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Posted by on Jan 26, 2008 in Blog, New York City, Photography | 14 comments

NYC Water Tank

NYC Water Tank Reflection
Nikon D200, 28-105mm lens.

Wooden water tanks are a common sight in New York City. Their wood construction adds a little bit of warmth to the brick, glass and steel buildings they are perched on. I took this photo while at a rooftop wedding back in June, catching the reflection of the water tank in the tinted glass windows of the building across the street. I am slightly obsessed with the tanks, and I always wind up snapping some photos of them when I’m shooting in the city. The distortion and color set this shot apart from the others.


  1. A very nice shot, nicely composed with a good sense of balance color and textures. Sometimes the best shots just happen.

  2. Thanks Marvin…. good shots happen, and Lightroom helps a little too :)

  3. This picture must look great in full resolution on a 32” LCD.

    Is the purpose of your post more the focus on the cool picture or the capabilities of your digital camera?

  4. Tomaz,

    Most of my posts are about the images, not the hardware. I do list the camera info, in case anyone is interested.

  5. This photo looks like 3d graphics from games. I would never thonk that it’s real. Great work.

  6. I was thinking that you had to have used something to touch up the photo, it looks so surreal and stunning. How much lightroom did you give it? One of the things I really like about the pic and water towers in NYC is the contrast….this is a big metropolitan city, and you have the juxtaposition of wooden old almost rural water towers.

  7. Mike,

    I basically used Lightroom to enhance the contrast, turn up the saturation a bit, crop and watermark the image. When I shoot, i keep the camera settings dialed in for a very flat, low contrast image. The images right from the camera have very little “pop”, but they provide a neutral starting point for post processing.

  8. Beautiful image, wooden water tanks are certainly more attractive than metal or plastic. Sounds like a great subject for a mini exhibition – “Wooden water tanks of the world!”

  9. Well, i think that wooden water tanks are very creative =) Nice photos!

  10. i have to say.
    i love that picture.
    and about the wood water tanks,
    they look very unique.
    definitely better looking,
    then the metal ones that you found elsewhere.

  11. Nice shot
    I collect photos of water tanks in Australia and have quite a few good shots of old tanks and new.
    I have never seen a wooden tank before.
    They are all steel and poly over here.
    Well done

  12. I have never been to New York… I’m surprised to see and hear that there are still wooden water tanks in place. The wooden tanks are much more appealing than the poly tanks of today. great photo!

  13. I think the main for using wood to build these water tanks is that the materials are all in pieces – planks of wood, steel banding, etc. that can easily be hoisted up inside the building’s freight or service elevator. That’s one of the reasons why newer materials – plastic, fiberglass or other pre-made tanks aren’t popular and why wood remains the material of choice.

  14. Marvelous article! NYC Water Tank | Dust and Rust seriously tends to make my afternoon a little bit brighter 😀 Continue with the amazing posts! Thanks, absolutely love

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