Tag Archives: Hurricane Sandy

TIME Picks the Top 10 Photos of 2012

Ten percent of all of the photographs made in the entire history of photography were made last year — an astounding figure. More than ever before, thanks in part to cell phone technology, the world is engaged with photography and communicating through pictures.

Nonetheless, a great photograph will rise above all the others. The ten photographs we present here are the pictures that moved us most in 2012. They all deliver a strong emotional impact — whether they show a child mourning his father who was killed by a sniper in Syria (slide #3); a heartbreaking scene in a Gaza City morgue (slide #1); a haunting landscape of New Jersey coastline after Hurricane Sandy, a rollercoaster submerged under the tide (slide #2); or a rare glimpse of President Obama moments before he goes out on stage during a campaign rally (slide #9). We spoke to each of the photographers about their images, and their words provide the captions here.

Over the past several days, we’ve unveiled TIME’s Best Photojournalism and Best Portraits of the Year galleries on LightBox. And in the next three weeks, we will be rolling out even more end-of-year features: the Most Surprising Pictures of the Year; the Best Photo Books of the Year; the Top 10 Photographic Magazine Covers of the Year and other compelling galleries. We will also recognize TIME’s choice for the Best Wire Photographer of the Year. Senior photo editor Phil Bicker is curating many of these galleries with help from the photo team at TIME. His discerning eye has been responsible for the curation of TIME’s Pictures of the Week throughout the year, galleries that regularly present the best of the week’s images, with surprising and sometimes offbeat takes on the news.  We will round off the year on December 31 with our second-annual “365: Year in Pictures,” a comprehensive look at the strongest picture of every day of 2012.

Kira Pollack, Director of Photography

Pictures of the Week: November 16 – 23

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From a ceasefire in the bloody conflict between Israel and Hamas and President Obama’s historic visit to Myanmar to a rebel takeover of Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congoand a camel fair in India, TIME presents the best images of the week.

Pictures of the Week: November 9 – November 16

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From escalating violence in the Gaza Strip and austerity riots in Europe to the flooding of Venice and murmurations of starlings in Scotland, TIME presents the best images of the week.

Pictures of the Week: November 9 – November 16

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From escalating violence in the Gaza Strip and austerity riots in Europe to the flooding of Venice and murmurations of starlings in Scotland, TIME presents the best images of the week.

In Sandy’s Shadow: How the Redfern Houses’ True Ordeal Began After the Storm

For Angela Williams, the routine was the same each day. She would leave her apartment, shuffle through a dark hallway and down a concrete stairwell, and stand in line for freeze-dried military rations handed out by Red Cross workers. The wait could last an hour. Williams, 45, would drop food off at her mother’s place a few buildings over, then push through her rheumatoid arthritis to hike the six flights back up to her apartment. There she would sit in darkness, trying not to go insane.

Its like were living in an abandoned building,” says Williams. “No hot water, no heat, no nothing.

Even in ordinary times, life in the Redfern Houses wasnt easy. The complex stands in the northeastern section of Far Rockaway, Queens, not far from the runways of JFK Airport. Inside nine faded-brick towers are 1,780 people in 604 apartments. Residents pay an average rent of $472 a month to the New York City Housing Authority. The architecture screams projects; so do the rusted trim and scuffed linoleum lobby floors. A security system includes 141 high-tech cameras designed to be triggered by the sound of gunshots, installed by the city after a three-day wave of shootings in 2008 left two people dead and five injured. And yet, many residents have made Redfern their home, working hard to keep their apartments immaculate inside regardless of the projects dingy exterior.

Then came Sandy. A little after dusk on Oct. 29, the storm piled water from Motts Basin over Beach Channel Drive and submerged the low-slung wrought iron fence surrounding the towers. Around 8 p.m., the lights went off. Elevators throughout the six and seven-story buildings were halted; heat went out, and appliances shut down. You looked out the window and it was so dark, you didnt know it was water until you seen it moving, says David Stephens, who lives on the fourth floor. As quickly as it came, the water receded, leaving the wet grounds covered in darkness.

For many in Sandys path, the storm itself was terrifying. On Staten Island, houses collapsed, crushing people underneath; in Breezy Point, families fled blocks of homes in flames. But in Redfern, the real struggle began the next day, when it became clear that power wouldnt return for weeks. seo marketing . For people who felt forgotten to begin with, warehoused in a housing project at the farthest corner of the city, it became easy to think that they are last in line for repairs.Engineers from the Army and Air Force have been pumping sand and saltwater out of the buildings’ basements, only to come back the next morning to waterlogged utility rooms they must pump out again.

The lack of power forced Sheree Pinders four children to sleep huddled in the living room under piles of blankets because the two bedrooms were so cold they could see their breath freeze. Rebecca Glynn, a hospital secretary, returned to work, but every night a bus ferried her home to the blackout zone, which she describes as a daily trip back into hell.

Still, most in Redfern count their blessings; the buildings suffered no structural damage. Late Sunday night, 14 days after the storm, electrical companies had finally hooked up every building to a generator, which means lights in the hallways, but still no heat in peoples apartments. You have your moments. Maybe three days ago I came out of the building and just started crying, Williams says. I never disrespected the homeless, but I look at them in a totally different light. Were in the same predicament.


Finlay MacKay is a regularcontributorto TIME.

