07.01.18: Reflections

Buildings reflected by One World Trade Center, with "ribs" of transportation center in foreground, New York City.


Technical information

Sept. 5, 2015,
3:02 p.m.

40°42'40.871" N 74°0'37.691" W
(Show in Google Maps)

Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Canon EF-S 18-135 f/3.5-5.6 (96mm) 


1/250th second


I have been a regular visitor to New York City for decades, first on business-related travel and now — as a retiree — strictly for pleasure.

I passed through the original World Trade Center many times, taking the PATH train from beneath the complex to get to Jersey City and often hitting the mall under the World Trade Center on the return trip to grab a snack before continuing my day.

I witnessed, with profound grief, the ruins in the months following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and watched with curiosity as the rebuild progressed. I’ve visited the site several times since the construction was completed,  standing in silence beside the twin reflecting pools at the National September 11 Memorial, touring the 9/11 Memorial Museum, walking around the base of the new One World Trade Center building (craning my neck to try to see the top 1,776 feet above the plaza), and staring in awe at the the elaborate, winged and ribbed Oculus, the new transportation center on site.

A admit I was concerned when I first read about the construction plans, but I’m very pleased with the results. The site honors the memory of those who lost their lives on 9/11 and, through the museum, provides historical context. It features world-class architectural design in the memorable Oculus transportation hub. And it demonstrates the return to business and commerce through the many businesses located in the towering One World Trade Center Building and neighboring towers.

It’s a delicate balance executed with success and, perhaps, serves as confirmation of American resolve and spirit.

This photo was captured during a September 2015 visit to New York. Construction of the new World Trade Center complex was nearing completion, but the site was still surrounded by fences and filled with cranes. I was standing on Church Street on the east side of the site, in front of the Millennium Hilton Hotel near St. Paul’s Chapel, when I found an angle that let me see over the fence without cranes obstructing the view. From this spot I could see neighboring buildings, backed by a bright blue sky and white clouds, reflecting in the base of One World Trade Center. The ribbed white wings of the Oculus transportation hub filled the left side of the scene.

I liked the composition I saw through the viewfinder so I grabbed the shot. In the years since I’ve amassed a number of photos from the site, but this is still one of my favorites.

Each week I will post a photo from my collection with an explanation of how I got the shot. Previous photos of the week are in the archives.