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 one of the first spots to come to mind because of its waterfront location, and the iconic lower Manhattan skyline as a beautiful backdrop.
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.
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!
The international food market has a public rooftop view 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 “Willy-B” 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. This district also hosts the popular open-air food market, Smorgasburg.
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 and seating steps, and a fog bridge.
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 Paris’ Champs-Élysées, that was intentional by design. Why go to France when we have a knock-off of the French 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.
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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