Tips for Travel Photography in New York!
Its Christmas. In New York – And it’s the most wonderful time of the year for Travel Photography. I sincerely mean that! Travel Photography really Doesn’t get much better!
I’d planned to try and keep this brief, but I know I’m going to struggle. Why! Because as an as an Award Winning Travel Photographer, there are some places that I visit that just don’t do it for me. Places I’ve walked around for a few days and simply and feel empty with no thrill or excitement when I shoot. I recently flew out to Berlin and struggled to return with a portfolio I can say I was really happy with, but that’s another Travel Photography Blog you can read about.
New York on the other hand is a Travel Photography dream location and personally for me, December is the time I always return. In 2013 I won the SWPP TravelPhotographer of the Year Award in London. The image is one I’ve never ever ben able to re-create. It was a split second shot that changed my life and summed up everything there was to sum up about Christmas on 5th Avenue. It epitomises everything New York from Yellow Taxis, Designer Labels, Steaming Pipes, Traffic James and dank weather. Throw this into 5th Avenue, a smidgeon of graffiti, some overhanging traffic signals and a hot dog vender. It’s pretty much all there!
Even the most tourist hating of New Yorkers have to agree that Christmas in New York is an awesome sight. To be brutally honest, to get the most out of this festive time of year, the Travel Photographer needs to see through the sparkle and oversized decorations and delve a little deeper into the real New York. Don’t get me wrong, and as a person who loves Christmas as much as any child, I’d be in my element photographing Christmas decorations for a week, but New York Travel Photography is much more than photographing the Radio City city Christmas Tree… (And I’ve done this very thing repeatedly.)
Travel Photography combined with City Street Photography simply won’t fail to reap results in New York. Travel Photography is about looking for a connection to others and the NYC Streets have an ability to ability to bring a massive cross section of people together in what is essentially a combined, frantic space. New York can be manic but take the subway two stops down and you could very well walk out onto an empty platform, so you will capture more than just a stereotypical metropolis. You just need to open your eyes and walk.
How to Shoot Travel Photography in New York. Don’t Think… Feel
Unless you’re living in the city (and like me, need to work for a living) you probably won’t have too much time to learn copious amounts about the history of the area. You’re unlikely to get used to the daily life and flow unless you’re out on the streets shooting, but it doesn’t matter. Nearly all of my images are spontaneous and whilst I may have a plan to breakdown the key areas I’m visiting, that’s where it stops. It’s brilliant if you live in the place you’re shooting, but travel photography is more about shooting perspectives of places you are visiting. The clue is in the word ‘Travel.”
A good ravel Photography tip is to find a busy street corner. Traffic Lights are always a great place. Let everything unwind around you. People will come and go through ‘your’ personal which means you run less risk of people getting annoyed with you. Christmas is a great time because as well as all of the Festive crowds, Street Decorations and general Christamas mood, the sun is also on your side. It sits so low in the sky that if you place ypurself in front of it, the photographs will take on a completely different, beautiful look.
Low & Slow Travel Photography
Fast walking and street photography do not go well together. Take it slow and maintain a low profile. Don’t go waving around a 50mm lens because it will draw unnecessary attention and Travel Photography is all about natural imagery. A short prime lens is always a winner but I generally maintain that a 2.8 24-70 covers pretty much everything without being overbearing. Travel Photography is about moments and these aren’t always going to happen. Seek and ye shall find.. But not in 5 minutes, just keep looking. Those awesome moments will pop out at you when you least expect it or when you are the most frustrated. The biggest considerations, are to ensure that you’re ready and when the moments present themselves… And know how to handle your camera. Your own eyes will see potential shots before they happen. You might walk into a location and think, hey, this will work, simply because the lighting, buildings and composition are obvious. If that’s the case, go with it. You can see that the images below that the same location and same time can create a wide range of creative options that look significantly different.
Street photography and Travel Photography doesn’t have to be all about people. It’s the environment in which we live that offers unparalleled creative options for a photographer. Travel Photography can take some time getting used to. New Travel; Photographers may feel uncomfortable shooting strangers, particular in light of the growing news articles about privacy and intrusion. As long as you know what or who you can or can’t shoot and how to handle potential situations surrounding legality, then travel photography will be your friend. Run and Gun techniques are not generally a good ways to shoot street, however, there may be occasions where your subject could become hostile (I have an affinity for photographing alcohol dependent homeless people) and this does have it’s avoidable risks. If you’re photographing in this type of environment, then speed may be of the essence, but use your intuition and common sense.
Situated in the centre of Norwich and covering assignments throughout the UK, the Lee Blanchflower Ltd creative team deliver high quality commercial photographs, corporate film production & licensed drone footage to a really diverse range of businesses. After seven years of hard work in the industry trading as Blanc Creative, we thought it was about time that we made things a little more transparent across our business and as a result, Lee Blanchflower Ltd was born. We have to say that our attention to detail and epic customer service hasn’t changed, nor has our client base. We work solely in the commercial sector with sole traders, start-ups, established businesses, Advertising Agencies & International Press covering everything from PR, Editorial work, Film Production and Licensed Drone operations. What you won’t find, are wedding photographs, pet photography or family portraits. We seriously pride ourselves as being “people’ people and our unique selling point is transparency. Our favourable pricing structures are visible for every one of our services, so you won’t find any nasty surprises once you’ve decided to book an assignment. Lee Blaanchflower won the SWPP Travel Photographer of the Year Award in London in January 2013.