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10 Essentials For Casual NYC Photography

Nonprofessional tips for the NYC visitor.

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You don't need an expensive DSLR to come away from New York with a few great photos. Here are 10 essentials for the casual photographer in NYC.

Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

1. Distance.

Generally speaking, the best wide shots of the Manhattan skyline (captured from the ground) are taken in Brooklyn, Queens, or New Jersey. The North 5th Street Pier in Williamsburg (Brooklyn) is one of the best spots for a shot of Manhattan.
Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

Generally speaking, the best wide shots of the Manhattan skyline (captured from the ground) are taken in Brooklyn, Queens, or New Jersey. The North 5th Street Pier in Williamsburg (Brooklyn) is one of the best spots for a shot of Manhattan.

2. Contrast.

The morning sun and the evening sun both show off terrific details on New York's icons. If you're lucky enough to see the Flatiron Building at magic hour, it is truly a sight to behold.
Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

The morning sun and the evening sun both show off terrific details on New York's icons. If you're lucky enough to see the Flatiron Building at magic hour, it is truly a sight to behold.

3. Framing.

This famous iconic view of the Manhattan Bridge is a great example of framing. This is a popular spot in Brooklyn, and it's pretty easy to get to!
Sarah Ruth / Via sarahruthb.com

This famous iconic view of the Manhattan Bridge is a great example of framing. This is a popular spot in Brooklyn, and it's pretty easy to get to!

4. Vanishing point.

When lines on the buildings and the street converge in the distance, it makes for a beautiful vanishing point. The grid of skyscrapers in Manhattan is perfect for this kind of shot!
Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

When lines on the buildings and the street converge in the distance, it makes for a beautiful vanishing point. The grid of skyscrapers in Manhattan is perfect for this kind of shot!

5. Humans (for scale).

Take advantage of all the strangers walking around — a few distant (non-identifiable) humans gave my photo of Tompkins Square Park much greater depth.
Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

Take advantage of all the strangers walking around — a few distant (non-identifiable) humans gave my photo of Tompkins Square Park much greater depth.

6. The quirky life of the city.

What makes this a unique U.S. destination is the massive concentration of quirky energy. Statues and skylines are neat, but the living, breathing New York is what you'll remember most from your visit. Capture these moments!
Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

What makes this a unique U.S. destination is the massive concentration of quirky energy. Statues and skylines are neat, but the living, breathing New York is what you'll remember most from your visit. Capture these moments!

7. Taking the road less traveled.

Sometimes it pays to go off the beaten NYC path. For instance, the Queensboro Bridge is far less crowded with photographers than the Brooklyn Bridge.
Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

Sometimes it pays to go off the beaten NYC path. For instance, the Queensboro Bridge is far less crowded with photographers than the Brooklyn Bridge.

8. Taking advantage of good weather.

Look, it doesn't always work out, but if you're here on a sunny day, make sure you're in a good spot at golden hour. (Such as the Brooklyn Promenade.)
Sarah Ruth / Via sarahruthb.com

Look, it doesn't always work out, but if you're here on a sunny day, make sure you're in a good spot at golden hour. (Such as the Brooklyn Promenade.)

9. Taking advantage of NYC's frequent bad weather.

If you're dressed for bad weather (and it's safe), then you can get some great shots of the quiet city — the rain reflecting the neon lights or the mist obscuring a skyscraper. I walked down an almost empty Central Park Mall during an ugly, wet snowstorm to see this.
Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

If you're dressed for bad weather (and it's safe), then you can get some great shots of the quiet city — the rain reflecting the neon lights or the mist obscuring a skyscraper. I walked down an almost empty Central Park Mall during an ugly, wet snowstorm to see this.

10. Spider-Man.

If you do take a boring photo, just draw Spider-Man on it.
Nathan W. Pyle / Via buzzfeed.com

If you do take a boring photo, just draw Spider-Man on it.

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