Masterclass: How to photograph NYC

French photographer and YouTube star Serge Ramelli tells us how to capture the city that never sleeps like a pro

New York is a photographer’s paradise, with incredible architecture at every turn. The Gothic and Art Deco style from the early 20th century is like nowhere else on the planet. 

Colour conveys a lot more emotion than black and white. It offers a better sense of time and the seasons, as well as a more accurate character.

When shooting big landmarks, offer a viewpoint with a foreground element that is interesting but not too big. I recommend shooting the Empire State Building from The High Line, using the old houses as the foreground element. 

Be sure to catch the ‘blue hour’ right after sunset, when there are still details in the sky, and all the city lights are strong. You have around a 20-minute window. After that it’s too dark and the moment is gone.

Capturing specific subjects such as the Brooklyn Bridge or City Hall? Try to get a framing that communicates a story. To tell the tale of the Brooklyn Bridge, for instance, do it in the way so you don’t have tourists, cars or unwanted elements that are going to distract from your main story. 

Lesser-known corners of the city worth photographing include the Financial District in Lower Manhattan; 72 Street Subway Station in the Upper West Side at night; and the view from the Time Warner Center.

New York by Serge Ramelli is published by teNeues

Ramelli Paris Cover 3.indd