weekend to spend hunting pictures. Here is a selection of spots I revisited or figured out, using a ruler and a map to determine picture angles...
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For those of you interested in technology: all panoramas have been stitched together in Photoshop from a number of single HDR pictures (ranging from two to ten pictures), which have been processed from three images with different exposure times, using Photomatix. A single panorama is therefore composed from up to 30 single images. No wonder I had to buy a new hard disk in New York...
Located along the Jersey shoreline, on man-made land filled in by New Jersey railroad companies in the 19th century before traffic was shifted to the tunnels under the Hudson river, the park today offers a fantastic view on the south tip of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.
The best place for a panorama of the Financial District is the Communipaw terminal with itís derelict docks at the northeast corner of the park, while Lady Liberty can be viewed best from the overlook at the southeastern corner - unfortunately she turns her back to the park. Beware of the closing time at 09:00 pm - the park police will lock in all cars...
A lonely and empty street in the port of New Jersey, lined by stacks of containers and parking areas full of cars, waiting to be shipped. Young kids come here to race against each other, and old men try to catch some fish out of the oily water.
Not a favorite place to visit, especially after dark, but the small platform that has been erected at the end of the street is rarely empty. Photographers will pilgrim here because the panorama is fantastic, from the Jersey shore, the south tip of Manhattan, Lady Liberty and Ellis Island up to the bridges of Brooklyn.
A small neighborhood park on the flank of the Hudson Heights. It must been here where Andreas Feininger shot his famous pictures of Midtown Manhattan in 1942. A perfect spot for a great view of Midtown Manhattan, and if you are lucky, even a cruise ship will be docked at Manhattanís Hudson side.
A similar place for the Midtown Panorama is Frank Sinatra Drive at Weehawken. Watch out for the police, parking space is rare and they patrol the area constantly.
The ultimate destination for a photographer - the Manhattan panorama from the 70th floor of the Rockefeller Center. Light and sky will be different every time you visit. The sunset is incredible, and so the platform will be packed with people - be there early to get a good spot.
Beware that the guards will not allow you to use a tripod (although you can carry it). But there are many rails and building structures where you can use a clamp. First admission is at 08:00 am, and the observation deck will be open until midnight.
15 years building time, over $200 million spent, 30 bridges, more than 26,000 trees and more than 25 million visitors each year. This is the most famous park on the planet, and so each year Central Park hosts over 4,000 location days for filming and photography.
And so there are guidelines for filming and photography: no production equipment including tripods, in the most popular places. I was lucky that nobody saw me ;-)
Find out more: www.centralparknyc.org
Here is the center of gravity, that attracts the life in this city. People hurry by, cars rush along 5th Avenue, their flow cut into thirty seconds intervals by the busy traffic lights.
The George Washington Bridge, on road signs known as the GW Bridge, and informally as the George, spans the Hudson River, connecting the Washington Heights neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan. With fourteen lanes of travel on two levels it is one of the worldís most heavily travelled bridges.
The bridge has a pedestrian walkway on both sides which is open until night - something to try out next time...
The Palisades are the cliffs on the west bank of the Hudson River across from and continuing north of Manhattan island, and the Palisades Interstate Park on the New Jersey side offers a good view of the bridge.
These are the suburbs, where all the things go that have no place in the heart of the city. And so here are the dirty spots, power stations, warehouses, truck lots and railroad yards. People must have felt guilt, because to compensate for all this, they named this place "Sunnyside".
And the dead. Cavalry Cemetery in Queens, a strange place, where you can drive in with your car, through a maze of streets - a city in minature format.
Once upon a time Brooklyn Bridge was the largest suspension bridge in the world and the first steel-wire suspension bridge. Incredible to believe - for several years itís towers were the tallest structures in the Western Hemisphere. Itís neighbor, the Manhattan Bridge, however never achieved this status of fame.
Both bridges have a separate walkway for pedestrians and bicycles - which basically would allow for photo locations on the bridges, if the bridges would not vibrate constantly from all the traffic that runs over it.
A small neighborhood within the New York City borough of Brooklyn, from Old Fulton Street near the Brooklyn Bridge south to Atlantic Avenue, largely composed of block after block of picturesque rowhouses and a few mansions. A good place to live, and a good neighborhood.
In the evenings people gather on the terrace above the Interstate 278, to sit on the benches and watch the sun setting down over Manhattan. And this year they have a special attraction to watch: the Waterfalls, an installation of the artist Olafur Eliassonwww.nycwaterfalls.org/
And finally - a very different style of images. While almost all comics art is in some sense abbreviated, some broader art styles have been identified. The basic styles have been identified as realistic and cartoony - the realistic style, also referred to as the adventure style is the one developed for use within the adventure strips of the 1930s.
These realistic comic style pictures are very realistic, because they have been taken, of course, with a digital camera, and then processed in Photoshop.