A Photographer’s Guide to New York: Vacation and Photography Go Hand and Hand
New York is a great place with many photo opportunities; on my three trips through the state, I was amazed at the wonderful natural scenery. Mountains stretched as far as the eye could see, and country roads were tucked in secretly between large towns. New York is famous for more than the huge metropolis of New York City (although photographic opportunities in the “Big Apple” will be explored as well). It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional photographer or just began taking photos yesterday . . . these travel suggestions should give you plenty of fodder.
One idea is to start at the state’s capital, ALBANY. If architectural photography is your thing, you won’t be disappointed. Schuyler Mansion is a great photo op by virtue of its elegant 18th century facade. The New York State Capitol building is another magnificent, grand structure, beautiful both inside and out. Photography lovers will want to research to find some little-known, out-of-the-way spots to indulge their passion.
Despite its status as state capital, Albany doesn’t boast as many architectural treasures as the famous NEW YORK CITY. New York City is so huge, it may be difficult to know where to start. Here’s a quick list of NYC sites photographers should not miss:
(1) St. Patrick’s Cathedral. A lovely gothic church that seems to have been dropped in the middle of Manhattan, St. Patrick’s is a photography dream. Both inside and out, New York City’s most famous church provides stunning backgrounds for architectural and spiritual photos. Make sure not to rush through; enjoy the tranquility St. Patrick’s imparts.
Cathedral of St. John the Divine. This is another gothic-style cathedral in New York City, but one that most people probably don’t consider visiting. Perhaps most of us have never even heard of it. Photographers will enjoy the medieval flair (like St. Patrick’s Cathedral) and will want to get a closer look. Don’t miss this New York City wonder.
Looking for a different kind of religious structure to photograph? Try the Eldridge Street Synagogue. Like the city’s churches, this synagogue has beautiful stained glass windows that create stunning photos. If you plan to visit any of these religious sites, make sure to find out if photographs of the interior are allowed.
Empire State Building. Yes, every photography enthusiast who goes to New York City feels compelled to take as many pictures of this icon as possible. Try creative angles. Turn your camera to the side so it looks as if the building is “leaning.” If your camera has higher settings, experiment with new tints and features.
For natural beauty:
Central Park. Yes, it’s cliche for anyone visiting NYC for any reason, but it is a beautiful city gem, perfect for relaxing and taking those amazing photos. On a side note, it’s also a great place for people-watching. Perhaps the most scenic part of this large space is the medieval-style Belvedere Castle, which lends an air of elegance to the city’s hustle and bustle.
If you love animals and love taking photos of them, either for a personal collection or for greater gain, check out Central Park Zoo. The zoo is separated into different categories, and photography enthusiasts will enjoy capturing images of birds, mammals, and more. You won’t find more willing subjects!
Battery Park. Another beautiful outdoor space, it offers interesting markers and lovely views for photography enthusiasts, as well as the chance to see “Castle Clinton.” This spot was an important part of the city’s history many years ago; a fort once stood nearby.
Chinatown is the perfect place for photographers who don’t just want to bask in their tourist venture; they want to document cultural differences. Shopping, dining, and activities are also available at Chinatown.
ROCHESTER is another photography opportunity in New York. It is most famous for natural beauty; Genesee Falls is an amazing place where you’ll want to “keep those cameras rolling.” The falls may seem out of place, considering that the very modern city sprawls directly behind them. One minute you’re looking at nature’s wonder, and the next, you’re staring at skyscrapers! Architectural photography awaits at the Susan B. Anthony House, a quaint three-story home in cheery colors.
If your photography tastes run toward the spiritual or macabre, Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester is both solemn and breathtaking. Of special interest are the Pat Corcoran Gardens. Find out when guided tours start and try to capture the lovely floral displays. This is also a wonderful place to reflect on spiritual matters and to remember deceased loved ones.
New York has many other options for photographers; it pays to research long and hard until you find exactly what you’re looking for!