New York City is not a cheap place to visit, but if you’re approaching the Big Apple with the idea of frugality in mind — like I did, you can probably avoid dropping money too quickly.
That’s even more true if you’re coming to NYC for a couple of signature, iconic pictures — whether it’s Grand Central, DUMBO, Manhattan skyline, Brooklyn Bridge or the Statue of Liberty, they’re all free to visit. The only one that’s gonna cost you any money, for picture purposes, is the Top of the Rock, the top of 30 Rockefeller Center in Rockefeller Plaza. You may recognize the address, 30 Rock, from the TV show that was about a comedy show being filmed at NBC. This is that place.
From the top of this building, right in front of you is going to be the Empire State Building. And all around it is gonna be this beautiful three-dimensional skyline of New York. You’re not looking at the skyline, you’re in the skyline.
It costs 34 bucks (adult) to go up. Do it, it’s totally worth it. But you want to go up at the right time, which is probably 1-2 hours before sunset.
Another thing you should know is that there are no tripods allowed. At first I wrestled with that, but when you think about it, it’s actually a great thing because with tripods, people would just lock down, everybody would grab the good spots and there wouldn’t be enough room.
Thank you for not allowing tripods. I can’t believe I just said that. I used my Sony a6000 with the pricey F4 16-70 Zeiss zoom lens, which is not very good for night shots. The good thing is, it’s got an optical image stabilization in it. You may want to use lenses with similar focus length or simply a wide angle lens.
You’ll play with that a bit because when the light looks pretty, there will not be very much of it, and I do hope to shoot fully into nighttime because it would be like 20 different pictures when you’re up there.
It’s the sunset picture, it’s the blue hour picture, it is the mix picture. Just don’t go in winter…
*Update: If you are a stock photographer, please note that photos taken on the Top of the Rock are unsuitable for commercial use without permission. Below is a screenshot of the reason that GettyImages rejected my photo:
Click on those photos will take you to its corresponding Flickr page.
all image credit: easyandme