This week marks the one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, the most devastating storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season and the second most costly hurricane in the history of the United States. To capture how far New York City has come since being pummeled by Sandy, resident photographer Natan Dvir decided to re-shoot photographs that he captured last year after the storm.
In partnership with Historypin and the Central Park Conservancy, Google has decided to expand its Street View repertoire once again, this time letting out-of-towners experience three of The Big Apple’s most historically significant locations: Central Park, The 9/11 Memorial and places affected by Hurricane Sandy. Read more…
To view photographer Romain Laurent’s Shadows project properly, he recommends that you first properly calibrate your screen. The photos are all dominated by blackness.
You see, they were all captured during the major blackout in New York City caused by Hurricane Sandy in late 2012. When the power went out in the city’s financial district, Laurent pulled out his camera in order to do a photographic study of light and shadows in the eerily dark areas of the city.
Natural disasters are tragic for many reasons. Assuming, most importantly, that you and your loved ones come through one such disaster healthy, you immediately begin the process of putting your life back together. And even though top priorities are probably your home, cars, critical documents, and so on, those things are replaceable; the photos that may have also been damaged or destroyed are not.
Operation Photo Rescue is an organization that understands this, and its volunteers want to do everything in their power to help. Read more…
Back in November, Brazilian model Nana Gouvea felt the Internet’s wrath after she used the Hurricane Sandy aftermath as a backdrop to further her career. Needless to say, those photos did garner attention, just not the kind she wanted.
Now Vogue is on an eerily similar hot seat after their most recent issue contained a high fashion spread honoring Sandy responders. General opinion seems to be that the photos were in bad taste, relegating the first responders to ‘prop’ status while the Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors clad models took center stage. Read more…
After the 2011 Tsunami in Japan, there emerged volunteer efforts to find, restore, and return precious photos swept away by the waters. CNN writes of a similar effort being done in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy:
Jeannette Van Houten also lost her Union Beach home in Sandy, but buried among the devastation she found a calling — to return memories of happier times to the 1.8-square-mile township by reuniting residents with the family photographs that Sandy scattered to the winds. The day after the storm, Van Houten went for a walk along the shoreline to assess the damage and she stumbled upon a photograph of a couple attending a wedding. She leaned down, picked it up and, suddenly, her mission became clear. “Photos are the only things that hold us to the past [...]” said Van Houten.
She soon started a Facebook page where she uploaded the pictures she found, hopeful that through the power of social media, residents of the small community would see them and be able to identify the faces and families in the photographs. Since she started, Van Houten has uploaded more than 2,000 photos to the Facebook page [...] About 60 families have reclaimed photos so far, she said.
Finding joy among the wreckage: Family photos returned post-Sandy [CNN]
Thanks for sending in the tip, Rob!
Camera companies are doing their part to help victims of Hurricane Sandy get back on their feet. Here’s something that might be great news to some photographers on the East Coast: Sigma is extending its warranty to cover damage caused by the hurricane.
Instagram is playing a bigger and bigger part in helping the public see and understand important events. At the GigaOM RoadMap conference held this past Monday, co-founder Kevin Systrom shared his vision of how Instagram needs to become a “big data company”. TechCrunch writes,
Systrom says Instagram’s focus is on “making meaning of all the data coming in, and improving the experience of curating.” For example, he said that there were only 85,000 #SuperBowl Instagrams, compared to the 800,000 #SandyGram. People can’t consume 800,000 photos, but they still want to pull valuable information from them.
He gave an example of how Instagram might one day be able to help “if you’re in New York and want to know what gas stations have gas.” That means both photo recognition, but also natural-language processing. Systrom also hinted at “photo location trends” that show where the most Instagrams are currently being taken.
The element of real-time photo sharing will allow Instagram to do things with photos that most photo-sharing services can’t. It’ll be interesting to see what “big data techniques” the company comes up with for making sense of its massive stream of live imagery.
800K #Sandy-grams Showed Systrom Instagram Is “Going To Need To Be A Big Data Company” [TechCrunch]
P.S. The service also saw 2.1x its normal level of traffic during the election this past Tuesday.
Image credit: Insanity at gas station. So glad I’m a cyclist!!! by Kristine Paulus
Everyone seems to be talking about the cover photo of this week’s issue of New York Magazine. It shows NYC blacked out after Hurricane Sandy, and was captured last Wednesday by Dutch photographer Iwan Baan from the open door of a helicopter 5,000 feet above the ground. Poynter has published an interesting behind-the-scenes look at how it was shot:
Baan made the image Wednesday night after the storm, using the new Canon 1D X with the new 24-70mm lens on full open aperture. The camera was set at 25,000 ISO, with a 1/40th of a second shutter speed [...]
It was more difficult to rent a car than a helicopter in New York the day after Sandy, Baan said. And because there was such limited air traffic so soon after the storm, air traffic control allowed Baan and the helicopter to hover very high above the city, a powerful advantage for the photo.
NY Mag editors say that picking the cover photo was the easiest choice they had to make this past week. They’ve also published a slideshow featuring 10 aerial photographs Baan captured that night.
Architecture photographer explains how he got that New York magazine cover shot [Poynter]
Image credit: Photograph by Iwan Baan/New York Magazine
A Brazilian model named Nana Gouvea is the latest person to feel the scorn of the Internet. After Hurricane Sandy plowed through New York City this past week, Gouvea decided that the wreckage presented the perfect opportunity to further her career. Going out into the devastation with her husband as a photographer, she posed for a photo shoot amidst downed trees and smashed cars. She then shared the resulting portraits through her Facebook page.
Needless to say, people didn’t respond very positively to the pictures. They quickly went viral, but in a bad way.