Going to NY, what to bring, where to go?

Next weekend, I am on my third trip to Manathan. While I have seen the city a few times before, this is the first time I will go there with a single goal: taking pictures. I had non photographer friends with me in my previous visits which created some tension every time I asked for a “quick stop” to take a picture. They were very patient but after my sixth stop in 200 meters in Soho I noticed some frustration in their eyes…

That is why this time I am going with 2 other photographer friends so we can progress in the city at “photographer speed” without anyone complaining!

The question is: what should I bring?

Since I am expecting us to walk the whole day, I want to stay as light as possible while keeping some flexibility. Of course, my trusty tripod will be in my bag and while I could enjoy my girlfriend tripod lighter weight, I want to shoot videos so a fluid head is a must.

Now the big question: which lenses to bring? While the 70-200mm f/4 L IS is an obvious choice, I am torn between the 24-70mm f/2.8L and the 17-40mm f/4L. The first choice gives a larger zoom range but it lacks the super wide angle that is so convenient in architecture photography. One of my favorite picture from NY is the one below, made (you guess it) at 17mm. Can you guess one which street conner I was?

Look up!

That is why I am probably going to leave the 24-70 at home. As an added bonus, the 17-40 is much lighter too!

Regarding accessories, since they dont take much room or weight I try to always carry them with me where ever I go. You just never know when a ND filter might prove useful! As a safety measure, I always carry a spare pair of sox and a small flash light. You never know when they can be handy!

Everything fits nicely in my Lowepro Slingshot 200 with some room left maybe for a 50mm f1.4 for some nice night video, or a lunch! 

Where to go?

Now that the bag is full, we have to plan our phototrip. Having already been in Manathan, we can dodge the most obvious tourist traps (Empire State, I am pointing at you) and explore “new” places. 

I think it is important, before going to a shoot, to have already planned a few shots so you dont wander around without a goal. After talking to my friend, it was established that we wanted a high level view of the city that could be printed on a 4×6 (feet) canvas. I know this scream “Empire State building” again but since we cant bring a tripod there we are going to go to the next best thing: the Rockefeller building.  Rumors say that tripods are welcomed there, will confirm once I am back!

The second objective is to get some good pictures inside the Grand Central station. Then again, nothing that should be too hard to do, unless there are some anti terrorist zealots who think that camera are dangerous…

I would also like to take an original picture of the Flatiron building. It has been shot so many times, finding a new interesting angle/composition is going to be a challenge!

Finally, there is the Brooklyn bridge. Same thing as the Flatiron: going to try to be original, wish me luck!

So four objectives in two days, I dont see how our plan can fail! And everything else is just going to be a bonus. If some of you have suggestions, please post them in the comments.

About Tommy

Photography allows me to be what I want to be, to be where I want to be, and to do what I want to do ... I'm not professional photographer and I don't need a title, I love to take photographs and that is what I do, I love to learn and I always try to do it better ...

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