Photo Release: “Brooklyn Radiance” by Dan Piech

A very high resolution, large-format VAST photo of the Downtown Brooklyn and Brooklyn Heights skyline at sunset dusk; fine art cityscape photograph created by Dan Piech in New York City

A 225-megapixel VAST photo

Brooklyn, New York City
Brooklyn, living in the ever-present shadow of Manhattan, rarely gets the attention it would be showered with were it placed anywhere else in the US. Many photographers, artists, tourists, and New Yorkers flock to Brooklyn only to turn around and face the more-imposing Manhattan skyline across the East River. So, for quite some time, I’ve wanted to flip this standard behavior on its head and capture a VAST photo of the vibrant Brooklyn skyline from Manhattan.

I began the process of accomplishing this goal by traversing miles up and down the Manhattan banks of the East River, hunting for the perfect angle. After not finding a worthy perspective after days of searching, I suddenly discovered a tiny elevated park high above FDR Drive in the Financial District – a hidden area that is no doubt unknown to most New Yorkers. It was perfect.

For months thereafter, I paid attention to how the light interacted with the skyline at different times of day and in different weather conditions. I noticed that, when when there was a high-altitude cloud bank on the western horizon (but not touching the horizon) at sunset, a magical thing would happen. As the sun would drop deep beneath the horizon, its last light would illuminate the cloud bank in a beautiful fuchsia hue. This would, in turn, cast the west-facing skyline in a warm, radiant glow, backdropped by the deep ocean-blue of the near-nighttime sky on the eastern horizon.

Also, at this magical time, all of the windows and street lights would begin to light up, adding an even greater vibrancy to the scene. For a few fleeting minutes, their luminosity would be perfectly balanced with the luminosity of the sky, neither overpowering nor playing second fiddle to the glowing reflection.

This exact situation played out the evening I captured this VAST photo. I could see hordes of photographers on the Brooklyn side of the river taking pictures of the sunset and Manhattan skyline behind me as I set up my equipment alone in the small elevated park. I began exposing the multitude of long-exposure images required to create this exceptionally high resolution VAST photo as the light dimmed and the magical illumination appeared. It felt good knowing that, at that moment, at least one person was giving Brooklyn the due credit it rightly deserves.

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