Though Midtown’s 20th-century skyline is iconic, it’s quickly being amended with needle buildings. Time will tell how these impact its icon status.
The year 2020 is here! “Cautious optimism” remains my default lens for the future, but a look back over the photography of the past decade (like this shot from the Molecular Foundry overlooking San Francisco during my sabbatical), I’m feeling a bit excited. The first major upgrade in my shooting platform is planned for 2020 (the Nikon D7000 is getting a well-deserved retirement) and I can’t imagine the improvement I’ll see when I jump an entire decade forwards in camera technology.
Visiting Governors Island (lacking that apostrophe since 1784) for the first time this weekend, I was astonished to see its historic buildings standing in such contrast to the sleekly modern shape of One World Trade Center in the distance. The island is only 800 yards off the coast of Manhattan, but seems a generation away.
My favorite part of a huge cityscape view is the way the tiny details of buildings (windows, lights, roofs) slowly become less and less distinct as you look farther away. I was inspired to get a “real” camera all those years ago in part from a desire to takes pictures that gave the viewer a feeling of being able to “zoom forever” and always see more detail.
I caught John Wick Chapter 3 in theaters this weekend; that movie’s take on New York City inspired me to finish processing my RAWs from my October 2018 trip to photograph its downtown skyline. Perhaps that sense of a hidden world lurking around every corner is captured in the details along the shore.
Manhattan has been the site of an unsurprisingly large number of climactic cinematic showdowns. In the dramatic golden light of an autumn sunset, this particular image contrasts two tall towers on the horizon: in the east, the Empire State Building, site of King Kong’s climb, and in the west, the new Hudson Yard buildings that bear a marked resemblance to Stark Tower from the Avengers.
New York was once famous for its oysters, grown in the harbor—a truly unbelievable number of them. Looking over the pier towards the still-glowing skyline of downtown Manhattan, I guess I’m not surprised they’d make an appropriate substrate for oyster growth.
From New Jersey’s Liberty State Park, the view of downtown Manhattan is unimpeded. The view extends all the way up to Midtown and landmarks like the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings. With nothing but the water’s reflections between me and the skyline, there’s an odd calmness to a multimillion-person city.