Saturday, February 11, 2012

911 Memorial in New York: Photos (day and night shots) to honor those who lost their lives

After a full week in New York City, I finally finished all of my presentations at the big photo dealers in town (and NJ) and had a chance to go shoot some images. I have been to the city so many times, that I am always looking for new locations to capture. Well...for this trip, it was a no brainer. I wanted to go see the 911 Memorial on my last trip, but could not get tickets. I went online and was happy to see that they are now readily available (even same day). I reserved my ticket for 3:30pm (giving a voluntary donation which was well worth it) which would let me capture images in daylight and in evening light. I figured that 2 1/2 hours would be sufficient to capture some nice images.

The names of every person who died in the terrorist attacks of February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001 are inscribed in bronze around the twin memorial pools. The first names that I saw when first approaching the pools, were these names along with Ladder 24 and other members of NYFD.

It is a very solemn place, with so many people coming to pay their respects to those who are no longer with us.

These pools are part of what will be an 8 acre park within the 16 acre World Trade Center.

This image really spoke to me. I am not sure if this gentleman was praying, looking up to pay respects or simply looking up at the skyline. But the fact that he stands out from the crowd and has this look pretty much says it all to me. (Photographer's note: I did retouch this image to slightly darken all the other people to draw more attention to the one gentleman. And, I did lighten his face by a quarter stop. These edits are all very subtle but help to draw the viewer eyes to tell the story.)

At 5:30pm, the sun had set, the sky started to get a little darker, and the lights came on. This made for a much more dramatic setting, not only for photos, but in general. The memorial closes at 6pm, but I would recommend visiting late in the afternoon so that you see it both in daylight and darkness (depending on the time of year of course).

So simple and yet so pretty.

This is one of my favorite shots of the evening. I shot this image to show the inscribed names, but also include the fountains, the museum (which is still being built) and the construction in the background. Once again, the lighting in the evening made this image so much stronger than the daylight shot. (Photographer's note: I shot this image at f13 so that the foreground and background would be in focus. It also gave me a nice long exposure to blur the water. The ISO was set to 100 to give me the cleanest shot and the shutter speed was 2.5 seconds. And yes...I was on my Gitzo tripod.)

Another view of the fountain and museum.

I framed this shot to get the fountain in the foreground and the American Flag in the background.

One of the new World Trade Towers during construction. It is amazing to watch the progress of this building on each of my trips to NYC. I can't wait until they are finished, so that we can once again have what was taken away from this nation.

OK...if you know know that I always push everything to the limits. Right? Well...I was shooting at the memorial with my good friend, Matthew Sweetwood (President of Unique Photo in New Jersey - and all around great guy) and we ended up being the last two people at closing time. This should be no surprise to anyone who knows me and how I love to shoot at night. So, all these security people came up to us and said that we had to go. But I saw this as a perfect photo opportunity. I asked if we could take a picture with all of them to show that we closed the place. They were not sure if this was a good idea, but then their sergeant showed up and I asked him if we could do this. After some persuading, he gave us the OK. I set up my tripod and shot this picture. Love it!


Phil said...

Jeff I was looking in going to the 9-11 memorial, but I read that they do not allow tripods to take photos. Could you tell me how you obtained permission to use a tripod to take your photos. I want to do the same at sunset, but the light would be tough and I would need a tripod to get the picts that I want. any help wuld be appreciated.

Jeff Cable Photography Blog said...


I had no problem using a tripod at the memorial. We were asked numerous times if we were professionals, and I honestly told them that I was just shooting these images for me, not for sale. You should be fine.