We’ve seen countless photo projects come about due to hurricanes and snow storms, from countless time-lapse videos to movies projected onto snow and many more. During Hurricane Sandy, photographer Romain Laurent captured a rare view of New York, a city that is known for its pulsing lights and bustling energy.
This series is about the surreal impression I felt walking around for hours during several nights in the pitch black streets, as well as the basic fear and curiosity of the unknown that it revealed in me.
The aftermath of the hurricane left people struggling to pick up where they left off. Without power, hot water or access to food, some were left in worse situations than others. People were holed up in their apartments with flashlights and candles hoping for some relief, but it took a while until things went back to normal. I know first-hand how difficult it is to cope with the effects of a natural disaster, and I think these photos depict the bleakness of the situation quite well.
In this obscurity the few people I crossed were unidentified shadows punctuated by their flashlights. No street life, very few cars, only generators pumping water or providing emergency lights as a loud reverberating background noise. This unusual environment created an overall cautious atmosphere, simply passing by any pedestrians could be somewhat frightening.
A large area spanning from 34th street all the way down to the financial district was affected by the power outage, and even more residents had to deal with flooding and other damages caused by the storm. The water surged through the streets of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut for days. I happened to visit New York a week after the Hurricane, just after the subway was fully operational, and I still encountered masses of debris.
A calibrated screen is recommended to see this series correctly.
Please feel free to share some of your own photos or videos. It would be interesting to see how the events unfolded from someone else’s perspective!