I have to start by saying that I love New York. It’s probably the most rewarding place for any travel photographer or any photo enthusiast because there’s something interesting around every corner. It’s a rare place where you can walk around aimlessly without any plans for what to photograph and still be rewarded with endless photo opportunities.
Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of visiting and photographing New York on may occasions. Here are some personal favorite spots:
- I love to photograph downtown, capturing the converging lines of skyscrapers.
- I love to take a boat ride on the Hudson River along the West Side and take a few shots, especially at sunset.
- I love bridges, and the East Side rewards you with some iconic arches.
- Central Park is a special place of its own that provides so much contrast with the rest of the city.
But I know what my favorite photo location in New York is: it’s Hamilton Park. From my perspective, the view from Hamilton Park represents the essence of the city because of:
- its condensed nature,
- architecture with iconic structures everywhere, and
- unique to New York city color patterns.
I originally found Hamilton Park by accident. A few years ago in the pre-GPS era, I was completely lost and looking for my hotel in New Jersey. I had a stack of Google Maps printouts next to me as I tried to navigate my way through the narrow streets of Weehawken. After a few wrong turns, I hit the Boulevard and I saw an incredible panoramic view of Manhattan. I spent at least an hour enjoying the sight, sitting on the grass of the park.
It has become a tradition for me to stop by Hamilton Park every time I visit New York. Normally, just before leaving the New York area and making the six-hour drive back to Canada, I stop in the park for a few minutes to take some pictures to say goodbye to the city.
Technically it is not New York City or even New York State. Hamilton Park is located in Weehawken New Jersey, just across the Hudson River, approximately at the level of 44th Street.
How to Get There
The easiest way to get there from Manhattan is to take the Lincoln Tunnel and take the first exit to JF Kennedy Boulevard.
What to Shoot
- Busy Hudson River
- Cruise ships entering or leaving Hudson River
- Take multiple shots and stitch them into a nice panorama
- If you have telelens you can take some interesting close-up shots of Midtown. For example, closeup of Intrepid.
Since Hamilton Park is facing East, the sunset is by far the best time to photograph panoramas. When the sun is setting behind a photographer it illuminates Manhattan with very soft and pleasant light.
Also, Hamilton Park is the perfect spot for night shots; it has plenty of flat surfaces to setup your tripod.