Spring in New York City

Daffodil Walk

“Daffodil Walk,” New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York


Spring is one of the most enjoyable seasons in New York City, breathing new life into the Big Apple and presenting the photographer with a multitude of options for capturing this annual revival. The flowering cherry trees seen on nearly every street provide a much-needed visual oasis from the tiresome and repetitive brick and concrete. The New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx has beautiful collections of flowers and flowering cherry as well as magnolia trees. The particular display above, featuring large-cupped daffodils and Yoshino cherry trees in bloom, really caught my eye. In composing the image, I gave particular importance to emphasizing the daffodils in the foreground, and got low on the ground to make them stand out. Front-to-back sharpness was achieved by manually blending two images captured for the foreground and background.


Manhattanhenge at 34th Street

“Manhattanhenge at 34th Street,” New York City


When spring starts knocking on the door, I always check the dates for the year’s Manhattanhenge on the American Museum of Natural History website. I first photographed this interesting event two years ago (see the prior blog post) from the Tudor City Bridge overlooking 42nd Street. Simply put, Manhattanhenge is a biannual occurrence when the setting sun aligns itself precisely with the urban grid, filling the major cross streets with a wondrous golden glow from the Hudson to the East River. This year, I chose to capture it from 34th Street one block away from the iconic Empire State Building (above). As the red sun emerged from behind the west side buildings to shed its last golden rays of the day onto Manhattan, thousands of people flooded this busy street bringing traffic to a crawl. All of a sudden, there was absolute quiet as we all watched (and photographed) the sun sink below the horizon. For the image above, I underexposed to capture the sun and then used my B+W MRC 1.8 ND filter for the light trails which naturally lead the eye to the setting sun.


An Evening by the Reservoir

“An Evening by the Reservoir,” Central Park, New York City


Magnolia Delight

“Magnolia Delight,” Central Park, New York City


The city’s public parks are always a fantastic destination during enjoyable spring weather and I’ve spent some time at Central Park (above) and Madison Square Park (below). Yearly there are incredibly beautiful cherry tree blossoms by the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, which stretches from 85th Street to 96th Street from east to west. To the south of the reservoir along the east side, one may find plenty of flowering cherry and magnolia trees.

Last but not least, I’ve had the pleasure of using excellent Photoshop plugins from Topaz Labs to aid me in processing these images. I take a certain pride in the tasteful, natural look to my photographs and utilized the entire Topaz suite in moderation to achieve the desired look, although I found myself using the Detail 3 and the new Clarity plugins the most. For instance, I used Detail in the image “An Evening by the Reservoir” to bring out the natural detail in the cherry blossoms. I found Clarity to be a great tool in fine-tuning and enhancing contrast to fit my artistic vision and used it in many of these photos, including “Magnolia Delight” above, resulting in rich yet not over-processed final images. I recommend these fine products from Topaz Labs without reservation.


Spring at Madison Square Park

“Spring at Madison Square Park,” New York City


All content is ©2013 Alex Filatov Photography. All rights reserved.

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