World Trade Center

The story behind the pictures: I was born in New York and worked my entire life there. I relocated to Sarasota, Florida in 1990, but have always maintained a strong connection with the city. I have gone back each and every year on vacation, always one week before Labor Day until the following Monday. I became a professional photographer in 1992, specializing in architechure and historic building and site photography. Previously I never took my infrared film equipment with me as I felt I was on vacation. In the year 2000 I took infrared pictures of historical sites of Sarasota as I am significantly involved in Sarasota history. This motivated me to take pictures of historical buildings and sites of Manhattan in 2001. I set Friday, September 7 aside. Some people might attribute this timing to luck, others to coincidence. Regardless, I consider myself a photojournalist, always out there looking and documenting what I see and what I am inspired by. On September 7, I intended my theme to be “The Past and the Present”. In truth I was there before history was occurred… four days before to be exact. As an aside to my story, President Bush was giving a speech in Sarasota to grammar school students at the exact time of the World Trade Center terrorism on 9/11/01. The resulting series of photographs is now entitled “Dawn Before Darkness – Spirits of the Past”. The series includes images of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island with the World Trade Center majestically in the background. In many of the other images, the World Trade Center can be seen standing proudly against the sky. These were my first shots of the day. Together they mark a photographic odyssey I won’t ever forget.

I would share them with America now. – Arnold Berns

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