Long Island basically has it all—cute villages, historic monuments, grassy parks, nature preserves, lakes and rivers, and surrounding it all is miles and miles of sandy shores. Our island is a photographer’s paradise. Whether you are an amateur or a professional, you will have a great time visiting these locations to snap the perfect shot.
Long Beach Boardwalk
Not only is the Long Beach boardwalk a great place to capture waves crashing and the sun setting, it is also ideal for people watching. Many events are held on the boardwalk drawing a variety of people to the laid-back seaside city. Shadows are deep when the sun is low, presenting scenes full of contrast, angles and warmth for your shooting pleasure.
Though it’s so nearby and easy to get to, Fire Island feels like a world away. The lighthouse is a beacon to visitors from all directions and looks most photogenic in the early morning hours and at dusk. The villages of Fire Island are as charming as can be, with their boardwalks in exchange for paved roads, petite cottages, soft white sand beaches, natural dunes and grasslands, marinas full of sailboats and daytrippers disembarking ferries by the boatful. White-tailed deer are a common sight. Bring your walking shoes for this one.
Dosoris Pond and Pryibil Beach
Located at the very tip of Glen Cove, Pryibil Beach is a particularly quiet stretch of waterfront with white sand and a fishing pier. Steps away is the picturesque Dosoris Pond. The lush landscape is an attraction for nature photographers. Nearby Morgan Memorial Park is also known for its scenic beauty and Bailey Arboretum down the road in Locust Valley boasts rare Dawn Redwood trees and exotic gardens.
Old Westbury Gardens
One could spend a whole day wandering around the 200-acre property and still not find all of the hidden nooks and crannies. Even on a quiet evening, you’ll never feel quite alone among the dozens of lifelike sculptures by Seward Johnson, which will remain on the grounds until September 4, 2017. The figures dance, cloud-watch and steal away for private moments where you least expect them.
In addition to the Charles II-style Westbury House and its opulent interiors, the estate features formal botanical gardens, rose-covered trellises, reflecting pools, colonnades, lakes, ponds, woodlands, walking trails, a thatched cottage and other adorable dwellings, permanent sculptures and well-kept landscaping.
Plan your visit to Old Westbury Gardens.
Old Bethpage Village Restoration
Step back in time when you enter Old Bethpage Village Restoration and learn what life was like during the 19th century. The living museum hosts a different event almost every weekend, providing endless photo opportunities. The many restored houses dotted around the property make wonderful subjects, as well as the farm animals that call Powell Farm home.
Lloyd Harbor, a wealthy, woodsy area on the North Shore above Huntington, has views of Oyster Bay, Huntington Bay and the Long Island Sound, depending which way you’re looking. The pebbly beach along Lloyd Harbor Road, also known as West Neck Road, is a nice fishing spot and one of the best places to see the sunset. Bring your wide angle lens.
Home to an honest-to-goodness castle and other historic buildings, Sands Point is a destination for architectural photographers, as well as lovers of manicured gardens, ocean views and forest settings. Spend a day wandering around the 216-acre grounds and stunning mansions.
The former home of Theodore Roosevelt encompasses 83 acres of Cove Neck near Oyster Bay. In addition to the museum and visitor center, the property has orchards, pastures, nature trails and a beach that are open to visit during any season.
Plan your visit to Sagamore Hill.
Froehlich Farm Nature Preserve
This secret garden-like location on the side of West Rogues Path in Huntington is lovely for secluded photo shoots. The sun filters through the canopy above for uniquely lit shots. If you’re into wildlife photography, bunnies scamper about and birds hide in the trees, just waiting for their picture to be taken. Bring a friend to this one and stick to daylight hours.
Learn more about Froehlich Farm Nature Preserve.
Planting Fields Arboretum
Another remnant of the Gilded Age on Long Island’s Gold Coast is Coe Hall and the grand country estate known as Planting Fields. Today, the public benefits from the Coe family’s interest in horticulture, English landscape design and horseback riding. Photographers planning a formal photo shoot on the grounds will need to get a permit, but shutterbugs on a casual visit can snap pictures of the gardens, greenhouses, pools, houses, pastures and forests to their hearts’ content.
This 930-acre park in the center of Nassau County is a venue for golf, tennis, swimming and concerts and movies in summer. The lake next to Merrick Avenue is particularly beautiful when the surface reflects the sun and the Veterans Memorial, with its staircases, raised flower beds and sculpture gardens, is a nice area for portrait photography.
Your Own Backyard
You don’t need to go far to take beautiful photos. There’s beauty all around, as near as your own backyard. Flowers are an obvious subject for macro photography, but look around and you’ll find a whole world hidden under your nose worthy of being captured on film.
Where is your favorite place to take photos? Tell us in the comments below.