Across the East River

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. Completed in 1883, it connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn by spann...
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The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. Completed in 1883, it connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn by spanning the East River.
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Contest Finalist in New York At Night Photo Contest
Judge Favorite
Peer Award
Steve_Cottrill keithart JuanGiraldo immaginEmozioni _9847_2532 grandpa_Vlad matkujak +64
Superb Composition
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Outstanding Creativity
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Absolute Masterpiece
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All Star
Magnificent Capture
Superior Skill

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New York At Night Photo ContestTop 30 class
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2 Comments | Report
HaydenSchmalz July 25, 2016
Nice pic
Shannon_Rose1 October 22, 2017

Same photographer See all

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Behind The Lens

This photo was taken from Empire Fulton Ferry State Park on the bank of the East River in New York City. The park provides excellent views of Manhattan and several views of New York City's famous bridges, including the Brooklyn Bridge.
This photo was taken just after sunset in January at around 5:36 in the evening. I set up my camera around 4:45 PM and shot through blue hour. It was ridiculously cold outside (around 15º F / -9º C plus wind chill)l, so my bones were aching and snot was running down my face by the time I finished up. If possible, I recommend shooting from this location in warmer weather.
Everything in the photo was natural light. I started shooting frames around 4:45 PM but the sky was too bright and only a few city city lights were turned on. By around 5:10 PM the city lights began to come on, and by 5:20 PM there were enough lights to really make the scene come alive.
I shot this with a Sony A7r and a Zeiss 24-70 f/4 lens. It was shot over 30 seconds to smooth out the choppy water (30 seconds is the maximum shutter speed of the A7r without an intervalometer). Focal length was 24mm at f/18 and an ISO of 80. The camera was mounted on a Sirui T-025X carbon fiber tripod for stability.
New York City is a magical place, especially at night. I've seen some great pictures of Manhattan from across the East River, so on a quick 3-day visit to NYC, I wanted to visit the location and capture some frames. If it weren't so cold, I would have explored up and down the shoreline and captured some other scenes.
I didn't have to do much in post processing. I brightened the exposure a bit in Lightroom, boosting the shadows, lowering the brights, and adding some clarity for pop. I did a bit of editing in Photoshop, basically removing a couple items floating in the water, painting out a couple distracting signs on the bridge, and some dodging and burning to bring out more detail on the underside of the bridge.
In my camera bag
I travel a lot. I've spent years lugging heavy gear around the world and have finally gotten to the point where having a lighter kit is important to me. A little over a year ago, I switched from Canon to a Sony A7r, which offers great quality in a lightweight mirrorless body. My walk-around lens is the Zeiss FE 24-70 f/4, which is sufficient for most of my photography. It's a sharp lens and while not the fastest, the high ISO range of the A7r makes up for it. I sometimes carry the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 for wide angle and astrophotography, as well as a trusty Minolta MD 50mm f/1.2 for portraits. Everything gets packed into lightweight Think Tank Citywalker 20 shoulder bag, along with extra batteries, memory cards, a host of filters, a LensPen, a rocket blower, and a table top tripod.
To get to this spot, head to the Brooklyn (eastern) side of the Brooklyn Bridge. From Water Street, take either New Dock Street or Old Dock Street down to Empire Fulton Ferry State Park on the bank of the East River. Addition unique views can be found further along the shore both north and south of the Brooklyn Bridge. You'll need to mount your camera on a tripod for stability. Start shooting at sunset and shoot through dusk until the lights of the city begin to appear. You'll need to adjust the shutter speed of your camera as the light gets dimmer. Use the widest angle that your camera can afford in order to capture as much of the city as possible.

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