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Skip Town Travel Photography with Jess Lillico - Seeing Differently in New York City

30th June, 2011
Jenny Butler
Thursday 30th June 2011

Today Jess brings us the ultimate Thursday treat, taking us to New York, New York and giving us a lesson in seeing things differently. If you haven't already, be sure to pop over to the Skip Town website for more excellent tips and examples of beautiful travel photography. -Jenny x

New York. It's one of those cities. So cool, so iconic, so photographed. The last thing the world needs is another perfectly exposed photo of the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building, don't you think? A big part of the Skip Town philosophy is about looking for new perspectives, avoiding cliches and stepping outside the traditional rules of photography.

Here are some photos from a day we spent in Manhattan that hopefully illustrate what we mean.

The first stop was Time Square which was incredibly busy and a bit of a sensory overload. As happens in many cities, the reflective surfaces of high-rise buildings bounce light around, much like a professional photographer would use a reflector. These are a series from the same street corner, hopefully giving some indication of the colour and chaos of the location.

To escape the mayhem we went upwards. The top of the Rockefeller Centre is considered by many to be the best view in Manhattan – better than the Empire State because you can you can actually see the Empire State, you see. But more on that later…

In this photo the frame is filled to the edges with buildings to emphasise the scale and claustrophobia of Manhattan.

Photos of people taking photos are always interesting, especially in this case because you only get a glimpse of what they are looking at. This is a good example of looking for different perspectives, as is the shot below.

Less obvious subject matter can still give a powerful sense of place.

But of course we couldn’t witness one of the great city views and not take a photo.

The “correct” technique for this type of shot would be a to use a high aperture so that everything was sharp, but this was shot at  f5.6 to give some vignetting and draw the eye to the Empire State.

Back to our flat in just in time to watch the sunset from the rooftop. Here a classic Brooklyn water tower fills the foreground but the skyline is unmistakably New York.

- Jess x

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