Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Pic(k) of the week 34: Manhattan from the Top of the Rock

Manhattan in downtown New York, probably still has the biggest collection of high-rise buildings in a limited area. Towers like the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, dwarf even the highest skyscrapers in New York, but it remains an impressive sight to see the Architectural marvels being tucked together so close to each other.

The number of observation decks that have a good view on Manhattan are however somewhat limited. One has basically three options:
The lowest and oldest (built in the thirties), "Top of the Rock" at the Rockefeller tower, is for me by far the best one to photograph the New York City skyline! While still high enough, it has several advantages over the other two; first it has a reasonable photography policy; i.e. only tripods and professional "video" cameras are not allowed. Unlike the One World and Empire State building which also do not allow "Professional cameras". 

Secondly, it has a nice open air deck with no real obstructions in most directions, unlike the new One World Tower deck which is all closed of behind glass.

Lastly, while being on the Rockefeller tower, one can photograph two of the most important buildings in NYC; The One World and Empire State building!

Guess, who got my 30,-USD last week? Yes, "Top of the Rock" - you rock!

I recommend booking a ticket for "Top of the Rock" online as the best times often sell out on the day. Try booking minimum 1hr 15' before sunset, in order to get to your favourite spot before the big sunset rush moves in. I would not loose any time going to the lower floors. Once you come out of the elevator, (68th floor?), take the escalator and steps and go straight to the open spot on the 70th floor.

For optimal stability, I placed my Gorillapod on one of the many concrete stabs, which worked perfect. Especially with a lightweight mirrorless camera like the Fujifilm X-T1.

Unfortunately the sunset wasn't the most dramatic one when I was there, but I still got a few interesting shots, including the one below, made about 15' after sunset. 

Manhattan from the Top of the Rock, NYC

Image details:
Fujifilm X-T1 and the XF 16mm f1.4R WR Fujinon lens
ISO 200, f5.6, 1.6s
Iridient developer for RAW development
Nik ColorEfex pro4 with Pro Contrast and Detail Enhancement filter

The rest of my New York images can be checked out here.

Remember: "You haven't lived until you died in New York" - Alexander Woollcott 


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