Sandy’s Aftermath: Devastation in Staten Island by Eugene Richards

TIME assigned photographer Eugene Richards to document the devastation on Staten Island following Superstorm Sandy. Over four days, Richards recorded the total destruction in the communities along the island’s South Shore, illustrating the storm’s deep impact across the entire borough.

Richards spoke to LightBox producer Vaughn Wallace about his experience on assignment. Their conversation has been edited.

Vaughn Wallace: Talk to me about first arriving on Staten Island.

Eugene Richards: The first set of pictures that we had are out in a swamp. It was a very surreal marsh, covered with what looked like totally submerged houses. About a half mile into this area, we found this woman — totally alone — standing there. Her name was Susan. I didn’t want to intrude — I think she was trying to contemplate the tragedy, the same way everybody is. She proceeded to kneel down on what was the roof of her father’s house…over one of the rooms.

Little American flags were appearing all over the place on Staten Island — I think out of desperation. Also I think it was a protest, because people were getting very angry at what they felt was a lack of services. I’d say 30% of the homes had flags on them in some capacity. They kept popping up – people would try to find flags and raise them on broomsticks in the middle of the street.

VW: You saw the flags as symbols of protest?

ER: As symbols of defiance. We were talking constantly with people about how the mood was so scarily positive. Everyone else said it was just positive, but we thought that underneath it was a level of shock that will settle in — people were working to help each other non-stop.

This area seemed like a neighborhood of particularly hardworking and professional people — they set to work right away, tearing out the insides of their houses with an energy that was amazing. They reminded me of worker bees. They were working very, very hard until the homes ultimately became shells.

VW: In some of these photographs, we see what you’re referencing. But what can we not see?

ER: What you can’t see in the photographs is the language. One of the more revealing pictures is of a man named Kevin working on Cedar Grove Ave. We went up to his house and there was a flag out front and a note about the marathon to people in the neighborhood — everyone was very mad that the marathon was going to happen.

And then out of the basement came this guy. We were very shy about approaching him — covered with dirt, steam coming off his head in the cold, with he and his wife cleaning out their entire house onto the pavement. He chose to write ‘Thanks Sandy’ on his house rather than the profanity that many would have written.

This is the way everyone was — [an attitude] you can’t see in the pictures. To feel the graciousness of everyone was surprising. Nobody was telling jokes, nobody was laughing, but there was much kindness. That’s what doesn’t show here: the calm utility of the people.

VW: How would you describe the disaster you witnessed over the weekend?

ER: In many cases, I think it’s the end of a way of life — the innocence is gone. Cedar Grove Beach — it was kind of a secret. You were close to the beach and it was beautiful…a very special opportunity for people who aren’t particularly wealthy to live a pretty good life.

Maybe that’s what speaks to us all. I don’t know about you, but the dream of all of us is to have a house on the beach. It’s my dream. I think that’s what speaks to a lot of people — these residents in their own way managed to live this dream and this is the result of it.

VW: You’ve photographed conflict and sadness throughout your career. How does this disaster compare to things you’ve witnessed elsewhere?

ER: It was different. Acceptance, first off, that this was nature — not a man-made tragedy. On the other hand, the difference is that people in other places I’ve gone to have nothing. These people [on Staten Island] had 20 to 30 years of things they’ve worked their asses off to have…the bulk of people were concerned with their photographs and irreplaceable personal things. The prom pictures, the family pictures, the few things they had left over from their heritage, their parents. That kind of thing was gone — much more devastating than anything else.

VW: One of your more powerful images is a pinboard of family photos that people had pulled out of the rubble.

ER: Curiously, I think in a way that the photographs have taken on another meaning, like proof that they exist in a certain way as people. Photographs have taken on a totem quality in our society, maybe more than they should. The photos do have a significance — that we exist and we have roots.

We were there when a man found a picture of his friend who died in 9/11 – a little snapshot. So he was very exceedingly happy.

VW: So in some ways, these photographs are proof of existence and proof of what used to be. Your photographs, then, amplify what these found objects are already saying.

ER: I think they were pleased that someone recognized they were alive.


Eugene Richards is an award-winning American photographer. LightBox previously featured his project and book, ‘War is Personal.’

Vaughn Wallace is the producer of LightBox. Follow him on Twitter @vaughnwallace.

More photos: The Toil After the Storm: Life in Sandy’s Wake



Pictures of the Week: October 26 – November 2

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From the devastation brought by Hurricane Sandy and Eid al-Adha celebrations around the world to the final week of campaigning for the 2012 U.S. presidential election and a suspected smuggler’s jeep perched atop the U.S.-Mexico border fence, TIME presents the best images of the week.

In the Eye of the Storm: Capturing Sandy’s Wrath

As Sandy drew near, TIME asked five photographers — Michael Christopher Brown, Benjamin Lowy, Ed Kashi, Andrew Quilty and Stephen Wilkes — to document the hurricane and its aftermath via Instagram.

Image: Ben Lowy's photograph appears on the cover of the Nov. 12, 2012 issue—the first TIME cover via InstagramWorking from different locations across the Atlantic seaboard, they captured ordinary people getting ready to greet the superstorm. And when Sandy made landfall the night of Oct. 29, they braved rising floodwaters, high winds and driving sheets of rain to photograph the storm’s impact on several communities.

Keep following @TIME on Instagram for the latest photos filed by our photographers, and check back on LightBox for more of our storm coverage throughout the week.

For the latest news on superstorm Sandy, follow TIME’s live coverage.