Photographs of a New York City Plunged Into Darkness After the Storm

After Hurricane Sandy devastated New York City earlier this week, photographer Randy Scott Slavin ventured around various areas that had been plunged into darkness due to power outages. He shot eerie long-exposure photographs that make the city look like a ghost town. The series is titled “NYC Unplugged.”

Although the long-exposure times offer us a glimpse into the darkness, Slavin writes that it was pitch black in many places:

New York City is always bright. Street lights, business marquees, light from apartments and car headlights merge to light every corner of the city streets, even on the darkest nights. It is the night after NYC was decimated by Hurricane Sandy, downtown NYC is in the midst of a power outage that has plunged it into complete darkness. I felt the call to hit the eerily dark streets and show New York as it is rarely seen. Trekking around with my tripod I was able to get the long exposures necessary to see in the dark.

You can see more photographs from this series on in this Facebook album.

P.S. Earlier this year we featured some of Slavin’s surreal 360-degree stereographic projections.

Image credits: Photographs by Randy Scott Slavin and used with permission

  • jasrockett

    Simply stunning. Magnificent work.

  • 3ric15

    Great photo op! lol

  • Andrew Care

    ‘Simply stunning’- what exactly? The fact you have a trigger-happy HDR person using the natural disaster as a tool to prop up his “creative” ego?
    Give me a break, please.

  • Kris J Boorman

    Someones jealous.

  • David Thunander

    Would you like some cheese with that whine?
    Wouldnt say he’s overusing HDR in these pics. Looks more like the natural effect of long exposure. I usually hate to much HDR but these pics are fine.

  • Vaughn Wascovich

    It seems no matter what images you post, someone’s gonna b**ch. Frankly I think these images are pretty damned good. The photographer didn’t cause the blackout for christ sake, he’s responding to it. Nicely done.

  • jim

    lame. just hdr….

  • Nimbus

    It’s a long exposure for sure, but also overprocessed HDR. While it may appeal to HDR fans it won’t to others.

  • Hudio

    See’k a wealthy man @ R i c h s i n g I e d a t i n g . C 0M

  • Nimbus

    I’m with a wealthy man already, thanks for consideration Hudio, but you ain’t my type.

  • Wendy V. Sykora

    I like the fact someone was able to find something positive to do in the time of a disaster

  • DamianMonsivais

    These aren’t great. And I’m not whining. Composition is not working, Technically there are faults, and using the Gimmicky HDR just plunges these to failure.

    And its all the same Photograph really.

  • Brian

    Agreed. Nothing noteworthy about these photos. Just an ad for HDR

  • ♔ Nick Routley

    Wow, there are some real a**holes posting comments here. If you don’t like this type of photography, take a look, then move on. No need to dump all over someone’s work for no reason.

  • Rob

    Definitely some very jealous people commenting, if I was there I would be definitely doing the same. Such a brilliant idea. And for the record, I couldn’t tell that they were HDR until someone pointed it out.

  • Nate Parker

    Well said Nick!

  • GregVR

    It’s modern. It’s ok! There’s Kleenex out there if you need it.

  • Chris

    Go somewhere where somebody actually “Cares” what you think.

  • Brian

    It’s not a “type of photography” that is the problem, It’s the Instagrammic logic that by assembly lining some gimmicky photography trick, you have created an interesting and unique work of art. It asks very little of the viewer, but then again, the public isn’t much concerned with being challenged. Just to chow down on photographic popcorn.

  • ironhalodevice

    I think the intent of the photos is to show a place that is usually full of light, like 24hrs a day, with the lights off. if you went to vegas and the lights were off and no one was in the streets would you take some pictures? yeah you would.

  • Tim

    I don’t think some people know what HDR is.

  • DamianMonsivais

    Thats the problem in the photo world and the internet. Everyones to nice.
    and no one likes it when they point out the faults. I mean in a world where billions of photographs are produced all of them are amazing or even have an once of meaning. Quantity /= Quality.

  • DamianMonsivais

    I meant not amazing.

  • DamianMonsivais

    Well this guy likes to be babied and hear all the nice things but never the truth.

  • Matt

    Really? I think the person did a OK job. Sounds like you have some hate issues. Not getting enough people to like your work?

  • DamianMonsivais

    If there was no intention for comment. The photographs will not be shown.

    Brian is right and agree with him.

