9/11 Tribute Lights
As soon as I feel the cooler September summer nights I am reminded of the events of September 11th, 2001. I am also reminded that I will soon see the 9/11 tribute lights reaching upwards from lower Manhattan.
In the first few years after the terrorist attack, the lights would be visible for several days. They would sometimes be turned on for testing a few days before the September 11th anniversary date, and they sometimes remained on for a few days afterwards. In recent years I would see them tested once or twice before the anniversary date, and they would only be on through the morning of September 12th.
The image above was taken from my roof on September 10th, 2011 during a test. The lights are visible high in the sky from my apartment so I can see when it's worthwhile to grab a camera and head up to the roof. I was lucky this night because the clouds were in a great position during the test. In addition, the lights were only tested for a short time and I was lucky to get a few images before the test was over.
This image is an HDR image based on four exposures ranging from 1 second to 8 seconds. It was shot in RAW and I believe I shot it using auto white balance but changed it to tungsten afterwards to remove an orange color cast from the city street lights. The sky was already a rich blue, but it popped a little more when I changed the white balance.
I have taken many images of these lights since they first appeared over lower Manhattan, but the way the lights strike the clouds in this image make it stand out. Although this is not typical of the nature images we present on the Ozark Images website, Mark and I decided to make this the featured image to reflect on the events of this day.
- Kevin Ferris