Photographing New York’s 9/11 Tribute in Light


It’s 9/11, a date that will never be free from the horrible memories of the terrorist attacks that killed almost three thousand people in New York, Washington DC and the fields of Pennsylvania.

Every year, the Municipal Art Society of New York commemerates the tragic events with its Tribute in Light, eighty-eight 7,000-watt xenon light bulbs aimed at the sky in a way that echoes the shape and orientation of the Twin Towers. The memorial reaches four miles high and is the strongest shaft of light ever projected from earth into the night sky.

Each year, numerous photographers gather with their tripods to capture this amazing sight.

Actually, the lights are tested briefly on the nights before 9/11, so a few of this year’s photos have already been shown on the web.

The lights will be on from dusk to dawn, but will be turned off for brief periods to prevent migratory birds from becoming disoriented.

The weather forecast calls for thunderstorms early in the evening and partly cloudy skies afterward.

The Municipal Art Society publishes a list of good viewing spots. There’s also a discussion on DPReview about where to go.


Image by Greg Chow via Creative Commons


It’s Supermoon Night Again

Tonight we can revel in a so-called ‘supermoon‘ for the last time this year.

The link to Wikipedia explains in detail what it is, but for us simple photographers all that matters is that the moon is closer  to the Earth than normal and will seem to be huge.

Best time is early after dusk, so the moon is still hovering low and appears larger than ever.

If it’s not cloudy where you are, be ready to head out and try some shots.


Photo Opp: 2014 New York Puerto Rican Day Parade


So, I did go and take pictures of the Puerto Rican parade Sunday. With almost 1400 shots, editing them down becomes quite a job. More about that in the next post.

My selects are below, intertwined with my impressions from shooting the parade. Hopefully, my experience is of some use to photographers planning to cover this or other festive parades in the future.

The crowd loved to be photographed. A little girl looking bored, pepped up and struck a cute pose the moment she noticed my camera pointed at her.


You’d think I’m a popular guy, because every time I steered my camera toward the crowd, I got cheers and kisses thrown my way. People would call me over to be photographed. Only one time did a guy refuse to have his picture taken. He was a tough-looking guy with bright red sunglasses and a bright red bandana. Admittedly, I was right in his face, because it was extremely crowded. Still, it would have made an interesting shot.


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Photo Opp: New York’s Puerto Rican Day Parade


This Sunday, Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue will turn blue, red and loud. It’s that time of the year, when the otherwise stodgy Upper East Side will be invaded by boisterous Puerto Ricans as the annual Puerto Rican Day parade marches northward along the avenue.

It’s a worthy photographic expedition, at least if you can deal with the loud music and the NYPD’s habit of penning people in.

The nitty-gritty: the parade starts at 11 am at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 44th Street. It then goes north on Fifth until 79th Street. People line up early and if you want to actually shoot the parade itself, you need to stake out your spot so you don’t have to shoot over people’s heads. Keep in mind that depending on where you are at what time, the sun might be a challenge as one side of the avenue will be brightly lit and the other will be in the shade.

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Worth Attending: Photo+ Adventure in Vienna, Austria

Until a few years ago, I lived in Vienna, Austria. So, I speak from experience that the upcoming Photo+ Adventure photography and travel trade show is worth attending if you happen to find yourself in Vienna Nov. 16-17. The show offers the usual mix of gear, talks and demonstrations.

Some stores offer special deals on gear. Actually, a visit to the Photo+ Adventure show has been the only time I considered buying gear in Europe. In the end, I didn’t, but some of the prices came close to buying stuff in the USA.

For more information (in German) go to