Manhattan has oodles of iconic things to photograph: images everyone would associated with the city.
Manhattan is also crowded: crowded with people and with buildings. Maybe you’d noticed.
Lacking a filming permit that would allow me to close the street, I couldn’t do much about the people except shoot over their heads. Lacking a bucket truck or a scissor lift, I couldn’t do much about the buildings, either.
Illustrating the Problem
I could get the whole Flatiron Building in a picture that showed its shape, but not without some extraneous elements. Going to the other corner didn’t resolve the street-level clutter, and meant shooting into the sun, to boot.
Solving the Problem (Not)
I could eliminate all extra elements by going around to the sunlit side. Regrettably, this also eliminated the shape.
Solving the Problem (Sort of)
I could shoot straight up from straight in front of it, which sort of shows the shape, but also cuts off a big chunk of the base.
Or I could photograph it from the corner, dodging street and traffic signs and the early-afternoon sun as best I could, crop it using a vertical widescreen aspect ratio, and accept some building clutter as inevitable. After all, we were in Manhattan . . .
Next visit, maybe I’ll look into a helicopter. How much can it be to rent one, anyway?