Documenting 9-11 - New York City Photographer 2001

September 11, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Twelve years ago - a day of tragedy that changed our world - mine too.

9-11 Memorial9-11 MemorialA 911 memorial carved into a granite rock

Where were you on 9-11-2001?  I was working at an office on 28th Street between 5th and 6th Ave.  It started out as normal as any day can be in the retouching profession until 8:36 AM.  From that moment on, our world changed - never quite as carefree as it was before.  For me, it brought about an opportunity to photograph the events of that fateful morning. 

I happened to have my Nikon 990 3MP digital camera on me that day - a "high end" camera back then considering that 4MP professional digital cameras cost thousands of dollars.

It was also the day that inspired me to want to become a serious photographer as I began documenting that day.  Some of my photographs became a part of the "Here Is New York" collection which was a traveling exhibition of photographs submitted by amateurs and professionals that captured the events of that day.

I'd like to share a few of them along with two video clips that I took...

9-11,Twin towers,"world trade center",2001,NYC,"New York City,buildings,towers,terrorism,photograph,photographer,NJTrade Towers from 6th This is one of the first photos taken once I walked down to 6th Ave.  People were numb and dumbstruck - that's the best way to explain the feeling on the street.

Here, we see both World Trade Center towers.  This was captured about 5 minutes before the South Tower fell.


Both Towers from 6th Ave Moments after taking the photograph, I took this 38 second video clip.


9-11,Twin towers,"world trade center",2001,NYC,"New York City,buildings,towers,terrorism,photograph,photographer,NJNorth Tower from roof 5

I decided to return to a building I used to work at on 26th St.  I knew there was access to it's rooftop.  It took only 15 more minutes to get up there from when the previous photograph was taken.  I cannot explain the shock and disbelief I felt upon seeing the South Tower no longer there.

Here you can see a police helicopter circling the North tower.


North tower-alone from roof I wish the quality of this video was better - but this was high digital quality in 2001.  There's no sound on it, but it also conveyed what it was like standing there watching it happen.  All you could hear was the military jet circling Manhattan and the occasional siren from an emergency vehicle.  I was too far away to hear anything that was happening at that distance.


9-11,Twin towers,"world trade center",2001,NYC,"New York City,buildings,towers,terrorism,photograph,photographer,NJ,ManhattanNorth Tower collapse-str









After quite some time, I decided to head back to work and while I was walking up 6th Ave., I turned back one last time to look at the North Tower.  At that moment, there was a huge flash of fire billowing out of the building when it began to collapse.  As quick as I could, I turned on my camera and fired off this shot.

People were screaming, running and holding their heads in disbelief.

Terror gripped all of us that day.












9-11,"September 11 2001",memorial,"fire station","Father mychal judge",photography,documentation,"New York City",NYCFthr. Mychal Memorial The city was closed down the following day, but on Thursday, 9-13, I walked up 31st St. from Penn Station and saw this memorial to Father Mychal Judge.  He was Franciscan friar and a chaplain to the New York City Fire Department and the first certified fatality of the September 11, 2001 attacks.  It was just the beginning to a slew of memorials and missing person flyers to flood the city.


9-11,Twin towers,"world trade center",2001,NYC,"New York City,buildings,towers,terrorism,photograph,photographer,NJ,Manhattan,friar,priests,Onlooking Preists

Fellow Franciscan friars at Fr. Mychal's memorial outside the Fire Company.

9-11,"September 11,2001","fire truck",photograph,damaged,Manhattan,NYC,"New York City",eventFiretruck front










This fire engine was brought back from ground zero.  You can see the brunt of damage it took from being down there.

Seeing the dust and debris reminded me of that day when emergency vehicles were speeding back and forth from the World Trade Center trailing a cloud of dust as they would pass by.












9-11,"September 11,2001","fire truck",photograph,damaged,Manhattan,NYC,"New York City",eventGrafitti on truck People's thoughts of that day.  My sentiments, exactly.


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