Photo taken very early in a Sunday morning (to avoid the crowds). In the background below the center arch you can see the Angel of the Waters. Three exposure HDR but I tried hard not to make it HDR-like. To really appreciate the picture, you have to click the link below to see the large image.
See it large in black: here.
Camera: Nikon D80
Lens: Nikkor 10-24mm 1: 3.5-4.5 G ED
Focal Length: 16 mm
ISO Speed: 100
In their master plan for Central Park, the 1858 Greensward plan, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux proposed an architectural "heart of the Park" defined by a sweeping Promenade that would culminate in a Terrace overlooking the Lake. But as Vaux told a newspaper reporter in 1865, the architecture was always to be subordinate to the landscape: "Nature first, second and third — architecture after awhile."
Yet Olmsted and Vaux also understood the practical nature of a public park. There had to be places for people to gather, to experience the human variety the City had to offer, as well as the inspiration of nature. And they succeeded splendidly with Bethesda Terrace and what we now call the Mall (formerly the Promenade).