I’ve always loved the Statue of Liberty. It was not yet in New York Harbor when my father’s family immigrated from England, arriving in Marblehead, Mass., in 1801 in time for the birth of his great-great-grandfather, but the statue welcomed my father when he and several thousand other troops sailed home from England on the Queen Elizabeth after World War II. I have lived within easy sight of it for more than 40 years now, and a glimpse still gives me a thrill. My father saw it up close from Liberty State Park when he visited Jersey City in the 1980s. I still have the tiny replica he bought as a souvenir. When the statue’s centennial was celebrated in grand style on July 4, 1986, we were watching the fireworks on a television in a motel in southeastern South Dakota. We and the rest of his surviving family were visiting his tiny hometown and birthplace, which was having its own centennial celebration.
This photo was taken in November 2013. The western sky was exceptionally clear that early evening and the light seemed to go on and on. As I moved around Battery Park, at the tip end of Manhattan, the last of the day’s tourists were coming off the ferries that had taken them out to Liberty Island. Areas in the park were still fenced off and restoration was ongoing more than a year after Superstorm Sandy damaged so much. Some of the enormous office buildings nearby were still being powered by noisy generators parked in the streets. The long sunset allowed me to shoot the statue from several vantage points, and of the 14 frames that I’ve saved from the shoot I like this one best. It was taken as I left the park, stopping every 20 feet or so to turn back and take another shot. I had it printed on canvas, 36 inches wide, and in March it was featured in BROAD VIEWS: Landscape Photography in 2014 at 58 Gallery in Jersey City. “November Sunset” will be presented to the New York Civil Liberties Union later this year for permanent display in its offices, where our liberties are claimed, defended and fought for every day our nation’s courts are in session.