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The New World Trade Center, May 1972

The New World Trade Center. In May 1972 I travelled with a work colleague to visit a customer in Connecticut, USA. In a moment of uncharacteristic generosity our boss had agreed that we could fly into New York and stay there a couple of nights before moving on to New England. So after arriving late on Saturday we awoke to a dull and dreary Sunday morning to go sightseeing. But by the end of the morning the sun was shining, and it remained so for the rest of the day.

Late in the afternoon we decided to take the ferry over to Liberty Island, where we squeezed up the narrow spiral stairway into the head of the Statue of Liberty. On the ferry back to Manhatten, everyone was excited by the view of the New York skyline, and the two huge towers of the new World Trade Center that were just being completed. The buildings glowed in the warm evening sunshine. The official opening, with ribbon-cutting ceremony, was nearly a year later on 4 April 1973.

I shot three rolls of Agfa CT18 that day, using my Dad's pre-war Leica IIIa, and ended up using most of the images in my first serious audio-visual programme, called [not surprisingly] A Day in New York. The AV was made originally for single projector but was later converted to twin-projector dissolve using the same soundtrack. For obvious reasons I've steered clear of using these images on the Web in recent years, but time has passed since 2001, and I think we have to accept the course of history and record things as they are and as they were.

Technical: Leica IIIa, 50mm f/3.5 Elmar lens, Agfa CT18. Copied using Nikon D300.

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