it's been a bit since I've posted to my blog. I haven't done much photography over the past few weeks. I did want to share some photos and my thoughts of getting to visit New York City on 9-11 and photos of the Tribute in Lights Memorial.
This would be my third opportunity to photograph the lights. In 2018, I shot it from Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ. In 2019, I was in lower Manhattan and was literally across the street from where the lights were set up. I didnt have an opportunity to photograph the lights in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic.
I knew several months ago that this year I wanted to photograph the lights from the Brooklyn side of the East River where I could incorporate the Brooklyn Bridge and the reflections of the city lights in the river in my shots. I'd been to Brooklyn Bridge Park several times previously and knew that this would be where I'd want to shoot from. There are several spots within the park that would be perfect for the types of photos I was looking for.
I took the train/Path subway into NYC and got to The Oculus around 3:00pm. The Oculus is part of the World Trade Center Comples and steps from the 9-11 Memorial.
My first stop was at the Memorial where I could pay my respects to those who died on that awful day. I was overwhelmed with emotion. The Memorial was packed with visitors. The were police, fire fighters and EMTs from all over the country. The wall of names was covered with flowers, notes, photos and other momentos.
I stayed for about an hour. I only took a few photos. I was more interested in just walking around the memorial and taking in the entire environment and emotions that I was feeling.
When I was through at The Memorial, I hopped on the A Train for a quick ride to Brooklyn. The park is in a section of Brooklyn called DUMBO which stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. I grabbed a quick dinner at a great local pizzeria. I spent a bit of time roaming around the neighborhood and got to my first photo spot around 6:30. There were already lots of photographers set up. I was able to grab a spot that would give the composition that I was looking for without the risk of someone setting up in front of me.
My first photo spot at Brooklyn Bridge Park
My setup for this shoot was my Canon R6 mirrorless paired with my Canon 16-35 EF wide angle and my Canon 24-240 RF lens. I also used both a 10x and 3x Neutral Density filter that would permit to shoot some slow shutter speeds to create a blurred effect of the water.
The 24-240 would permit to get some tighter shots. I had the camera mounted on a platypod. I connected my camera to my iPhone using Canon Connect. This enabled me to make any setting adjustments, focus and trigger the shutter via my iPhone without touching the camera.
Camera mounted on platypod ready for action!
The lights became visible about 7:40. I shot several different compositons including wide angle and in tight as well as both portrait and landscape.
Taken with RF 24-240 f/11 15 sec ISO
Canon 16-35 f/16 15 sec ISO 200
When I was done with this spot, I moved to a spot just south of the Brooklyn Bridge that would permit to shoot the lights head on.
Canon 16-35 f/11 60 sec ISO 200
My last stop in the park was an area that many photographers will recognize. I refer to it as 'The Sticks'.
Canon 16-35 f/11 10 sec ISO 400
I made my way back to Manhattan to start my trip home. I made one quick stop at The Fire House of Ladder Company 10 / Engine Company 10. This fire house is directly across the street from the World Trade Center. They were the first responders on site and lost 5 members that day.
The photo below is the flag flying proudly above the 'FDNY 10 House'.
Canon RF 24-240 f/5 1/30 ISO 2000
Photography aside, I was very glad I went to The Memorial on 9/11. It was a very emotional day for me and a day that I'll #neverforget.
If you have any questions or comments, you can leave a comment below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.