mobile-bannertablet-bannerdesktop-banner
Kent Kobersteen, former Director of Photography of National Geographic"The pictures are by Robert Clark, and were shot from the window of his studio in Brooklyn. Others shot the second plane hitting the tower, but I think there are elements in Clark's photographs that make them special. To me the wider shots not only give context to the tragedy, but also portray the normalcy of the day in every respect except at the Towers. I generally prefer tighter shots, but in this case I think the overall context of Manhattan makes a stronger image. And, the fact that Clark shot the pictures from his studio indicates how the events of 9/11 literally hit home. I find these images very compellingÑin fact, whenever I see them they force me to study them in great detail."
Kent Kobersteen, former Director of Photography of National Geographic "The pictures are by Robert Clark, and were shot from the window of his studio in Brooklyn. Others shot the second plane hitting the tower, but I think there are elements in Clark's photographs that make them special. To me the wider shots not only give context to the tragedy, but also portray the normalcy of the day in every respect except at the Towers. I generally prefer tighter shots, but in this case I think the overall context of Manhattan makes a stronger image. And, the fact that Clark shot the pictures from his studio indicates how the events of 9/11 literally hit home. I find these images very compelling—in fact, whenever I see them they force me to study them in great detail."Robert Clark—INSTITUTE
Kent Kobersteen, former Director of Photography of National Geographic"The pictures are by Robert Clark, and were shot from the window of his studio in Brooklyn. Others shot the second plane hitting the tower, but I think there are elements in Clark's photographs that make them special. To me the wider shots not only give context to the tragedy, but also portray the normalcy of the day in every respect except at the Towers. I generally prefer tighter shots, but in this case I think the overall context of Manhattan makes a stronger image. And, the fact that Clark shot the pictures from his studio indicates how the events of 9/11 literally hit home. I find these images very compellingÑin fact, whenever I see them they force me to study them in great detail."
MaryAnne Golon, photo editor and media consultant; former Director of Photography of TIME "James NachtweyÕs photograph here of one tiny New York City fireman making his way through the inferno that was once the World Trade Center towers is forever seared into my memory from the darkest day in American history, 9/11/2001. Later on that evening, Jim, completely covered in ash from the fallen World Trade Center towers, arrived in person at the Time and Life building in midtown Manhattan to deliver his exposed film to his waiting editors. While his film was being processed, he drank a large bottle of water, and slumped exhausted in a dark green chair in the Time photo department hallway. The following morning, the imprint of his body on the chair and his dusty footprints were still there. Then editor-in-chief Norman Pearlstine and his deputy, John Huey, came by to see where the great photographer had walked. James Kelly, the finest news magazine editor in America, chose to run many of JimÕs pictures in the 9/11 black-bordered issue of TIME Magazine that memorialized that tragic event. I was honored to have been the picture editor of that edition and to be the first person in the world to have seen JimÕs haunting work. It took months for me to grieve as a human being. I was working 80-hour weeks to do my job as a journalist. JimÕs work comforted me and helped many Americans to process the hideous aftermath of those horrendous days. Thank you, Jim Nachtwey."
Kira Pollack, Director of Photography of TIME; former Associate Photo Editor of The New York Times Magazine"On one of the days following the attack on the World Trade CenterÑI think it was the 13thÑI walked uptown from my home in the West Village to MagnumÕs offices on 25th street to look at Steve McCurryÕs work, which I viewed on a light table. I was looking through the loupe and the pictures he had made were truly haunting. There was a picture of an escalator covered with papers and debris. It looked like the kind of apocalyptic ruin that would have happened over decades or centuries but it had happened in a single morning. You could feel the emptiness where the people were supposed to be. I viewed McCurryÕs chromes on a light box. ItÕs amazing, looking back on it now, that none of the photographers we worked with were shooting digital. It was all film and that meant that it had to be transported by people from point to point at a time when most transportation was either restricted or shut down. I hand-carried a selection of chromes up to the offices at The New York Times and it was one of the pictures in the mix for several days being discussed by then editor Adam Moss, photo director Kathy Ryan, deputy photo editor Jody Quon and then art director Janet Froelich. The image was published in The New York Times Magazine in its 9/11 issue."
Elisabeth Biondi, former Visuals Editor of The New Yorker"The picture Gilles Peress took for The New Yorker is indelibly burned into my mind. It was then after the devastating event and it is now, 10 years after. When I think of that day, I remember calling Gilles on his cell right after the first tower had been hit asking him to get to Ground Zero. Come to think of it, the word had not as yet been coined. His reply was that he was already on the bridge. The result was an extraordinary set of photographs which we published in our special issue with the famous black cover by Art Spiegelman. It came out on the Monday directly following the attack. Then and as now, I live in Tribeca near Ground Zero which meant my life had been changed for a long time. At the beginning, it reminded me of the stories my mother told me about World War II. All seemed to be a dark, foul smelling haze and I heard fire sirens day and night. I used to be able to see the towers from my roof. I felt their absence and I yearned to see what was left. I could not. It was sealed off on Guiliani's orders. Gilles' amazing pictures filled the void. They are still with me."
Jody Quon, Photography Director of New York; formerly Deputy Photo Editor of The New York Times Magazine"It is virtually impossible to not be moved by any image or document that pertains to 9/11. While sifting through countless photosÑpausing, feeling, remembering at each flip of a pageÑI (surprisingly) found myself profoundly moved by a detail of an image: the burning smoke of the towers. The smoke became clouds, and the clouds became those whom we will never forget. This became the cover of our commemorative issue."
