Oh yeah, this baby’s gonna take some time to load. Go grab a cup of coffee while you’re waiting – I promise it’ll be worth it! Unless you’re on your phone right now, in which case you should bookmark this post and come back to it later when on a proper computer. The Big Apple demands ogling on a big screen.
I’m not sure when or why the idea hit me, but as soon as it did I was suddenly committed to combing through 7 years worth of photo archives from the years I spent living in New York City. An ambitious endeavor for the average person, but truly a foolish one for a photographer. I mean, do you have any idea how many photos I took during this time? Multiple tens of thousands. Likely over 100,000. It’s a lot of images to sift through.
BUT, the gargantuan task of pulling out my best photos of NYC was actually not as exhausting as it sounds because I’ve got a killer system for tagging and labelling all my images in Lightroom (note: read my travel photography tricks post if you’d like to know how to get your photos organized!). I simply opened my Lightroom catalogue and filtered *out* any photos tagged with ‘wedding’ or rated below 1 star, which left a smaller subset of photos through which to browse.
So last week, I revisited every single (non-wedding) photo I took in New York City from 2008-2014 that I had liked enough originally to mark with at least one star. 85 made the cut for this blog post.
These are the best photos of NYC that I captured during the 7 years I lived there. And by best, I mean my favorite images: the ones I love to look at and am proud to have created.
It really was such a trip to relive this part of my life and watch the progression: from a 22 year old who was new to NYC and spent all her waking non-work hours frolicking around town playing with (read: figuring out) her camera, to a jaded 28 year old who had more or less mastered photography and would rather be anywhere but New York (and hence didn’t go out and shoot anywhere near as much). I cringe at many of the photos from the early years which I ruined with some seriously embarrassing editing (underexposed images, HDR, tilt-shift: DO NOT RECOMMEND)… but then I see how much better I got at travel photography by the end and that makes me feel really great.
There are some shocking gaps in this NYC photo collection: Times Square, Grand Central Station, street performers, street photography in general, Flatiron Building, Statue of Liberty, and the new World Trade Center, among others I’m sure. I do have photos of most of these, but they’re crap and need to be retaken. I’ll be doing so when I return to New York at the end of the year for Christmas, and I’ll re-release this post with 100 images once I’ve got 15 new ones worthy of including. I feel like 100 sounds a lot exciting than 85, don’t you think?
OK ARE YOU READY?? Here we go: my best photos of New York City!