Photographing Brooklyn’s Architecture
During last year’s New York City workshop we spent a day in Brooklyn exploring some of the borough’s new and historic architecture.
The first stop was the Barclays Center designed by SHoP Architects. The exterior is made up of 12,000 uniquely-shaped panels in weathered steel that recall the color and scale of adjacent brownstone blocks. These panels along with the curved nature of the structure can make for some interesting detail shots. The whiteout, gloomy sky actually worked well in providing a backdrop of negative space for the building. Though I can imagine the orange would look great against a blue sky as well.
Next up, 300 Ashland designed by Enrique Norten (TEN Arquitectos) and Ismael Levya Architects. It’s home to an Apple Store on the first floor with the rest being residential. On the east side of the building and a little comparison between how it looks in color vs. black & white.
On the west side, the bright sun was hitting the metallic surface creating some nice dramatic light. Not to mention irregular patterns with the windows and some nice geometry inherent in the building and emphasized with a little tilt of the lens.
About a block away is 620 Fulton Street, or the Brooklyn Health Center, by Francis Caufmann. This is an investment for The New York Hotel Trades Council and Hotel Association of New York City, Inc. Health Benefits Fund, Health Center, Inc. (HCI). The building has these great fins that create a fun curvy pattern. Its modern design contrasts nicely with this ornate, historic building next door.
There’s a softness created with the blue sky reflecting in its surface and the warmth of the sun hitting the white fins.
Now for Studio Gang’s newest addition to NYC and their first residential project in the city, 11 Hoyt. The scalloped concrete is the most fun area to play with in your shots. It almost feels like pages blowing in the wind.
Now let’s make our way to those iconic areas of Brooklyn with a look at those infamous views of the Manhattan Bridge. A great area to work with layering and framing.
And, of course, the Brooklyn Bridge. Catching the warm morning light and shooting from below…
As you move up the path to walk across the bridge, more views toward Manhattan and the Manhattan Bridge with an interesting modern building in the foreground. Nice way to layer different eras of design in a single frame.
And, of course, those shots as you walk across the bridge. Those cables act as great leading lines and a little tilt of the camera creates a more dynamic shot.
Or use those cables to frame the city behind.
One last thing, Brooklyn Bridge Park has some of the best views of the city and is best shot in the morning if you want light on Manhattan’s buildings.
From just before sunrise to blue hour and use of intentional camera movement, there are a few ways to approach this view!
Do you have any must photograph locations in Brooklyn? Would love to hear about them!