My first visit to the Big Apple was a quick 19 hours, though I didn’t let that stop me from getting some shots. The first stop was under the Brooklyn Bridge for the late afternoon and sunset light. Unfortunately, I got off two frames before being escorted off the “State Park” premises. Apparently, I didn’t look like the typical tourist taking snapshots with a tripod, Lowepro pack full of gear, and a digi SLR and Horseman 617(!!) hanging from my person. When the Ranger asked me the purpose of my shooting, I figured “Art” would be a safe reply. I was wrong. Without the proper permits, nothing more than cheesy snapshots. Wow, these New Yorkers are hardcore!
I was on “Top of the Rock” at 10pm and again at 8am. The morning was much better. Again, difficult to shoot (especially at night!) since tripods are not allowed. Also, it took me awhile to figure out to get to the very top to have views that are not through the protective-glass. For the morning shot, I was there first thing and used a bean bag to help with the camera. That method worked alright, but I would have liked a mini-tripod or gorillapod (which I haven’t yet used, but will look to add one to the camera bag after this trip.)
I stayed at the Renaissance Hotel at Times Square, which was convenient for getting to “the Rock” and walking around shooting. I did do a number of long exposures and had no trouble using the tripod around town, though I was a bit paranoid that I’d get arrested or something! Next visit, I’ll probably look to get the required permit and save the stress.
All in all, I’d call my 19 hours in New York a shooting success. The above images were some of my favorite from the digi and I still have a number of film images that I like. A project that I had been brainstorming for a couple of years about a collection of New York images is even more clear in my mind now and I can’t wait to get back and spend a good amount of time manifesting it sometime in the future. The trip also acted as a useful lesson that not all successful images necessarily come from endless hours/days/weeks of pursuit, but more from the internal spark of inspiration and passion. New York definitely lit me up.