After seeing just one magical photo of Central Park in the winter (see above composite by Stephen Wilkes), we felt compelled to put together this list of 20 of the most breathtaking photos of the world's most famous park. Though it officially opened in 1857, it was a year later that landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted and architect Calvert Vaux beat out 32 entries to win a landscape design contest that would transform the park. They called their project the Greensward Plan.
As you may or may not know, Central Park was the first landscaped public park in the history of the United States. It is also entirely man-made. The lakes, streams and ponds were all created artificially and the only natural feature on site is exposed bedrock, called Manhattan Schist, that's approximately 450 million years old.
The design of the park was innovative because it called for an interwoven transportation system for pedestrians, horseback riders and pleasure vehicles. Since it is only half a mile wide, the designers had to create a compact system of bridges and arches that allowed for separate levels of pathways. All in all, they envisioned it as a "unified work of landscape art."
The duo will go down in history as the founders of the profession of landscape architecture in America. Their success even launched the urban parks movement of the 19th century. More than that, we're sure that Olmsted and Vaux would be proud of the fact that Central Park receives an astounding 35 million visits a year, making it the number one most visited public park in the United States. As you can see from the photos below, it's also one of the most gorgeous places to photograph.
Beautiful Black and Photos of Central Park After the Blizzard — Brooklyn, New York-based photographer Dustin Cantrell just wrote to us to tell us about a beautiful new set of photos he took of New York's Central Park after the recent blizzard. The massive snowstorm, nicknamed Nemo by The Weather Channel, was caused by the collision of two weather systems, from the west and the south.
Captured yesterday, these breathtaking shots give us a first-hand view of what it's really like in New York right now. You'll notice that he shot everything in black and white, which he says "just fitted better with the feelings I had the last couple of days.
"Walking around Central Park, with what seemed to be half of the population of NYC, I kept on having flashbacks to how I imagine life was before technology. Back when people were less distracted and enjoyed the now. I look forward to more times that cause myself and New Yorkers to slow down and take in the beauty of our surroundings."
Almost makes your head spin, doesn't it? First spotted on The Atlantic, what you're looking at is aerial photos stitched together to form one huge 3D panorama of Central Park. Russian photographer Sergey Semonov won first place in the amateur category at the Epson International Photographic Pano Awards for this near unbelievable photo.
Images Dimension 3000 X 1418
Semenov works for AirPano, traveling the world to create these high resolution 3D aerial panoramas. "I shoot landscapes, spheres from helicopter, gig-pixel panoramas as well as manipulate Photoshop and prepare the photos to be printed in a huge size and organize photo-exhibitions," Semonov wrote of his work at AirPano. "I like new, progressive and unique things."