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When planning my recent trip to New York, a sunset at the Top of the Rock was on my must-see list. The Top of the Rock is actually the roof of the Rockafeller Center building. The good thing about this is that you are looking at the Empire State building in one direction and Central Park in another. This, in my opinion, makes it just a touch better than the top of the Empire State building for a good image of the New York Skyline. It might not be as high but the bonus of being able to have the Empire State building in the image makes up for it.
Using The Photographers Ephemeris, I saw that the Sunset would be at 4.45pm and the sun would be setting to the right of the Empire State building. All that was needed was to pick the right day!
The day we choose looked promising, a big bank of cloud hung over New York but crucially the horizon was clear. This would allow the setting sun to light underneath the clouds and hopefully give some spectacular results. We reached the top of the Rock around 2.30ish. A bit early but there was a place to sit inside in the lower levels so passing the time wasn’t too bad. This also gave me plenty of time to get views from all around and watch the sun slowly set. The other big plus was that we avoided the crowds, as the nearer it got to sunset the busier it became.
This first image was taken not too long after we got up to the top and is the view looking back across Central Park. As you can see there is a bit of snow lying in the park.
The sun was now starting to get low in the sky so I decided to wait around in the freezing cold on the roof so that I would get a good viewpoint amongst all the crowds. This image has the rays of the sun lighting up the Empire State building. It almost looks as if it’s glowing.
Now the sun is getting low below the clouds and the show begins!
The sunset just keeps getting better and better…
Now we are 20 minutes past sunset and the lights from inside all the buildings complements the last touch of colour in the sky.
After waiting all this time in subzero temperatures, I was a bit cold to put it mildly. I didn’t bring any gloves with me so spent the next 10 minutes inside trying to put some heat back into my frozen fingers. I think the pictures made it all worthwhile. I may have stood around in the cold for nearly three hours but the results were worth it. I can thoroughly recommend a visit to the ‘Top of the Rock’ if you are ever in New York.
Another sunset at Portencross in Ayrshire. This time the cloud formation looked nice, especially as the setting sun turned the clouds a deep shade of orange. The challenge was finding an interesting foreground to match. The shallow rock pools left by the receding tide became mirror like in the calm evening and reflected the wonderful orange clouds.