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New York dark, New York bright – a cover story

Mon 2012-Nov-5 @ MYT 22:00:06 pm

A powerful image of Manhattan Island after the hurricane was the natural choice for New York Magazine’s cover this week.

Brilliant headline and photo combination, but was it also the right choice for the front page of the Independent’s “i” in London?

New York magazine found itself in the dark half of New York after the last week’s superstorm hurricane laid low a city that prides itself on its toughness. With 72 hours to go before the next issue was due to go to press, quick action was needed.

[The staff hastily assemble] an improvised news room in borrowed space with 32 editors, photo editors, designers, and production specialists squeezed around a conference-room table, down the length of which snaked a tangle of power strips, extension cords, and chargers resembling similar arrays sprouting across the city. Staffers [scrambled] to secure writers and photographers, exchanging personal e-mail addresses to make it possible to transfer files, arranging car pools, finding rooms at three different hotels and draining our hosts of coffee and soda. The easiest part came at around noon on Friday, when we met to settle on the cover [then] raced to finish our pages… » Full story at New York magazine

How that photo was taken

Dutch photographer Ivan Baan took the photo on Wednesday night, shooting in the dark, with a handheld camera, in a vibrating helicopter, 5,000ft (3,000m) above land, door open with 45°F winds outside.

“It was the only way to show that New York was two cities, almost,” said Baan on Sunday. “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.”

Baan used the top-of-range new Canon 1D X camera and new 24-70mm lens on full open aperture (f2.8), ISO 25000, shutter speed 1/40th. “[It was] the kind of shot which was impossible to take before this camera was there,” Baan said. (By the way, he’s an architectural photographer, not a photojournalist.) » Baan explains – full story

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