My visit to the 9/11 Memorial and Tribute in Light

September 16, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

On September 11, 2014, I traveled to New York City to visit the National September 11 Memorial, also know as the 9/11 Memorial, and to photograph the Tribute in Light. The Tribute in Light is an art production presented by the National September 11 Memorial and Museum that uses light cannons to shoot beams of light into the sky. The lights are symbolic of the Twin Towers, and have become a symbol of remembrance of the events that took place on September 11, 2001. For more information on the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, or the Tribute in Light, you may visit their websites at the links below.


National September 11 Memorial and Museum website

Tribute in Light website


This trip was my first time ever to visit the World Trade Center (WTC) site and the surrounding area of lower Manhattan. I traveled into NYC using the PATH train for its convenience, which has a station located below the WTC. Upon exiting the station, I began my walk to the 9/11 Memorial. On my way, I took some photos of One World Trade Center (1 WTC), the building formerly known as the Freedom Tower.



Once I reached the 9/11 Memorial, my first stop was to see the South Pool. The first thing I noticed were the many flowers and flags placed on the names of some of those who had lost their lives.

2014_Tribute_In_Light-7427 2014_Tribute_In_Light-7428 2014_Tribute_In_Light-7430 2014_Tribute_In_Light-7434 Below is a photo of the South Pool looking towards the northwest. The building with the slanted roof line in the background is the 9/11 Museum.

2014_Tribute_In_Light-7438 I then started to make my way towards the North Pool. Along the way, I took another photo of 1 WTC. Looking for something different, I also took a photo of 1 WTC reflecting off of the glass of the 9/11 Museum.

2014_Tribute_In_Light-7442 2014_Tribute_In_Light-7443

Just like at the South Pool, the North Pool had many flowers and flags placed on names to honor and remember those who had lost their lives.

2014_Tribute_In_Light-7445 2014_Tribute_In_Light-7446 Below is a photo of the North Pool looking towards the west.

2014_Tribute_In_Light-7447 After spending time at the pools, I decided to leave the memorial site to begin positioning myself someplace to photograph the Tribute in Light. On my way out of the memorial, I took a photo looking straight up 1 WTC near the base of the southwest corner of the building.

2014_Tribute_In_Light-7450 One of the reasons I decided to shoot the tribute lights from lower Manhattan this year was because I wanted to take photos of the light cannons that are used to produce the Tribute in Light. Knowing where the lights are set up, I began walking south as the sun began to set. During my walk, I turned around to look at 1WTC and saw the building relecting the pinkish hue given off by the clouds from the setting sun.

2014_Tribute_In_Light-7451 As a walked past where the lights were set up, the sky was not at its darkest yet, so I continued to walk south to find compositions where I would be able to include both the lights and 1 WTC. I would then photograph the light cannons as I made my way back up north.

2014_Tribute_In_Light-7453 2014_Tribute_In_Light-7458 2014_Tribute_In_Light-7462 As I reached Battery Park, I looked back at the lights and saw a building that I wanted to use as a compositional element.


I originally planned on taking some photos from within Battery Park, but when I saw that portions of the park were fenced off due to construction projects, I decided to forego that idea and began to make my way back north to where the tribute lights were set up. As I approached the parking structure that is used to set up the lights, I took a photo including the southern part of the parking structure.

2014_Tribute_In_Light-7468 I made my way to the top of the parking structure and took a few photos of the light cannons and of the beams of light shooting up into the sky. I was only allowed to shoot the light cannons from a distance as I didn't have the necessary "wristband" needed to walk up to them. I believe that the people with wristbands were part of a private catered event that was taking place in another portion of the parking structure.

2014_Tribute_In_Light-7469 2014_Tribute_In_Light-7475 2014_Tribute_In_Light-7480 Next, I pointed my camera north to photograph 1 WTC. The people in the foreground are taking photos of the tribute lights, which are to my left.

2014_Tribute_In_Light-7482 Before leaving the parking structure, I took one final photo of the Tribute in Light from the top of the parking structure.


Upon exiting the parking structure, I took a couple more photos including the parking structure in the composition before making my way back north.

2014_Tribute_In_Light-7496 2014_Tribute_In_Light-7498 Before crossing the street to re-enter the 9/11 Memorial, I took a photo that incorporated the roadway so that I can include some light trails from passing vehicles in the photo.

2014_Tribute_In_Light-7501 Once inside of the memorial, I retook photos of the North Pool, which was now lit up. In the first photo, I am facing north, and facing northwest in the second one.

2014_Tribute_In_Light-7506 2014_Tribute_In_Light-7510

I then went to the South Pool to photograph the tribute lights with the pool in the foreground.

2014_Tribute_In_Light-7517 2014_Tribute_In_Light-7520 As I was getting ready to leave the memorial, I noticed clouds starting to move over the tribute lights. I took a quick photo because I really like the way the clouds add something to the photo. Seeing the lights project on the passing clouds made me think of the Bat Signal.

2014_Tribute_In_Light-7528 I left the memorial for the second time and proceeded north. I wanted to take some photos of 1 WTC and the Tribute in Light facing southward.

2014_Tribute_In_Light-7530 2014_Tribute_In_Light-7538 2014_Tribute_In_Light-7540 At this point, I decided to end my night's adventure, and begin to make my way out of the city. If you would like to view all of the photos from this blog in album form, you may do so by visiting my Tribute in Light & 9/11 Memorial - 2014 gallery on Flickr.


Thank you for reading my blog and viewing my photos. I hope you enjoyed them.




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