Picture Show: Harrowing Visions of New Orleans Under Water
It's been nearly five years since Hurricane Katrina struck the southeastern region of the United States, yet visions of the...
It's been nearly five years since Hurricane Katrina struck the southeastern region of the United States, yet visions of the storm's chaos and devastation are still fresh in our minds. In 2005, a week after the storm had passed, the Danish photographer Casper Balslev, who at the time was studying and working at newspaper in Copenhagen, took a trip to the city of New Orleans to see it for himself—not on an assignment, but because he felt compelled to go.
"I felt as though there was already so much coverage of the human stories that I didn't know how I could contribute to that," says Balslev. "So I thought it would be good to shoot the city, which was filled with water, on a medium format camera on a tripod, the old fashioned way."
The results are his series "Nawlins," an awe-inspiring (if at times brutal) collection of landscapes of the battered, flooded city that speak not only to nature's potential destroy, but also, when regarded these five years later, to humanity's capacity to endure. Balslev hopes to return to the city one day to photograph the same locations in their various states of repair and transformation.