Brooklyn has some of the best views of the NYC skyline to take pictures from. It has its own culture and character, with so many activities and options depending on your priority. Just like “the city” is not just Manhattan, Brooklyn is not just DUMBO or Williamsburg. As the second-largest borough, there’s so much to see and do. Here’s a thorough and comprehensive list of Brooklyn photography spots to take pictures at!
When people think of the most Instagrammable places in Brooklyn, Brooklyn Bridge Park is undoubtedly one of the first spots to come to mind. Stretching across Brooklyn’s expansive 1.3-mile waterfront, this park stands out as one of the most picturesque Brooklyn photography spots. Here, you can revel at the beautiful vista of Lower Manhattan’s skyline and the stunning New York Harbor. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, you’ll find yourself captivated by the iconic cityscapes.
To kick off this guide, let’s start at one of NYC’s famous landmarks, the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions to visit. Depending on where you’re staying will determine if it’s easier to get on the bridge from the Manhattan side or the Brooklyn side. If you’re on the Manhattan side take the green line (4/5/6) to Brooklyn Bridge City Hall, and if you’re on the Brooklyn side take the F train to York St. Another option is taking the A/C lines to High St.
Watching the sunset from here is much prettier than the sunrise, but if you want to avoid crowds in your pictures then set that alarm clock early! I’ve done my fair share of my own photoshoots here as well as photograph my clients here.
Squibb Park Bridge is a footbridge that connects Brooklyn Bridge Park to Brooklyn Heights. The park is down on the level of the East River, while the Heights is higher up. The bridge is the perfect segue that leads us to our next spot (scroll down).
Escape the bustling crowds on the lower level by strolling over to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. The easiest way to access this section of tranquility is to enter from Remsen, Montage, or Pierrepont streets. It’s a perfect spot to watch the sunset go down behind Lower Manhattan, and you can even see the Statue of Liberty from here. Underneath the promenade runs the BQE, one of the lifeline highways of New York City.
This old pier is one of six lined up along the East River. Notable for the decaying wooden pier supports sticking out of the water, they provide a cool foreground with the Lower Manhattan skyline in the background. It’s actually a quiet spot to take pictures at, especially at night. I was able to experiment with some light painting photography without any interruptions.
Named for its acronym, and not the cartoon elephant, Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass is probably the most touristy Brooklyn photography spot. Getting to DUMBO is not the easiest no matter where you’re coming from, but the most direct way to take the F train to York St.
When you think of DUMBO, what image comes to mind? I bet it’s this picture below. This is probably THE MOST Instagrammable spot in Brooklyn. The cross streets of Washington and Water, where you can see the Manhattan Bridge is the visual definition of DUMBO. If you want to take pictures here without crowds of people, or cars constantly passing through (it’s a live street), you have to come here the second sunrise hits.
Photo tip: depending on where you’re standing when taking your pictures you can get a perfect alignment of the Empire State Building in the middle of the legs of the bridge (pictured).
Smack dab in the middle of DUMBO, right on the water lies this antique horse carousel. The carousel used to be out in the open, but there’s since been a glass enclosure erected around it. Whether or not it’s temporary remains to be seen. Most likely not though. Either way, this is a wonderful spot to watch the sunset, and take pictures. There’s also a nice lawn next to the carousel to chill out on!
Time Out Market, initially conceived in 2014 within Lisbon’s historic Mercado da Ribeira, is a dynamic culinary concept now with a presence in New York’s DUMBO neighborhood. It offers a curated selection of eateries, bars, and art installations. The international food market also has a public rooftop to see Brooklyn Bridge Park from an elevated view.
Right in front of the Time Out Market lies Pebble Beach. A more appropriate title would be, “Boulder Beach.” None of the rocks that line this shore are the size of pebbles. They’re huge! It’s a great vantage point to get a full view of Jane’s Carousel in front of the NYC skyline, as well as both the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges.
Nicknamed “WillyB” by the New York City locals in my social circles, Williamsburg has gone through one of the most dramatic changes due to gentrification and has become a go-to spot for visitors and transplants to live in. You can find artsy types and hipsters, but also trendy bars and clubs.
Bushwick Inlet Park stands as a hidden gem among Brooklyn photography spots, serving as the focal point of the Greenpoint-Williamsburg Waterfront. This park seamlessly melds nature with urban architecture, integrating Greenpoint’s waterfront into the surrounding community. Visitors to the park can enjoy picturesque views of the skyline or take advantage of its recreational facilities such as a multipurpose field catering to soccer, football, lacrosse, field hockey, rugby, and ultimate frisbee enthusiasts. Right next to this park is where the popular open-air food market, Smorgasburg is hosted.
Opened in 2018, Domino Park is one of the newest NYC waterfronts after formally being an industrial sugar refinery. It’s one of the coolest Brooklyn photography spots because of its great views, manicured lawn on the flex field, and interesting architecture. The developers modernized the area with features like an elevated walkway, fountain, seating steps, and a fog bridge. Most recently, the Domino Sugar Refinery finally opened in 2023 after years of [controversial] renovation. Besides being a great spot to take pictures at sunset, Domino Park is also a host to a lot of events such as Salsa By The Water, which is free salsa lessons and dancing every Wednesday in September.
Boasting stunning vistas of the East River and conveniently next to the North Williamsburg NYC Ferry stop, this is a top choice for those in search of Brooklyn photography spots. Hopping on the ferry in the summer is an absolute must and is a budget-friendly way to see the skyline. The park features scenic walkways and inviting benches along the piers and connecting areas.
Brooklyn’s version of Central Park, albeit smaller. Prospect Park is the playground for the borough’s inhabitants. The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch is the beautiful, yet commanding triumphal arch that can be found at Grand Army Plaza. If you think the circular plaza looks similar to Lisbon’s Arco da Rua Augusta, Arco de Triunfo de Barcelona, or Paris’ Champs-Élysées, that was intentional by design. Why go to Europe when we have a knock-off European architecture here? (Kidding)
Fun fact: New York City used to have a bunch of temporary arches spread throughout the city. The most famous one is the Washington Square Park Arch which is a permanent fixture. A forgotten one that can still be found in the Bronx is the Seward-Drake Arch.
Inside Prospect Park make sure to stop by and take pictures at:
Believe it or not, this subway stop is a photographer’s haven! The platform has an awesome view of Lower Manhattan. When the sun starts setting during golden hour, the reflection is stunning. To get here take either the F or G trains directly to Smith-9 Sts Station.
For grand views of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, especially during sunset, head to Shore Park and Parkway. Situated at the southernmost tip of Brooklyn in the picturesque Bay Ridge neighborhood, this location is a prime hub for Brooklyn photography spots. The entrance at 4th Ave is the main location that offers cityscape views of Lower Manhattan with the waterfront and sky.
For more street and neighborhood views with the bridge looming overhead then 3rd/4th/5th Ave down from 95th St. are options.
Inside the neighborhood of Sunset Park, lies the hilltop Sunset Park (very original). From here you get a clear view of the Lower Manhattan skyline, parts of the Jersey City skyline behind it, and the Statue of Liberty. Depending on the time of year (most likely summer) the park gets its namesake from its incredible sunset views. It’s kind of a similar feel of going to Alamo Square in San Francisco and facing the Painted Ladies.
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