Olivier Picard, photo editor and photographer; formerDirector of Photography for U.S. News and World ReportÒSince we were based in Washington, D.C., we had no communication with New York for the first couple of hours. The deadline for closing our special issue was the next day. I didnÕt sleep. We published an image by freelance photographer Patrick Witty that for me best evokes that tumultuous morning. It is 9:59 a.m. and New Yorkers witness the collapse of the South Tower. Their reaction was mine. Immediate. Disbelief. Raw. Violent.Ó
119951789JT0001_911
World Trade Center Attack - Aftermath - WTC
Alison Morley, Chair of the Documentary Photography and Photojournalism Programat The International Center of Photography; former Picture Editor ofThe New York Times Sophisticated Traveler Magazine"Gary Fabiano's photograph of the man under the tower comes to mind first. The shock of seeing that man immobilized by the flash, coming out of the darkness with his arm raised and eyes, glazed and suspended always remains with me. The back story makes it even more compelling when you learn that the fireman asked the photographer to use his flash to help light their way out of the garage where a group of people and firemen had gotten caught. The man was just inches away from the camera but all sense of space and distance was lost in such absolute blackness."
Michel duCille, Director of Photography of The Washington Post"This image holds a serene quality for me. The early morning amber light is hardly visible through the hazy smoke filled scene. The lone firefighter stands framed in miniature by the shell of broken steel beams, it is all that is left of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. YoniÕs photograph has always stuck with me because I get a deep sense of loneliness. The leaning beams overhead adds a dramatic contrast to the fireman. The task before him seems daunting. The melancholy look of the figure silhouetted between the broken steel beams, feels burdensome and reinforces the weigh of this tragedy on the nationÕs shoulders."
Fred Ritchin, director of PixelPress and author of After Photography"A few days after the attacks of Sept. 11, at pixelpress.org we encouraged people from around the world to send in imagery or text responding to the events. One of the most affecting to me was by a photographer in Boston, Michal Hardoof-Raz, who simply sent in nine images of dust. To me that was the contribution that best expressed the desolation that we were all feelingÑnothing was left, so much was invisible, the pain would be permanent."
TO GO WITH AFP STORY "Americans mark 9/1
11. September 2001 - 10 Jahre danach: Die Kamera als Filter des Grauens
September 11, 2001 by The New York Times
David Friend, editor at Vanity Fair and author of the book, Watching the World Change: The Stories Behind the Images of 9/11ÒWolfgang was doing an art project in which he was taking, with a fixed camera in Brooklyn, a panorama of the New York skyline. And every four seconds it would tick off and over the internet he would send, to a gallery in New York, a 22 x 9 foot mural projecting the image of downtown Manhattan. And it would refresh every four seconds. As Wolfgang said, ÔHistory high jacked art. Reality high jacked artÕ. And suddenly he recorded this transformation of New YorkÑmass destruction and death. ItÕs a sense of no art or expression exists without its toehold in reality." A revised edition of Watching the World Change was just published with a preface on the roles that images and social media have played in documenting news events since 9/11.
Alex Webb, photographer"My wife Rebecca's and my first glimpse of lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001 was from a rooftop in Brooklyn Heights. That's where I tookÐÐprobably on my first roll of film that dayÑwhat I consider my one singular image from Sept. 11Ña mother and child with the smoldering ruins of the Twin Towers behind. It's a picture, in retrospect, that seems to me to suggest something about how life goes on in the midst of tragedy. Perhaps it also raises questions about what kind of future world awaits the childÑand all of us. One reason this photograph continues to resonate with me is that the situation was different from violence that I'd witnessed in the past in places such as Haiti or Beirut. On September 11, 2001, not only was I photographing this particular mother and child in the city in which I lived, I was also aware ofÑout of the corner of my eyeÑanother woman, my wife, the poet and photographer Rebecca Norris Webb. About an hour earlier and a few miles away in our apartment in Park Slope, Brooklyn, we were holding each other as we watched the second plane hit the second tower on our small TV. When I started to rush out the door with my cameras to head towards Manhattan, RebeccaÑa photographer who has had little experience photographing conflict or violenceÑsaid she wanted to go with me. I balked. Shouldn't she stay in Brooklyn, away from the chaos of lower Manhattan? Perhaps I shouldn't even goÑa startling notion for a photographer like myself who has covered situations of conflict in the past? And what might happen next to our city on that terrible morning? What if we were separated and unable to communicate during another wave of violence? Amid the chaos and the uncertainty, we chose to stay together and do one of the few things we know how to doÑrespond with a camera. Looking back ten years later, I'm not sure I would have seen this particular photographÑwith its note of tenderness and looming tragedyÑif Rebecca had not been with me."
September 11th Terrorist Attacks
World Trade Center Attacked
September 11th Terrorist Attacks
Ground Zero Two Days After World Trade Terror Attack
2001�91664n00kcu.JPG
Joel Meyerowitz, photographer"It was a stunning fall afternoon. As I stood there Ð the sun warm on my back, the air so clear, the colors so intense Ð it felt good to be alive. Instantly I felt the the shame of that involuntary sensation, as I remembered that I was standing among the dead. It was a defining moment for me. Do I make a photograph of this, or should I let it go? But if I donÕt make a photograph, what am I doing here? As I watched sunlight and shadow pass in waves over the site, I thought about natureÕs indifference to our passage on earth. Throughout history, great tragedies have happened on days like this. And yet it is often nature and time that help move us away from grief, and grant us perspective and hope. I decided to set up my camera."
Kent Kobersteen, former Director of Photography of National Geographic "The pictures are by Robert Clark, and were shot
... VIEW MORE

