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Midtown Manhattan at Night

I decided to take a late evening stroll around Manhattan with the camera last Thursday when I had the evening to myself. I was in the mood for pizza and an eggcream, so off I went to find a pizza joint and a diner and headed towards Washington Square Park. NYC is one of those places that is just as fascinating, if not more fascinating, at nighttime than during the day. Obviously, Times Square should be photographed at night when the lights are at their peak of seeming out of this world. But the rest of Manhattan takes on a different life at night.

One structure that I wanted to be sure to photograph, and only at night, was the Washington Square Park Arch. With the intricate work on the arch, nighttime is the best time to photograph it, in my opinion. I didn’t exactly have the best focal range with me for what I wanted to do this time around with the Tokina 16-28mm, but I think I was able to take a different approach and come out with a few usable images. I was also lacking the use of a tripod, which caused me to have to take images with high ISO and wide apertures. I was able to deal with some of the image noise using post processing noise removers, but I noticed that even shooting at ISO 1600 and f/2.8, camera shake got the best of most of my images. The ones I’m sharing with you below are the best of the bunch, but if you look closely enough, you’ll either be able to tell that I took it at a wide aperture or may notice the slight blurriness of the camera shake. Regardless, I had a great time, damn it!!

Washington Square Park itself is not as interesting at night as it is during the day, but I did get to see a number of musicians playing in the park before sunset. Later on in the evening, I was able to see the start of an anti-feminist protest, but made my way away from them in case they got a little too rowdy. They were chanting something under their breath that I couldn’t make out. So to make sure that they weren’t chanting “let’s get that Cuban with the camera”, I bolted out of there and headed off for pizza.

I came back later and hung out in the park people watching and snapped off a few pictures of the foot traffic. I liked some of the perspectives I had with the wide-angle, but was kicking myself the entire time because of the lack of tripod…

On the way back to the hotel, I asked the cabbie to drop me off near the Chrysler building and snapped off a few images of my favorite skyscraper while I was at it. Again, I needed a tripod…

The lesson for tonight, boys and girls, is to experiment with nighttime photography as much as possible, but be sure to bring along a tripod to be able to overcome camera shake. Even though image stabilization capabilities on your camera equipment will help combat this a bit, Canon does not offer any image stabilization on their wide-angle lenses, and neither do any of the third-party manufacturers. In that respect, I was screwed from the start, but I made it out there anyway. I hope you enjoy these images and have a great night!!

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One response to “Midtown Manhattan at Night

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