I heard a rumor that the annual lighting of the WTC with the skyward lights was going to cease after this year. This is always something I wanted to photograph. You could say it was on my photo bucket list.
So on Sunday, September 11, 2011, I went in search of a location in NJ to photograph this from. My first instinct was to go to the Hoboken area. I couldn’t find any publically accessible location that offered plenty of parking. I thought about going to Newport Centre mall which is also in the area. A fellow photographer suggested a restaurant near Montclair that had a great view of NYC. I was going to go there but there was so much humidity and clouds I was afraid there would be too much haze.
So I headed to Liberty State Park. I’ve never been there before and didn’t know what I would find at night. the GPS initially led me astray but got me close enough that I could follow the lights once. Speaking of lights, as I was getting closer to NYC I couldn’t see them. I remember reading that they are visible from up to 60 miles away. But I knew that night’s weather was not 60 mile weather. Finally they appear and I followed them and the signs to the State Park.
At first I was hesitant to get out and investigate. Then I saw the small parking lot was nearly filled with cars and there were other walking around many with cameras. In fact there were several families there too. I think realized that this night was probably one of the more safer nights there was going to be.
So off I went to find a spot for the pictures. But the first thing I found was mosquitos. Or better yet they found me. So back to the car I went as luckily I had some spray. I should have listened to that little voice in my head that said to wear pants and long sleeves.
I took a series of pictures over an area of water that made it look like the water was continuous to NYC but I knew it wasn’t. But it was a good location none the less. In fact it turned out to be one of the better locations I found out when I went to process the photos afterwards. If I knew that I would have shot more variety of photos there.
I then walked to another area. I started talking with another photographer along the way. We both had tripods and nice cameras and were both worried about safety. So we decided to stick together for a little while.
But more and more people and families were walking around and I heard no screams or gunshots so I decided to walk even closer to NYC. I managed to get to the pier right along the Hudson river and take the following photo:
Additional photos can be found here.