The Hub

I spent a few days in New York City last week and was able to visit the new World Trade Center for the first time. Seeing the tallest building in the Western hemisphere was obviously very striking, but I found the grounds, the 911 memorial and this, the Transportation Hub, to be equally impressive. 

This is the Oculus in the Hub…the main arched, elliptical opening approximately 350 feet long. It is a beautiful design with the numerous steel ribs extending upward almost 100 feet to the skylight above.

The main purpose of the structure is to serve 250,000 daily commuters on train and subway lines. As a result, it is usually filled with people coming and going. Actually, it was filled with people when I captured this image. However, by using a little photography magic, I was able to make the people disappear.

Okay, so it is not really magic…it is actually a fairly simple technique used by a lot of photographers. Since I had brought a mini-tripod with me, I was able to take multiple exposures over 10 minutes using the same composition. There were people in each exposure, but as they were moving, they were in different positions in each frame. Once I uploaded the images into Photoshop, I was able to blend the various exposures together and, essentially, make the people disappear. The result is an empty hub allowing the viewer to appreciate the lines and shapes of a beautiful piece of architecture.

Of course I would prefer not to have to use this technique and have the place all to myself. However, unless you somehow find yourself completely alone in NYC, it can prove useful. :)