TIPS: How to take great photos during ‘Manhattanhenge’

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Check out our photo tips to snap the best photo during Manhattanhenge. Credit: Flickr/Nishant Khurana

On Saturday, July 12, at 8:25 P.M. the sun will set on New York City’s grid.  At that time you will be able to see half of the sun sitting above and below the horizon. Check out our map for the best places to be to see it this amazing phenomenon.

Many people will be out with their cameras trying to capture the perfect moment when the sun sets and creates a perfect orange glow across the city’s horizon. Taking great photos of sunsets doesn’t have to be hard. Nikon has provided us with great tips to make the perfect picture during Manhattanhenge. Check them out.

Nikon’s tips for photographing Manhattanhenge

1.  Plan ahead. The best views of Manhattanhenge are on the east side at 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd and 57th streets, with the best views between 23rd and 42nd streets. Plan your location and make sure to arrive with plenty of time to spare before the sunsets at 8:25 p.m. This is helpful to both line up your shot and get a spot.

2.  Exposure can be difficult when photographing into the sun, as the bright light will often underexpose the rest of the image and surroundings. To help avoid silhouetting the entire image, don’t focus / meter directly on the sun. Instead try using your camera’s autofocus on a point above or below the sun, or on interesting landmarks in order to make sure your photo isn’t too bright or too dark.
3.  The setting sun will move very fast, but as it does the colors will continue to change. So keep shooting until the sun is completely down for a variety of interesting photos.
4. If you have access to a tripod or monopod, you might want to bring it. Otherwise, keep your camera as stable as possible – this will allow you to get creative with your shutter speeds and make sure you have a level horizon in your shot.

5. Get creative with your photo:

  • Look for reflections, landmarks or people to include in your photo, these will add context to your image.
  • Lower your shutter speed to capture the motion of the city against the beautiful sunset
  • Try a mix of wide and tight shots, vertical and horizontal. This will let you capture buildings, traffic and other landmarks as silhouettes in your frame. Don’t just take the same picture over and over again.

6. Be careful and use common sense: Don’t look directly into the sun and watch for traffic. Remember, drivers are also blinded by the gorgeous light, so take extra care when crossing the street.

Want to share your beautiful photos from Manhattanhenge? Show them off directly by posting them to Nikon’s Facebook page and email them to for a chance to be featured on our site.

Happy snapping!


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