I had shot Tribute in Light from the Brooklyn side last year. Last year being the 10th year anniversary of 9/11, it was supposed to be the last year of the tribute. This year however, they brought it back just for one night. And I was there to shoot it again – with a new camera!
This time around, I went to the Liberty State Park in NJ where they have the ‘Empty Sky’ memorial. Its two long parallel walls which point to the location where the twin towers once stood. The walls have the names of all the people who died on that day. Its a great way to give a tribute and remember the day.
The cherry on the top is that they have a couple of actual beams from the actual towers (Above)
Below is a 3 picture panaroma of the NYC skyline. I tried to include the statue of liberty in it.
Higher then ever, the twin towers stood in the dark cloudy night. So bright, they can be seen from miles away.
For the past 10 years, the tribute in light has light up the manhattan skyline in remembrance of the almost 3000 people who died in 2001. I still remember the day. I was in India at that time, watching some soap opera with my parents and suddenly the programming was interrupted by a news broadcast just after the first plane hit the tower. I’ve seen footage of terrorists attacks before but never have I ever seen one happening live. The second plane collided on live TV and the towers fell, all while we were watching. I was speechless. I have tremendous respect for all the emergency responders that helped out that day.
The tribute in light was born 6 months after the attacks by the Municipal Art Society and been an annual event thus far. Many people take it for granted like the 4th of July fireworks that happen every year. However, the future of the Tribute is in question due to lack of funding.
The reason why it costs so much money is because this event is MUCH more difficult than it looks. First off, these “Two” lights are actually comprised of over 85 lights. Each one of those bulbs is 7000 watts. To put it into perspective, most household bulbs are just 60 watts. Lighting this, then takes up tremendous amount of power! To add to that, getting the beams straight can be an extremely challenging task. Just 1 degree tilt in any one of those 85+ lights will mess up the entire look. For your contributions to keep this spectacular event going, please see the end of this post.
On the photography end, none of these pictures are HDRs. I was prepared for HDRs but I kinda liked them as is. I’m not entirely happy with the pictures because mother nature decided to play her cards again and covered the entire sky with thick coulds. As such, the lights couldn’t penetrate the sky like they normally do.
Contrary to popular belief, the lights arent exactly at the WTC location. They are a block away. The WTC site is currently being remodeled and when finished, it will have 3 buildings including the freedom tower which will be the tallest building in Manhattan and the memorial which is set in the footprints of the original twin towers. It features two 50ft-deep pools, each containing fountains, along with a museum with exhibitions and artefacts to teach visitors about the events of September 11. The pools have the victims’ names etched around its perimeter.
Below are some pictures of the freedom tower and another tower at the WTC location
Of course, this being this is BIG event for photographers, I went to a park in Brooklyn to take some pictures and unsurprisingly, there already was a big line of photographers there. But everyone was accommodating to each other.
Help everyone “never forget” the heroes and victims of 9/11 by keeping this event alive. Please visit http://mas.org/programs/tributeinlight/ for information on how to contribute.
Source for some information: http://www.dailymail.co.uk