If you live in New York or will be visiting soon, Manhattanhenge is something you won’t want to miss. For two days every spring and summer, the sunset lines up with the Manhattan grid to create a beautiful display and an incredible photo opportunity.
Manhattan was created on a grid system, with streets that run east and west and avenues that run north and south. Because of the way the sun moves along the horizon throughout the year, there are times when the setting sun lines up perfectly with the east and west running streets in Manhattan.
As the sun sets into the amazing spectacle known as Manhattanhenge, the sun’s golden rays flood the streets of the city and create a glow unlike any other sunset the city has seen.
To ensure you’ll get those Instagram-worthy photos of this iconic sunset in Manhattan, be sure to arrive about 30 minutes early on these dates:
The ideal position to be in is facing the west side of Manhattan as the sun sets. This means you will want to be looking down a street, not an avenue. Also, keep in mind that if you would like more buildings shown in your shot, position yourself further east.
Photographer Javan Ng notes that “for the clearest views, it’s best to position yourself on the widest crosstown streets, like 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, and 57th Streets. Remember to look around for famous New York City landmarks to enhance the sense of place in your images. For example you have the Empire State Building on 34th Street, or the Chrysler Building and Times Square on 42nd Street.”
Faherty also states that “you have to be on the grid of Manhattan to see the event. It is all about the angle. If you go off the grid by even a degree you will be out of alignment.”
Assuming you’re in a good position to photograph the Manhattanhenge, use these simple tips to prepare to capture the rare occurrence either with your iPhone or any camera.