In the Herald - I've got a taste of the Big Apple

Date Published 
Wed 19 May 2021

As a keen travel photographer, the last year has been particularly infuriating. During a normal year I would have usually partaken in a least a couple of trips abroad, either for pleasure or on business, but always incorporating some photography during the visits. COVID put a stop to all that but I am cautiously beginning to think about possibilities for the coming year.

Back in 2018, my wife and I had a three-night stay in New York City. Nothing can prepare you for the sheer scale of the place. Everything is large, from the amazing sky scrapers to the sweeping vistas, and not to forget the enormous portion sizes!

Needless to say, NYC is simply way too big to see everything in a few days. However, we gave it a really good go! I found that as a photographer there was almost too much of everything and deciding what to take and what to leave out was quite a challenge. That’s probably the reason I want to get back there soon. I would like to take things slower and not get quite as caught up in the hustle and bustle of the chaotic city streets.

Fortunately, the October weather was superb for us with blue skies and sunshine for nearly the entire time we were there. We arrived late afternoon and after checking in to our hotel we headed to Times Square. The lights, colour and buzz were fascinating to photograph. Looking back on it now it almost feels surreal to see all the people freely milling around. Although it was later in the evening when we made it to Grand Central Station, there was still an energy inside the ornate concourse and I made a few long exposure photos which capture some of the movement of the commuters.

The next day we got up early and explored Central Park, a haven of tranquillity nestled in amongst the skyscrapers. A visit to the Rockefeller afforded amazing views across the metropolis. Out over the park in one direction and then, as the light began to fall and the buildings lit up, across Manhattan to the Empire State Building, One World Trade Centre and in the distance the Statue of Liberty. The next day we jumped on the subway, which is an experience in itself, and headed down to lower Manhattan to see the 9/11 Memorial. It was deeply moving to see the names of all of the victims engraved on the marble slabs surrounding the pools where the towers once stood.

No trip to New York would be complete without a ferry ride out to Liberty Island. With stunning views back to the Manhattan skyline as well as the statue, it is well worth doing.

On our final day we decided to wander through the older streets of the city. After a very early morning visit to the top of the Empire State for yet more stunning views we decided to walk across Brooklyn bridge. As night fell the view back across the river to the NYC skyline was simply magical and made for a very special last evening in the Big Apple. I really hope it won’t be too long before we get to make a return trip as there is so much more that I would like to turn my camera to.

If you would like to brush up your photography skills in readiness for your next planned city break why don’t you consider joining Irvine Camera Club? We have members of varying experience and they all have a love of photography in common, together with a desire to share their knowledge. You can find out more about the club at