He has another essential tip for visiting photographers: don’t worry about dragging along high-end kit with you – it’ll only lead to fatigue. Rather, a serviceable camera with a single focal-length lens will actually lead you to more personal shots: “Instead of zooming in, you’ll walk closer. Instead of going wide, you’ll find detail and texture – unknowingly, you’ll seek more interesting and creative compositions, resulting in shots that are different from the rest,” Bandera says.
As several of the photographers we spoke with explained, there are always a few basics to keep in mind before setting out to capture your images: make sure your camera is fully charged beforehand, and familiarise yourself with its settings in advance. If you’re after good nighttime photographs especially, a tripod may be advised – though a portable one is always the most convenient for travellers. And check the weather forecast before you depart: sunny skies versus overcast conditions will have a big impact on the final look of your photos.
For those looking to take action shots, artist Claire Langevine advises photographing New York from the perspective of a street-style photographer. “Crouching down and letting people pass by you on either side can give the effect as though the photo is being taken from within the crowd. I’ll usually take a few minutes to observe what people are doing around me, and then start snapping away and hope that I end up with a few shots I really like.” Times Square isn’t short on crowds, and those with an interest in people watching may well stumble across some compositional gems.
And for those eager to flex their creative muscles (and who possess a bit of technical savvy), don’t be afraid to experiment with post-processing. Programmes like Photoshop offer a number of tools that, when handled capably, make for striking visuals.
Photographer Joey Lax-Salinas agrees, “Processing my photographs is an ever-evolving art. I use a technique known as HDR photography, which allows me to capture all of the details in a wide range of light. I can capture the details in the shadows as well as in the bright lights and merge those details into a sharp, vibrant photo. Sometimes I choose to go a bit over the top and add a more artistic, creative feel to my photos, and other times I choose to leave them sharp and vibrant while retaining a realistic look.”
Amateur or practiced snapper, New York newbie or expert Big Apple traveller, everyone has their own perspective on the city – now’s the chance to share your vision.
Written by Claire Bullen
Image credits: Times Square at night © Joey Lax-Salinas, Times Square © iStock: pawel.gaul