Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2008

The Brooklyn Bridge

The early morning light is ideal for shooting the bridge because it illuminates both of its towers and the Manhattan skyline behind it. To capture the motion of this jogger, our photographer, Katja Heinemann, set the shutter at about 1/30 of a second. Slower shutter speeds won't work, she says, because the bridge quivers too much from the trucks that rumble underneath.

Central Park Lake

For some of the best views of Manhattan, Heinemann recommends renting a boat from the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park. You can rent boats March through October, weather permitting. Naturally, it helps to bring friends along — they not only provide good company, but they can also row and serve as excellent foreground material.

Fifth Avenue

Fifth Avenue, one the city's most famed destinations, is a vexing subject to photograph. For this shot, Heinemann climbed to the rooftop sculpture garden of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The garden, open only in summer, provides breathtaking angles on the avenue, as well as Central Park.

Temple of Dendur

Heinemann recommends visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art at midday, when the light is too harsh for outdoor photography, but perfect for indoor work. The cavernous gallery housing the famed Egyptian collection, including the Temple of Dendur faces north, which means that midday light never shines directly on the exhibit; rather it filters through the glass, providing delicate shadows and soft highlights.

Greek and Roman Sculpture Gallery

The Met gives photographers permission to photograph as much as they want. The only rules are that photos are forbidden in special exhibits and flashes are not allowed. Enterprising photographers can compensate for the latter restriction by bringing along a tripod — which Heinemann used to take this shot in the Greek and Roman art gallery. Tripods are allowed Wednesday through Friday and require a permit from the information desk in the front lobby.

Grand Central Terminal

The light in New York's most famous station is good almost any time of the day, Heinemann says, but best in the late afternoon. She recommends stopping for a bite at Métrazur on the East Balcony. The food is good, and the view of the terminal's main concourse is even better.

The Chrysler Building

Views of many of New York City's most famous skyscrapers are obscured by signage and other less notable structures at ground level. But Heinemann found this shot of the famed art deco Chrysler Building at the corner of Lexington Avenue and East 40th Street.

Top of the Rock

For photographers, the most beautiful time of day is dusk, as sunlight fades and illumination from streetlamps and skyscraper windows emerges. One of the best places to capture this nightly tableau is from the Top of the Rock observation deck on the roof of 30 Rockefeller Center. The observation deck is open daily 8 a.m. to midnight; lines for entry tend be longer in the morning than in the evening.

Empire State Building

The Top of the Rock is popular because it gives a fabulous view of New York's most enduring symbol, the Empire State Building. For the best results, rest your camera on a ledge. Tripods are officially not allowed, but Heinemann says she saw people using them surreptitiously, without splaying the tripod's legs.