7 best photography locations in New York

Brooklyn Bridge, New York during Nighttime
(Image credit: Pixabay)

New York, New York. The Big Apple is one of the world’s great photography locations. Anyone who has visited the city will understand why it is a favorite among photographers and moviemakers, and if you haven't been, here are 7 places that should be at the top of your photography list.

Check out our guide on how to shoot cityscapes and urban landscapes if you need more inspiration and advice. These low-light cameras are also ideal for taking photos during the golden and blue hours when the city comes alive.

Sunset seen from the Observation Deck of the Rockefeller Center

(Image credit: Getty Images / Sascha Kilmer)

1. Top of the rock

In a city that has no shortage of skyscrapers with views over the city, the view from the top of the Rockefeller Centre might just be the most impressive. The elevator takes you up to the 70th floor where a panoramic outdoor viewing terrace awaits you. In one direction you’ll see the iconic Empire State Building and from the other side views of Central Park. And to make matters even easier for photographers (tripods are not allowed), the top deck conveniently has a ledge that you can rest your camera on to capture those long exposure shots of the city skyline at sunset and during the blue hour.

Manhattan bridge Spans East river In New York City

(Image credit: Getty Images)

2. Manhattan Bridge

The giant suspension bridge across the East River called the Manhattan Bridge is a great point of interest to photograph from the riverbank. But arguably its biggest attribute is acting as a great photo spot to take photos of the Manhattan skyline, Brooklyn Bridge and Chinatown. There are various points along the bridge that can give a variety of different vantage points of the locations above. The only thing to be aware of when shooting slow exposure shots on this bridge is when the train crosses over. The vibrations will cause your images to be blurred so make sure you wait for a gap in between trains crossing.

Young man walking on the Brooklyn Bridge at sunrise, New York, USA

(Image credit: Getty Images)

3. Brooklyn Bridge

One of the most iconic places in the world, the Brooklyn Bridge provides so many photo opportunities that it is a must for every photographer who visits New York. From the bridge itself, there are plenty of great spots for views of the skyline. You can also photograph the bridge itself and the traffic that flows under the pedestrian walkway. And all along the riverfront in Brooklyn, there are ample opportunities to photograph the bridge on its own, in situ with the city skyline, or as in the example here, with a person for a sense of scale!

Brick Building and Street in Little Italy neighbourhood, New York, USA

(Image credit: Pexels / Dylan Spangler)

4. Little Italy

If you like street photography, then you should head to Little Italy in Lower Manhattan where you will find plenty of opportunities to photograph locals and tourists enjoying the flavors of Italy in this New York neighborhood. There are no iconic views here, so you just need to walk the streets with your camera ready and bide your time for fleeting moments that present themselves. But if you are willing to be patient you may just end up with some great photos.

Flatiron building New York

(Image credit: Getty Images / Tony Shi)

5. Flatiron Building

Built in 1902, the Flatiron Building is a favorite landmark of photographers. And it’s understandable why as its unusual shape offers pleasing results. You can start by photographing the building from street level and maybe even include some of the traffic in the foreground as an additional point of interest. Or you can head up and capture photos from higher up from the Empire State Building. Either option will give you great photos of this iconic NYC landmark.

Central Park

(Image credit: Getty Images / Michael Lee)

6. Central Park

This gigantic park is almost a city in itself. Whether you are wandering around and photographing people enjoying the park or the views of the towering skyscrapers surrounding the park, Central Park is a great place to explore with your camera. Some of the best photo spots include Bow Bridge, Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, and in winter months, Wollman (Ice) Rink.

Aerial panorama of the Statue of Liberty

(Image credit: Getty Images)

7. Statue of Liberty

Is there a more iconic monument in the world than the Statue of Liberty? This neoclassical sculpture created jointly by France and US was a symbol of the continued friendship between the two nations. There are various places and ways in which to see and photograph the Statue of Liberty. The best of these is arguably from the deck of the Staten Island Ferry. You can also capture distant views from the One World Observatory and Battery Park. And if you have the budget, a helicopter flight over the city will provide some memorable aerial shots of the Statue of Liberty.

New York is a fantastic city to explore as a photographer. And while the locations above are some of the best in the city, nothing will beat just walking around and capturing what’s around you. 

Armed with a great travel camera and travel tripod you'll be able to take stunning photos at all times of the day.

These are the best photography locations in London. You might also like the best camera for street photography and tips for urban landscape photography.

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Kav Dadfar
Professional photographer

UK-based travel and landscape pro Kav shoots on assignment for editorial and commercial clients, and stock for high-end agencies. He has written over 400 articles on photography, judges a major travel photo contest and leads tours and workshops worldwide with the company That Wild Idea. In 2021 Kav launched JRNY travel magazine with fellow photographer Jordan Banks.

With contributions from