Photojournalist Consistently Captures Unique Angles of NYC’s Skyline

Photojournalist Gary Hershorn has a special talent for enchanting brightness and the use of unconventional viewpoints. It’s a persistent challenge when shooting one of New York’s most popular subjects: its skyline.

Herson’s images offer viewers a refreshing perspective on the city’s skyline that has been photographed to the point of nausea, but managed to make the photos continually appealing, serving as inspiration to reinvent angles and points. of sight.

“I have to admit there is a real sense of accomplishment when you can capture a beautiful sunrise, sunset, moonrise or moonset scene with New York City as the main element of the image. […] There is always interest in beautiful images and any image that you can get that no one else does can mean everything to a photographer,” Hershorn said, speaking to PetaPixal.

New York skyline and light reflections of buildings

NYC skyline silhouette with birds

Working a kind of magic by encapsulating the lively spirit of the city, Hershorn’s photo invites his audience into a rekindled state of awe and appreciation for New York’s natural vibrancy.

New York skyline with rainbow

New York Skyline with Glittering Light Building

“I keep saying how amazing it is to be in a place along the Hudson River or New York Harbor at sunrise when there’s a perfect alignment of the sun and a building like the Empire State Building on the horizon and this incredible scene of light and color unfolds before you, then you look around and realize that of the millions of people who live in this area, you are the only one there accurate to witness it,” says Hershorn.

For years, Hershorn has documented an ever-changing New York City. His shots depict explosive thunderstorms, moody partial eclipses, towering silhouettes of the Statue of Liberty, and various snapshots of the city’s unique “vibe.”

NYC skyline during a thunderstorm

The Statue of Liberty and an eclipse in the background

In August 2022, Hershorn shared his images on Twitter and many noticed and praised his most recent snaps of the city as well as his past charming moments.

In his latest series of photos titled Heavenly New York, the process took years to prepare. Hershorn’s inspiration for the series comes from his wandering the city streets during the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks.

“There was a lot of attention focused on New York by the world’s media and I wanted to contribute photos to the stories that were being written. New York had remained very sleepy for 10 years after 9/11, but on the 10th anniversary, One World Trade Center was under construction and beginning to appear on the lower Manhattan skyline, so it became a focal point of photographs and was also a sign of the rebirth of the city in my opinion. Hershon continues.

“Its rise helped lift the spirits of the city and I was extremely interested in documenting the changes to come across the city’s skyline as the building reached new heights.”

NYC Skyline with Dark Storm Clouds Above

Another event Hershorn felt the need to chronicle and capture was the Super Moon of 2012. Using an app to find a sweet spot where the sun and moon would rise and what buildings would line their way , Hershorn was waiting for his shot. at Eagle Rock Reservation, a spot in New Jersey (13 miles from Lower Manhattan).

“I will never forget going there to photograph it and being the only photographer with professional cameras. Everyone else who was there basically had an iPhone to film. A month ago the same alignment happened again except now there were dozens of photographers there photographing it. This shows you how popular celestial event photography has become with the advent of Instagram and other social media platforms so that photographers can easily share their work.

NYC Statue of Liberty in front of the supermoon

When it comes to equipment, Hershorn has three distinct systems when shooting. ranging from Canon Powershot G7X cameras to Canon’s M-series mirrorless cameras, Canon’s mirrorless R-series equipment, and various weather and alignment applications, such as Planit Pro, the ephemerides of photographersand Photopills. He uses Radar range for the weather,” says Hershorn,

“I use these cameras because they’re small, light, easy to carry, and allow you to be discreet when shooting. They do not attract your attention. and that’s how I like to shoot. Hershorn adds: “While I constantly preach that equipment is incidental to the photo that is taken, which means cameras are so good these days, if a photographer uses any type of camera rather than a phone to capture a scene he can almost always get something really good, gear is everything for a photographer It’s so important for a photographer to find a system they are comfortable with and to learn how to use it well.While phone cameras have great utility, they simply aren’t designed to handle the types of light and distances needed to photograph celestial events.

Silhouette of the Statue of Liberty

foggy NYC skyline and faded sun

Hershorn’s careful planning leads to seemingly flawless executions with memorable results: satisfying shots.

“[…] It is very rewarding to capture the [city’s] beauty and to be able to easily share it with the world via social networks and of course via Getty Images.

Asked by PetaPixel When explaining when a photo is “satisfying” to him, Hershorn talked about the importance of composition.

NYC skyline silhouette framed by trees

Moon and NYC building ledge (a silhouette)

“For a photo to be satisfying, I think it has to be aesthetically pleasing, meaning good composition, and also have a bit of a wow factor. How a person uses composition varies of course. from person to person, but usually photographers find a particular style of shooting and stick with it,” he says.

“Adding a human element to an image is something that I find visually stimulating, interesting and satisfying, but the key is determining in each image the size of the human form. […]As for the wow factor, it can come from a variety of things like color, the size of a moon when it rises, or perhaps placing a person or object in exactly the right place.

skateboarder silhouette

Looking back on his past works and looking to the future, Hershorn is grateful to be able to document the evolution of New York City in the future while playing a part in its historic preservation.

“I feel like I’ve helped create a genre of photography in New York by taking the kind of images I’ve had since 2012… As for future projects, I’ll just continue to document New York’s skyline changing just like I since 2011 […] A new period of ten years begins now […] this will again see another staggering change in the way New York City looks by 2030,” he says.

“At the end of the day, the photos I take are not about taking pictures and trying to get likes on social media. I do my best to leave behind full and complete documentation of the growth that is happening. produced in New York so that when history books write about what happened in New York after 9/11, they can easily find photos in the Getty Images archive that show what happened here.

New York thunderstorm with skyline in background

For more from Hershorn, be sure to follow him on Instagram.


Picture credits: Gary Hershorn

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