During last year’s summer, I went to visit my friends on the east coast of United States. I visited New York City and it turned out to be an excellent opportunity for capturing the vastness along with all the hustle bustle of the financial capital of the world. I will accept this wasn’t the first time I was going to shoot from the top of the iconic building, but definitely the first time I was fully prepared to shoot.
I had with me my Nikon D800 & Nikkor 50mm lens as my full frame setup along with my beloved SONY Nex7 & Voigtander12mm, Zeiss 24mm and Leica 50mm rangefinder lenses as my APS-C setup (I love using the rangefinder lenses on the small NEX7 body using a Novoflex adapter) And the most important thing which I never took with me before – The Tripod !!.
I was so happy that I am really going to get some great long exposure shots tonight but my dream was broken when the security guard told me that they can’t allow me to take the tripod to the top of building. I tried to explain that I require it for my night photography, but well …. rules are rules and I had to leave it down.
Well, finally we reached the top of the Empire State building, somewhere around 6 pm. There was still some sunlight, I took some shots of the concrete jungle surrounding us, as I waited for the magic to happen. After a while sun went down and people flocked on one side of the building to capture the golden moment. But the real magic started happening around 20 minutes after that, I always find that the best colors come in the sky after around half an hour of sunset.
I took numerous shots hand held, from both the cameras of the dull sky and the various lights which have now decided to deck up all the building surrounding us. As the time progressed the number of people at the top also increased. It started getting tough to find real good spots to shoot photographs accompanied along with the occasional nudges from the fellow photographers, everyone was in their own world trying to capture the beauty of the city which appeared like a sea of lights by now …. it was just …. MAGICAL !
I had to push my camera’s ISO quite a lot, this was actually the first time I was doing night shoot with my newly acquired D800, so it was more of a test exercise for it.We spent around 3 hours at the top, finally when we came down I had a big smile in my heart,I finally captured NYC as I always wished to do, well …. almost the way I wished … as next time I will be going with a Gorillapod for shooting some real long exposures, I just hope they will not put the Gorillapod in the tripod category too. Till then …. see ya New York !!
Feel free to click on the following images to view them in higher resolution.
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