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When planning this week's Shooting Challenge, I hadn't been so forward-thinking to realize that it coincided with New York's "Tribute in Light" 9/11 memorial. Having said that, these entries definitely added an unexpected depth to the results:

Before we move on, FIND THE WALLPAPER SIZES HERE.

Lead Shot - Tribute in Light

Because of back problems, I have always missed the "Tribute in Light". This year, I decided that I would go no matter what. So after a good dose of painkillers, and with the help of my husband, I went to Jersey City to take this shot. There was a lot of people there, most of them took pictures, and all of them remembered. This HDR was shot in RAW with a Canon 50D, and a Sigma 10-20mm lens. f/10, ISO 100, 18mm, 15s-8s-30s. Next year will be the last time they display these lights.
[Ed note: limiting the color spectrum actually seems to only enhance the blue of the beams.]
-Céline Ruffino

Lighthouse

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Around here, the next brightest light to the sun would be the Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse. Courtesy of a Fresnel lens and about 5.5 million candles, the light can be seen for 28 nautical miles. I went out on Thursday night and took this at about 1am (there are far fewer drunkards to trip over along the beach on a weeknight, including me). I used a Canon 5D Mark ii with a 15mm fisheye lens. ISO was 3200 (thanks, Mark ii) and a 2.5 second exposure time at f2.8. No flash was used, all the light was ambient and the fill light was brought up slightly in Lightroom. The only other edits were cropping from the super-wide angle to frame this shot, some noise reduction, and adding a little contrast to the sky to allow the stars, clouds, and beam to pop. The ray itself is untouched.
[Ed note: Such an odd, interesting shot. The fisheye mixed with a long night exposure...the scene becomes a dreamy toy model.]
-Austen Amacker

Divine Light

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This is a confessional at the Vatican in Rome, and the whole section was roped off so I was able to get a great shot without any tourists in the way. I used a Canon PowerShot SX200 IS without flash & ISO 400. The photo was only cropped & resized afterwards.
[Ed note: The light looks to be almost raining down.]
-Anthony Hankins

Tribute in Light

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I hope this qualifies as a ray of light. I shot the Tribute in Light from various locations in Brooklyn but ended up liking this one the best. I don't know where all the thieves were last night but they missed a golden opportunity, hundreds of amateur photographers all wandering around Brooklyn with thousands of dollars or camera gear on their back. I even saw one guy with a Hasselblad H system. Hope no one got mugged, I doubt they'd let you hold to your memory card. Nikon D5000, Nikkor 10-24mm, f/11, multiple exposures - It's a 7 exposure HDR from +3ev to -3ev in 1 ev steps tonemapped in Photomatix.
[Ed note: The use of long exposure cars as complementing rays of light really works.]
-Dan DeChiaro

Laser Light

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So this may be a loose interpretation of 'ray of light' but I decided use a 5mw laser to create my picture. With a black backdrop, I used a laser and fog machine to slice through the fog to create a wall of light. Although this is in no way original, the laser slowly trailing across the surface creates a sense of depth while the smoke gives a sense of oil on water. Canon T2i with 18-55mm Kit Lens. Picture taken at f/5, 4 seconds, ISO400.
[Ed note: Loose interpretation...but still a clever one. I'll give it to you.]
-Matthew Davenport

Tribute in Light

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My apartment is a block from ground zero and this weekend the spotlights commemorating the towers were on. Rather than taking a more standard picture of these lights, I decided to find an object where I could use some perspective to show the lights emerging from something interesting. I used this stone column to get a light sabery looking shot. Han shot first. Nikon D60, 18-200 VR II, f/ 7.1, Shutter: 8 sec, ISO 400
[Ed note: In my head, the concept of this goblet-like structure emitting light is super cheesy. Implemented, I think it totally works.]
-John McGrail

Key Light

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Fire Doors! These door handles were bought about 5 years ago and I still haven't fit them on any doors yet! For the shot I attached a handle to a piece of black foam, cut a hole and shone a halogen spot light through the key hole. I had a gold reflector to light up the handle and the wife's iron was appropriated for the 'smoke'. I didn't have long for each shot as the spot was melting the foam! Nikon D80 f2.8 3secs 50mm Lens.
[Ed note: Perfect, staged lighting.]
-Matt Upward

Pier Light

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My wife and I decided to go out and do a little night shooting for this one. We took this shot at a pier by UCSB, the college where we first met. Canon Rebel T2i, f/14, Exposure 13 secs, ISO 400, Kit lens at 47 mm
[Ed note: I adore the composition of this shot, the color, the texture and the play on light and dark. As a fine art print, it'd be amazing.]
-Nick Bottarini

Tribute in Light

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Picture taken on September 11th around 11 pm from the Staten Island 9/11 Memorial. Taken with my Canon T2i with 35-128 USM at 65 mm. F 5.0 bracketed at (.4 , .6 , 1.6) and merged to HDR in Photomatix to make the Tribute in Light really pop out.
[Ed note: Great use of HDR]
-Timothy Schubert

Barn Light

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This was shot in the hay loft of my in-laws barn. It's a decent sized barn, and old I'm sure. It's got a lot of character. I've always loved how you could see the sun peak through the slats from years of weathering. So of course, This was the first place I thought of for this challenge. So I tried a few shots, many I liked, but I wasn't having much luck with capturing rays of light. I just didn't get it. I've never really thought about it, so I had to ponder a while on how to get a ray of light to show in the picture....and then it hit me. I need dust or something in the air, a no brainer really. (but thanks to the gizmodo shooting challenge, I never would have tried this) So what did i do? Set my camera on a tripod and waited for the sun to really shine through (cloudy day). I then threw some loose hay and dirt up into the air and sure enough, there it was! I quickly backed out of the shot and used my remote once I was out of the shot. I may have thrown some into the air while the shutter was open too. But it was a success. You can actually see the hay in the rays of light, I think it makes for a neat effect. I was very happy with the shot. Not very happy with the air quality....I did a little post editing but not much. Pentax K-x with the 18-55 kit lens, 100 iso, F/6.3, 5 second shutter (I swear it was longer, but thats what my info says)
[Ed note: The long exposure makes it seem as giant magnifying glasses are burning holes through the barn. So cool.]
-Shawn Nicholas

Winner - Tribute in Light

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I'm on a business trip to New York staying next to the World trade center site. To say today was somber would be understated. Hearing bagpipes as soon as I walked outside definitely set the tone for the rest of the day. Even more so, passing so many people who tried to keep an emotional tide from crashing over them. I understand why some many New Yorkers choose to take the day off. This evening I chose have a drink at O'Hara's pub, where many firemen decided to gather. I noticed the towers of light and remembered the tradition. There are moths and birds that fly through the beams and shine brilliantly. The lights are definitely amazing to see up close. I'd estimate each beam is as wide as a semi truck trailer is long. Without a doubt the lights send a strong and bold message. There is a park that stretches along across the street from where the lights are projected. I took this picture there by laying the camera down on a bench, starting a delay timer and taking the picture. It took a number of tries. The tree above seems to mask the bold aspect of the lights but it seems to add perspective to the beauty. Shot with a Shot on a Sony SuperSteadyShot DSC-T300.
[Ed note: There's a quiet, earnest simplicity in this photo. I find myself looking at it again and again.]
-Robert Bejarano

Thanks to everyone for participating. Wallpapers here. Gallery below.

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