Downtown Manhattan from J. Owen Grundy Park

Downtown Manhattan from J. Owen Grundy Park

On my last trip to New York, one of my objective was to capture several shots of the skyline. J. Owen Grundy Park is one of the best spots to do see Downtown Manhattan.

When they showed the designs for One World Trade Center several years ago, I must say I was skeptical at best. It was not the ground-breaking design that I had hoped for. However, upon seeing the skyline from New Jersey, I was a lot more impressed than I thought. One WTC really gives New York’s skyline another dimension, which is no easy task. I can’t wait for the rest of the towers to go up.

About the shot

This is a 60 seconds exposure, in which I blended a 120 seconds exposure for the sky (from a couple of minutes a before).

My goal was to use the last glow from the sunset to really make the buildings stand out. A long exposure helped achieve that effect by smoothing the water and the reflections, and giving more depth with the moving clouds.


J. Owen Grundy Park is in New Jersey, right across the Hudson River from Downtown Manhattan. It is very easy to access with the PATH from the World Trade Center. There is a little pier that was renovated as a recreational area with benches and tables.

If you walk along the water to the north, you will get views of Midtown in the distance.

Trick or Tip

In a location such as J. Owen Grundy Park, it is not easy to find an interesting foreground. I settled for the the water to put a strong emphasis on the skyline, but I still wanted to make the water interesting.

If the water is not still, reflections get blurred out and become a lot less interesting. However, if you make your exposure longer, the water becomes smooth and it brings out the colors of the reflection. As you can see above, it makes a more compelling foreground.

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