    He has pointed out the problem with the public and those creating for such public

  • Ross Jukes

    Nice to see some good came from an awful event, great photos…

  • Str0ud

    Randy shoots with a nikon D800, a camera that has enormous dynamic range. Shooting at low iso and long exposure the camera is able to deliver images that look like this with little or no processing. It may not be to your taste but do a little research before you dismiss something that you clearly do not understand.

  • DamianMonsivais

    It is not the shortcomings of the commenter but the shortcomings of the society as a whole to believe this is acceptable work and shun all others that seek a higher level of work.

  • DamianMonsivais

    Then you dont seem to study the image but just look at it. Its is then the image just becomes meaningless and visual popcorn.

  • Rob

    You are so narrow minded Damian, HDR is a perfectly viable technique. Give me one good reason why it isn’t|

  • Rob

    There is much more to a photograph than the post processing technique.

  • Michael Zhang

    Now what’s REALLY funny about many of these comments is that these aren’t tone-mapped HDR photos at all, but simply long-exposure photos. :)

  • DamianMonsivais

    yes there could be much more, but not in these.

    The problem is the reliance of HDR to make the image interesting

    HDR is a gimmick, there is nothing to it.
    Now if everyone can do this, why would it be well to really on it to improve an already lacking photograph.

  • DamianMonsivais

    How many photographs of the same line passing through the frame do we need?

  • DamianMonsivais


  • Brett

    you’re a dick damian. there, I said it..

  • Anthony Burokas

    I like it. True, I think it’s more dramatic to those that know the area and now see it “unplugged” but the I find the composition well done and only wish he could have also shot Times Square too.

  • Brett

    You should study more english and comment less

  • Roy

    More than we need sour grapes or armchair critics.

  • One of many Canucks

    Intriguing pictures, an intriguing time – a very challenged member of the general Public from across the border but definately not an a**hole

  • Roy

    And you’re the definitive judge on quality? It is entirely unfathomable that people genuinely enjoy these photos and that their definition of quality differs from yours? And if they did, they’d need to be set straight by an art connoisseur beyond reproach such as yourself, lest they never learn to separate the wheat from the chaff?
    Hubris /= Appreciated.

  • DamianMonsivais

    I like you Roy. I am not an art Connoisser.

    If you decide to make it about a subjective view of what is pleasing then there is no end to the debate. But we cannot stand by and be flooded with millions of useless meaningless photographs.

    Hey your standards are low, I get it.

  • DamianMonsivais

    So lets say every Photograph ever posted on here or that ever reached the internet is an amazing achievement. That will probably make you feel good. Lets All say there amazing. Would you agree with that?

  • Arian Ryan

    Bunch of photography nerds complaining because all they can see is the technique and tools used to take the picture. I guess you didn’t notice that getting shots of iconic locations in New York City when it looks like a ghost town is inherently compelling. Never mind the fact that these immortalize a perspective of a very unique time this city’s long history that hasn’t been widely distributed (i.e. most photographers are focusing on the epic damage).

    You guys might as well give up on photography; you’ll never get it.

  • DamianMonsivais

    The images are lacking the interest they should garner on such an event.Sure its was ghost town but we don’t see it here. All it shows is a streak of light going into a certain direction. and how many photographs do we need of that?
    is this not part of the damage being focused?

    Then again I am getting tired of debating over a set of photographs place on a social network platform where everything gets Babied and “liked”.

    Everything here needs to be babied as well seems. Lets just say all photographs ever taken are amazing so no one gets there feelings hurt

  • Bradley Rhyne

    well said, why don’t you complainers go take them yourselves! Oh wait you didn’t, and now you can’t, and would probably take another disaster to recreate the opporunity again. So…stop being jealous and mov past what you would have done, becuase you didn’t do anything.

  • CindyB.

    Your photos are amazing!

  • Rob

    These images don’t rely on HDR to make them interesting, personally I believe he would have used HDR because the light pollution in the sky will have blown out big style at the exposure levels needed to expose the buildings in complete darkness, just saying. And to be honest this is HDR done right, it isn’t over done at all.

  • Rob

    These images don’t rely on HDR to make them interesting, personally I believe he would have used HDR because the light pollution in the sky will have blown out big style at the exposure levels needed to expose the buildings in complete darkness, just saying. And to be honest this is HDR done right, it isn’t over done at all.