A LaGuardia Airport Spotting Guide | How To Take The Best Pictures at LGA!

Hey everyone,

Welcome to this Spotting Guide for LaGuardia Airport. You may have seen an increase in spotting guide topics, and I’m here to continue the train with a guide to LaGuardia Airport spotting!

Locations

Location 1: Planeview Park

Description: Among the most popular spotting locations around the USA, Planeview Park is loved by plane spotters alike for it’s close up views up aircraft landing on runway 4 at LaGuardia. Arriving aircraft fly directly past the park at 100-200 feet, making it easy to take decent pictures.


Pros & Cons of this location:

Pros:

  • Close-up view of arriving aircraft
  • Exceptional lighting

Cons:

  • Many obstructions, such as trees, fences, and cars
  • Lack of parking
  • Park gets very busy in the afternoon

Recommended Camera Focal Length: 50-100mm. Anything less might be fine, but you may have obstructions, such as fences, trees, and cars.


Lighting: You shouldn’t have many problems with backlit, heat distorted pictures for most of the day at this location. I mostly come here in the early noon, and I’ve never had any problems with the sun.


Example Photo:

This photo was taken at 95-100mm, if I recall. I am only standing far behind the fence because by standing right at the fence, it is not easy to get a good picture based on the angle of arriving airplanes.This is just from personal experience, so everyone else might have different results.


Extra Notes: As an alternative, you can also photograph aircraft departing on runway 4. I recommend standing right by the fence and sticking your lens right through one of the holes in the fences right as an aircraft is entering the runway.


Location:


Location 2: World’s Fair Marina Boardwalk/Dock

Description: In my opinion, I prefer this location much more than Planeview Park. If you stand on the dock at the far end of the Boardwalk, you can get very nice pictures with no obstructions. The only downside is the occasional heat distortion during the afternoon. This location is best for runway 31 arrivals. If your camera has a long enough lens, you can try to photograph aircraft performing the Expressway Visual turn!


Pros & Cons of this location:

Pros

  • No obstructions
  • Very good view of arrivals to runway 31

Cons

  • Heat distortion during the day
  • Parking lot fills up during Mets games

Recommended Camera Focal Length: 100-120mm. Note that you can always use less zoom. If you do this, crop your picture during editing, as the airplane won’t full take up the frame.


Lighting: This location isn’t the best with it’s lighting. During the afternoon, the sun can shine right on the fuselages of arriving aircraft, making a bad picture.


Example Photo:

This picture was taken at about 100mm. I stood on the small dock to take this picture.


Extra Notes: As an alternative, you may utilize this location for runway 13 departures. Note that if you do this, you will only get belly shots.


Location:


Location 3: Hermon A. MacNeil Park

Description: If you decide to visit this location for spotting, I highly recommend having a very long camera lens, as aircraft arrive from quite a distance. This location is only good for aircraft arriving on runway 22.


Pros & Cons of this location:

Pros

  • View of NYC
  • Decent view of aircraft arriving on runway 22

Cons

  • Aircraft arrive very far away from where you are standing

Recommended Camera Focal Length: At least 400mm. If you have anything less than this, your pictures may not be very good.


Lighting: I have only been to this location once, and there was low overcast, so I can’t say much about this location. Try finding an internet source for more accurate information.


Example Photo:

Credit: @den.aviation


Extra Notes: As you can see from the picture above, you can get nice pictures with New York City in the background. This is what I like most about this location.


Location:


Conclusion

Well, that’s all for this Spotting Guide. I hope you enjoyed reading it, and I hope you find it useful for spotting visits at LaGuardia Airport!


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9 Likes

Thanks for the great guide Dylan I was thinking of going spotting at LGA this should help!

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I would definitely recommend hermon McNeil park!! Great spot!!

2 Likes

Love Planeview because of the proximity to the airport. Obviously the fences and trees are a downside but you can get some great shots. Thanks for the guide @Dylan_M.


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