Since being released on the internet yesterday, this photograph of a half light and half dark Manhattan has been quickly spreading throughout the web. The cover of New York Magazine’s latest issue, which hits newsstands Monday, the aerial photo was taken by Dutch photographer Iwan Baan on Wednesday night, or two days after superstorm Sandy swept through New York, leaving millions without power.
If you check out New York Magazine’s Facebook page, skeptics have been leaving comments as to whether this photo has been photoshopped. A few New Yorkers quickly set the record straight saying, “Definitely not photo shopped. This photo did well in documenting what the hurricane did to us” and “Not photoshop. We live in that darkness. Power just restored.”
This is truly one of those photos we’ll never forget.
Update: Poynter got in touch with the Dutch photographer to find out more details about the shot. Apparently, he took the photo while hanging out of a helicopter hovering 5,000 feet about the ground. It was shot with a new Canon 1D X with a 24-70mm lens on full open aperture. The camera was set at 25,000 ISO, with a 1/40th of a second shutter speed.
"With these aerials you shoot a lot, bursts of images, to finally pick one out there which is sharp," Baan said. "It's difficult if it's freezing outside, you don't have a door, helicopter is moving and vibrating, etc., but you really work towards an idea, visualization of that image which you have in mind."
"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."