Architectural photographer Iwan Baan is famous and adored in the photography community, but the world at large isn't necessarily familiar with him. He shot the incredible New York Magazine cover showing NYC half-lit due to power damages from Hurricane Sandy. The aerial image is stunning and simply captioned with, "The City and the Storm." He took it last Wednesday night using the new Canon 1D X with the (also 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.
Baan was not fazed by shooting from a helicopter to take this stunning image. He does it weekly, documenting the best architecture worldwide. This was the first time he shot from a helicopter at night, and the resulting image perfectly captures dark downtown Manhattan in contrast to the rest of the city and bridges that had power.
Baan explains the concept, saying:
“It was the only way to show that New York was two cities, almost. One was almost like a third world country where everything was becoming scarce. Everything was complicated. And then another was a completely vibrant, alive New York.”
Additionally, he pointed out what not many people were talking about—buildings that were lit in downtown Manhattan despite the loss of power, giving the word "power" dual meaning:
“What really struck me, if you look at the image on the left, you see the Goldman Sachs building and new World Trade Center...These two buildings are brightly lit. And then the rest of New York looks literally kind of powerless. In a way, it shows also what’s wrong with the country in this moment.”
Ultimately, Baan continues to do what he does best, in the greater sense of capturing architecture for the purpose of exposing and documenting humanity. He says:
“My interest is in showing people, and maybe using the architecture as a background, and if you go one step further, a city as a background.”
Props to him for photographing one of the most memorable, widespread images in recent times, reminding us of nature's wrath and the unfortunate devastation of Hurricane Sandy.