Robert Clark—INSTITUTE
1 of 22

9/11: The Photographs That Moved Them Most

On September 11, 2001, photography editors across the world, overcome with a deluge of devastating imagery, faced the daunting task of selecting photos that would go on to define a catastrophe like no other. A decade later, TIME asked a wide variety of the industry's leading photo editors, photographers, authors, educators, and bloggers to tell us which image moved them most—and why.

(Related: The Mohawk Ironworkers Rebuilding The New York Skyline)

Some couldn’t choose one single image. Vin Alabiso, head of photography at the Associated Press on September 11, 2001, said, "Of the thousands of images that were captured, I thought only a handful would truly resonate with me. I was wrong. As a document of a day filled with horror and heroism, the collective work of so many professionals and amateurs leaves its own indelible mark on our memory."

Holly Hughes, editor of Photo District News, said she was moved most by the photographs of the missing people that blanketed the city in the days after 9/11. "The images that can still move me to tears are the snapshots of happy, smiling people looking out from the homemade missing posters that were taped to signposts and doorways and mailboxes," she said. "How those posters were made, the state of mind of the people who stood at Xerox machines to make copies, it's too painful to contemplate. Those flyers stayed up around the city for weeks, through wind and rain, and became entwined with the sorrow and anxiety we carried with us day after day."

(Related: Revisiting 9/11: Unpublished Photos by James Nachtwey)

Alabiso added, "A decade later, I could only wish that the most memorable photo of September 11, 2001, would not have been memorable at all...simply two towers silhouetted against a clear azure-blue sky."

To visit TIME’s Beyond 9/11: A Portrait of Resilience, a project that chronicles 9/11 and its aftermath, click here.

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.