Grand Central Terminal – NYC

I was recently visiting family in NYC and had a free afternoon in Manhattan. While I had a wishlist a mile long of possible photography spots, especially if fall colors were cooperating, the weather had other ideas. I generally don’t mind shooting in poor weather – sometimes I even enjoy it – but on this day it was really pouring and most trees in Central Park weren’t showing fall colors.

So, onto Plan B.

I had passed through Grand Central Terminal many times, but seldom stopped. An historic rail station in midtown Manhattan, Grand Central was restored about a decade ago after years of decay, and it is a beautiful public space to photograph the architecture and travelers passing through. And most importantly on this day, it was a great place to spend a rainy day.

Maybe it was the dreariness outside, or maybe it’s my natural inclination when shooting architecture, but I knew from the start that I’d process these shots in black and white.

Grand Central. Shot from a small tripod on the floor near the escalators. 5 shot HDR composite.

Grand Central Terminal. Shot from a tripod on the banister in the Apple Store.

“Meet me under the clock” at Grand Central Terminal. Shot from a tripod on the stairway banister.

Ticket counters at Grand Central Terminal. Shot handheld.

An empty train platform at Grand Central Terminal. Shot from a tripod with a wide angle lens. 5 shot HDR composite.

Photographing in any crowded space can be a challenge and Grand Central was no exception. On the plus side, there are a lot of tourists and others taking photos, so you blend in, but it still is an active train station with people hurrying this way and that way.

Be aware that you may also need a permit. While most photography is allowed, you’ll need a permit if you plan to use it for commercial purposes or have “professional” equipment (such as a tripod). I shot with a DSLR, had my camera backpack, and used a small tripod that I didn’t extend the legs of (rather, setting it on railings or shooting close to the ground) and did not have an issue, even when photographing near law enforcement (which were everywhere).

Among New York’s many sites, be sure to allow time to slow down when passing through Grand Central. Or, better yet, make it a destination in itself.

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This was also trip #4 of my 40 by 40 challenge.

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