SVA PHOTOGRAPHY: Student Images | Part II Hurricane Sandy

 Photograph © Elise Swain

"The entirety of the NYC Transit system shut down at around 7pm on the Sunday night before Hurricane Sandy was schedule to strike the northeast. That Sunday, Manhattan residents working in the city tried frantically to leave work early to make it to their home without the use of public transit. Later that night photographs of a deserted Grand Central Station started to circulate on the Internet. College dorm rooms across the city started monitoring the students’ whereabouts. Those of us who wished to venture out into the night, were made to fill out a sign out sheet.  I stated the reason of my exit as, “photographic purposes.”  I was greeted with a New York City I had never seen before."
"Late Monday night, a huge explosion lit up the sky from the 14th Street Con Edison power plant, etching the sky with the last traces of light that lower Manhattan would see for 5 nights. Having stocked up on candles, most homes enjoyed the first night, picking up a book and reading by candle light before going to bed.  As soon as the extent of the damage was realized, businesses and colleges shut down the remainder of the week, panic began to set in. The effects of not having power were significant. Small tasks, such as going outside became an ordeal when faced with walking up and down fifteen flights of stairs because of no working elevators.  A great exodus from Lower Manhattan began to occur. People ventured by bike, by foot, or by cab to friend’s unaffected houses or apartments in surrounding areas. Manhattan at night became terrifying.  No traffic lights created a free-for-all at most busy intersections for those still on the roads.  Small bars opened up with help from generators, and filled up slowly with various characters that happened to linger in the city." 
       "By Saturday, most affected areas had power and running water restored. Businesses reopened. Classes were scheduled to resume on Monday.  Manhattan collectively sighed with relief, and reflected on how comparatively easy our experience was to those who lost their homes and neighborhoods.  We will no doubt remember the powerful effects of this storm for a long time to come."–Elise Swain

Photograph © Tina Rivosecchi

Photograph © Tina Rivosecchi
"After the storm calmed down, the East Village was left with nothing but darkness and the sounds of blaring sirens.  The city below 34th Street was a dead zone, completely dark after sundown and eerily quiet. It was the kind of atmosphere where you might imagine the zombie apocalypse erupting."–Tina Rivosecchi

 Hurricane Sandy, Carlstadt, N.J.  Photograph © Alexis Adam

"The power went out while eating dinner, illuminating the house with only L.E.D. flashlights. Being without power for a week, the atmosphere in my home changed drastically; it felt surreal."–Alexis Adam

Photograph © Frankie Torres
"Known as the city that never sleeps, New York is a very active city, full of people from many diverse backgrounds. There's always something happening and people outside, even in the middle of the night. Except for when Hurricane Sandy came passing through her destructive path. It seemed as if Manhattan stood still. The streets were empty. One of the most visited places in the United States, Times Square, was as deserted as a ghost town. View more images here captured by Marine Veteran and Photographer, Frankie Torres right before and right after Hurricane Sandy in New York City"–Frankie Torres

 Photograph © Lia Schryver

 Photograph © Lia Schryver

"While most inhabitants of New York State were preparing for a torrential hurricane two weeks ago, in Albany, the sun was continuously shining and the sky was a consistent shade of blue; not even a a handful of raindrops touched the ground. Considering that Sandy wreaked havoc in much of lower New York State, I did not take for granted the beautiful weather..."Lia Schryver

Photograph © Kaitlyn Nissen

"Life in my home state of Iowa during Sandy"–Kaitlyn Nissen

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Inspired by a talk given to my sophomore students in the BFA Photography program at the School of Visual Arts by James Estrin, Co-Editor of the NY Times Lens Blog, I gave an assignment to create a documentary or editorial blogpost through slides or video. We knew a storm was  heading towards New York, but no one had any idea Hurricane Sandy would black-out downtown Manhattan where many of the students dorms are located and schools would be closed for a couple of weeks. Part II, above, is an excerpt of the work of the students who focused on Hurricane Sandy. Part I here.


Sara Jane Boyers said...

Such serious terrific work.

Susan May Tell said...

Great! Some real life experience. Well-written.