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New Jersey Photography Lessons
Just outside of New York
The George Washington Bridge
The George Washington Bridge is a suspension bridge over the Hudson River that connects part of New York City, New York, to Fort Lee, New Jersey. It is 4,750 feet (1584 meters) long and was designed by Othmar H. Ammann. The building began on October 21, 1927, and it was opened on October 25, 1931, at the cost of $59 million. A second level was added below the main level and opened to traffic on August 29, 1962. There are also walkways for pedestrians and bicyclists on the north and south sides of the bridge.
The bridge’s main span is 3,500 ft (1,067 m) long and 119 ft (36 m) wide. Four cables suspend it, each cable weighing 28,450 tons and made from 26,474 individual wires. The total length of all the wires in the four cables is 107,000 mi (172,200 km).
Ammann chose the site for the bridge because the river was narrower at this point. The banks on either side were high, which meant the bridge could be tall enough for ships to pass underneath without having to build long-rising bridge approaches.
GWB Photography Information
George Washinton Bridge Photography Hot Spot. A great place to stop and do photography. Vibrant colors can sometimes come during sunrise and sunset.
You can go here at any time of the year. The Ross Dock Park is located directly under the George Washington Bridge (GWB) on the New Jersey side in Fort Lee. It closes at dusk, and they lock the gate to the park even if you are inside. When you see the patrol car doing rounds, they are clearing the park so they can lock it down for the night. It is a very long walk to walk in, over a mile and limited parking out on the main road leading into the park.
This is an excellent location for the winter months when the leaves have fallen off the trees and photography locations are scarce. You can go over to the other side of the water and photograph it from New York. We were just here, and it was ten degrees out, so we did not venture to the other side. We wanted to go back here to get some images of the ice in the water, too; of course, do something different from the rest of the world. Yes, some have done this, but far less than the regular shot.
A few birds flew by, but not many. Bring your widest angle lens, circular polarizing filters, ND filters, tripod and shutter release to this location. To get the depth of field, you will need to shoot in aperture priority. Here is our page on Aperture Priority if you need a refresher.
You can also see our Dark Sky Photography Page if you are doing the bridge at night. There are no Milky Way skies here if you are new to Milky Way Photography.
There is a Korean area just nearby with a ton of Korean barbeques. We explored our options for food, and there were not many American restaurants in the area, so we gave it a shot, and we loved it. Our meal was all vegetables. Vegetables at a barbeque? It is not your standard barbeque. They brought us a pot that we cooked ourselves on our table and added what we ordered. Add in this experience, and what a day or night it will be!
Park Information Near the Geroge Washington Bridge
Entrance Fees: This has no entrance fee.
There is a parking fee from May through September CASH ONLY – $5.00 on weekdays and $10 on the weekends.
Ross Dock Picnic Area features picnic tables, some grills (visitors are permitted to bring their own), a large children’s playground, restrooms, water, and waste receptacles, as well as access to fishing and crabbing, access to our trail system and Henry Hudson Drive, and access to a boat launching ramp for both trailered boats under 24 feet and car-top boats (canoe and kayak) at Hazard’s Dock.
A refreshment stand, with drinks, snacks, ice cream, and picnic and barbecue supplies, is open on weekends in the summer.
Where is the George Washington Bridge?
Here is a link to the map that opens us to the bridge. If you are not from New Jersey or New York and you are not familiar with the traffic at the George Washington Bridge you should be aware that it is best to travel here on off-peak days and hours.
FOOD & DINING
Great Food and a Great Photography Hot Spot
1700 Harbor Blvd., Weehawken, N.J.
Located right on the Hudson River and directly across from Manhattan, Chart House Weehawken at Lincoln Harbor offers gorgeous panoramic views of the glittering New York skyline – from the Empire State Building to Wall Street. An unforgettable seafood restaurant, Chart House thrills diners not only with its views and million-dollar remodel.
Step outside to do some incredible photography here too!!
What the weather is near the location.
Don’t forget that you can use a rain sleeve on your camera if it is raining. If it is bright and sunny, you want to use a low ISO such as 100.
If you are doing photography along with your ghost hunting on cloudy days, you can do running water or waterfall photography to avoid the glaring sun. You can also use an ND filter to get long exposure for dramatic effects, even in the sunshine. If you ghost hunt indoors in abandoned places be careful.
When to Go: Any time of year. It is a tourist location, so midweek is the best offseason. There is a hike, and it is not an easy one. It is slippery and can be a little tedious. This is not for the elderly or people who have mobility issues. You climb down into a cave, rocks are slippery, but if you can handle it, it is very well worth it.
Shutter Speed – Find out more about how to shoot in shutter priority. This is used mainly for moving subjects when you need to avoid motion blur.
Aperture – Shooting in aperture priority allows you to focus on your depth of field. It is mainly used for still subjects.
ISO – This controls how much light is let into your camera when exposing your picture.
White Balance – Color temperature. Cloud, shade, sun, and also custom settings.