This photograph was taken and first published just a couple
of weeks after 9/11.
Then, as now, it encapsulates for me the loss that we all suffered that day.
It continues to serve as my memorial to those that died and all we lost.
Just a few days after the horrors of September 11, 2001, I had to travel to Florida due to a family medical emergency. I had been devastated by the attack on the World Trade Center and had seemingly lost all interest in doing photography. But, more through force of habit than desire I brought along a camera.
On my second morning in Florida, still wresting with the daily onslaught of distressing images on CNN, I took a melancholy pre-dawn walk on the beach. As I returned to the all-but-deserted hotel where we were staying I came across this scene of empty deck chairs facing into the rising sun.
Photographed with a Leica M6 and 35mm f/1.4 Summilux lens on Fuji Reala 100
It struck me that this image encompasses the emptiness and loss that we have all suffered — and yet at the same time the hope that dawn always brings. Not to be too sentimental about it, but it stirred me to return to doing what I love and do best, photography. Life, pleasure and art must continue, though we also must not forget what was lost.