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BEHIND THE LENS: New York Photography Series

New York Cityscape with Macy's building
black and white New York photography cityscape


Join us as we sit down with Matt to discuss his experiences in photographing New York City.


Tell us why New York is such an interesting place to photograph for you


I love the New York City. It’s the hustle and bustle, the concrete jungle, the fact that it is always alive it truly never sleeps. There is always something interesting to capture - the flashing lights of Times Square, the views from Empire State Building, views of the Empire State Building from other buildings, the grittiness of it….it is just spectacular.


Would you say New York is your favourite city to photograph?


Yeah definitely. 100%. New York is just alive. Even now with everything that has happened the city still breathes.


What are some of your favourite places to photograph in New York?


I love flying in the helicopters without any doors with companies such as FlyNYon. The sense of being able to just hang out of the helicopter and photograph the cityscape is something I think everyone needs to do sometime in their lives. It is an opportunity to get a completely different perspective of the city.


I can spend hours at the top of Empire State Building capturing views. During winter, middle of the night, long exposures over the city…the views you get are just spectacular.


Then there is Rockerfeller Centre, Top of the Rock looking back at Empire State Building. It’s such a historic building. Built during the depression era, so many people lost their lives building it, there were virtually no safety measures at the time, it is a feat of engineering.


New York photographer Matt Ferguson

So the architecture is a big draw card for you then?


Yeah I love architecture. The details that go into buildings and the stories behind the buildings. For example the Freedom Tower where you see the sun hitting the glass and reflections that are created - that was all thought out by someone. It is stunning.


Do you have a favourite time of year to photograph New York?


I really like winter. The tones are cooler, the leaves have fallen or are still falling from the trees…I feel like it emphasises that whole idea of New York as a concrete jungle. Plus it is Christmas, so you have all the Rockerfeller Tree, the oversized decorations across the city…Christmas in New York is just unreal.


What would you say are some of the ‘must haves’ for your photography kit when travelling to New York?


I always take two cameras - one that I can have a telephoto lens on and then one with my wide angle lens. Then I’ve also got my 35mm and 85mm prime lenses. Going up in the helicopter you really want to have the two cameras that you can swap between because you are only up there for a short amount of time. It makes the kit pretty heavy to carry through the streets but I think it is worth it.


How much does your kit weigh when you travel?


About 14kg, that’s the max you are allowed in carry on. If my wife is lucky I might put some extra gear in her carry on as well.


Do you have a favourite photo from New York?


Tough question. There are a few. There is a portrait photo I took from the helicopter that is flying up the Empire State Building. It’s just after sunset and you can get a glimpse of Central Park and Millionaire’s Row as well. It’s a unique perspective. Plus it is in the middle of winter so you get those lovely cool tones. That’s one of my all time favourites.

I also have a shot taken from the Rockerfeller Centre where you are just looking straight down to lower Manhattan. The Empire Building is directly in the middle of the frame. It is just an iconic view of New York. It makes me think of Frank Sinatra ‘If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere’.


black and white New York wall art print


New York photography wall art print

Why do you think is behind the popularity of New York Photography Prints in the home?


I think that New York is so beyond what we have in Australia. I know I’ve used this word a few times in this interview but it is just iconic. People see New York and either a) want to go there, or b) they want to go back. It’s aspirational. New York Photography in the home either reminds people of the magic of the city when they were there or to see it as a goal of where they want to be.


Do you have a suggestion on what kind of material work best for cityscape photographic prints?


For me it is glass prints. Whether it is black and white or colour I feel it really brings out the contrasts in a piece of work and makes it pop.




To purchase a New York photographic print by Matt, please visit our online store or email us at enquiries@msfergusonphotography.com .

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