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Manhattanhenge 2017: Dates, times and best spots to see sunset

Get ready to be wowed by the sun setting along the city's grid.

If you enjoy taking photos of beautiful sunsets in New York City, get ready, because Manhattanhenge will take place in May and July.

Manhattanhenge is the seemingly magical moment when the sun aligns perfectly with the city’s grid. It gives us the chance to see the sunset perfectly from east to west streets in Manhattan.

Manhattanhenge happens twice a year and is also called the Manhattan Solstice.

If you appreciate a New York City sunset and love New York, then you need to make sure your camera or camera phone is charged-up and ready to go.

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According to the American Museum of National History, Manhattanhenge will take place on the following days and times to see the half sunset and full sunset along Manhattan’s grid.

Half Sun

Monday, May 29, at 8:13 p.m.

Thursday, July 13, at 8:21 p.m.

Full Sun

Tuesday, May 30, at 8:12 p.m.

Wednesday, July 12, at 8:20 p.m.

How to get the best view of Manhattanhenge

According to Neil deGrasse Tyson, the best cross streets to witness Manhattanhenge are 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd and 57th streets looking west. Those are the widest streets and should provide you with the most interesting views from east to west.

How to take photos of Manhattanhenge

With advanced technology found in today’s camera phones and digital cameras, it has become easier to snap a perfect pic. There are also plenty of photo editing apps to use to ensure your photo has the perfect look before sharing it to social media.

Here are some helpful tips for getting the best photo of Manhattanhenge.

If you’re using the camera on your smartphone, you might be tempted to point your camera directly into the sun. The problem with this is, your smartphone will try to automatically adjust its settings to properly expose for the sun.There’s a good chance your photo will be completely dark with just a tiny dot of light in the middle. If your smartphone camera allows you to manually adjust the exposure (brightness) then you may want to brighten the image a bit before snapping the picture.

Alternatively, you can point the lens of the camera to a spot just left or right of the sun. By doing this, your camera will adjust for a darker area in the frame and you will be able to see more of the environment in the photo. If you’re using an actual digital camera, you have the ability to take more control of your camera and the photo and it might be a good time to take advantage of your camera’s manual settings.

If you’re serious about photographing Manhattanhenge you may want to bring a tripod or a monopod to give yourself the ability to capture long exposures. You’ll also be able to easily position your camera above other people.

Composing the shot

To add context to your photo, try to compose your shot by including nearby buildings, landmarks, or other objects in the frame to make your photo more interesting. Experiment with different angles and remember you don’t have to take the same exact photo over and over again. This tip also applies to capturing the sunset with your smartphone. Move around and make things interesting.

Have fun

Don’t get bogged down with trying to figure out the exact settings to use, because there is no “exact setting.” Experiment with your camera, try different modes and make sure you enjoy the moment because that’s why you’re there.

 

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