Manhattan on Fire (New York)

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I took this photo years ago while visiting New York. I clearly remember that day because that was my first experience to be harassed as the photographer for taking pictures.

I was in the Financial District in the morning with the camera around my neck and no tripod. While working along State Street, I found myself in front of this famous building with the curved facade. I saw it on many postcards and famous photos and I knew right away that I had to take a few pictures of the beautiful sky reflections.

Standing on the sidewalk I pointed the camera up and started shooting. This is when I saw a security guard running towards me. He was very polite, but he said that the building was private property and I was not allowed to take pictures of it.

I was very surprised, but I did not argue and just walked away.

New York. Manhattan. Financial District
New York. Manhattan. Financial District
Loc: 40.702804, -74.014230

Shooting & Processing

The shooting was simple. I stepped down the aperture to f10 in order to increase the depth of field and took a series of single shots. I used the shortest focal length (17mm) to get the widest perspective. I was aiming up, trying to get both buildings into the composition.

I am having fun processing older New York photos using Lightroom Rapid Editing for Cityscapes, the one I described in the following tutorial: Lightroom Rapid Editing System for Cityscapes.

First I applied Lightroom preset Sunblast from my Cross Processed Collection and later I used TOOLKIT to adjust increase the contrast and the saturation.

The Lightroom Editing Formula: Sunblast (21, 24, 30)

The final step was to add a Radial Filter with a yellow overlay to emphasize the sun’s reflections.

Deconstructing Featured Photo

  • Camera: Canon 60D
  • Lens: Sigma 17-70mm
  • Focal Length: 17mm
  • ISO: 800
  • Aperture: F10
  • Shutter: 1/800
  • Bracketing: single shot
  • Tripod: hand-held

Processing: Lightroom Rapid Editing

Lightroom: import, tagging, Lightroom Rapid Editing, Editing Formula: Sunblast (21, 24, 30)
Photoshop: color correction, contrast.

Photoshop Plugins: 

  • Topaz DeNoise was used to reduce digital noise everywhere.
  • Topaz Clarity was used to enhance details and boost colors (buildings).