Glasslands: NYC Venues Broken Down

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 Photography by Emily Korn

As a part of our Concert Photography series, we’ve previously listed all the New York City concert venues categorizing them based on whether or not those venues had photo pits. Now for this next installment, we’ll be breaking down specific venues and including our personal experiences.

Glasslands is a hipster mecca and a music lover’s delight. For years it has featured some of the hottest and most buzzed about artists (moreover, it has proven it’s cool quota through pop culture cameos in shows like Girls). It has also morphed its spaces to accommodate larger crowds and kept current with new light installations and sound systems.

What this means, from a photographer’s perspective is a few things. First, and foremost, be prepared for a low level of light. The establishment used to house a cloud of orange and yellow tones, which (serving as a backlight) made an act seem like they were surrounded by an aura of fire. As seasons changed, these lights were replaced by a cooler shade of blue, housed in tubes and positioned above the stage. While, I’ve never been an advocate of flash photography when dealing with live performance, I rarely cover shows here without coming equipped for the possibility of using one.

The space used to be fairly confined, but has opened up a bit (there is a small balcony, and if you’re lucky enough to nab a spot later in the night, you’re guaranteed great shots, especially as/if the crow gets rowdy).

Overall, this is one of my top recommendations for any photographer looking to start photographing shows in New York City. Here you’ll usually have the leeway to move around freely, use a DSLR, and fire a flash (everything in moderation). If you’re lucky enough, you may also catch the band members loitering near the stage after the show—which could make for some unique portrait opportunities (just remember to be gracious and respectful of the artist if you’re looking to approach them).

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Emily Korn is a photographer based in New York City and Colorado, specializing in concert photography and celebrity portraiture. Her work has been published in CMJ, QRO, SPIN, SuperGlued, Teen Vogue, VIBE, The Waster, XXL, and more.