By Richard Renaldi

#Sandy is a collection of images taken by professional photographers during the storm.

By Benjamin Lowy

Each image was shot with just an iPhone.

By Benjamin Lowy

“Most people look at these and say, ‘I can’t believe this is from an iPhone,’" says Wyatt Gallery, a photographer and the organizing force behind the book.

By Michael Christopher Brown

Apps like Instagram and Hipstamatic can improve the photo skills of any iPhone carrier.

By Wyatt Gallery

But the photographs in #Sandy, "take it to the next level,” Gallery says.

By Hank Willis Thomas

Using an iPhone also got the 20 photographers access to spaces--both geographical and emotional--that might not have been possible with clunkier, more obtrusive equipment.

By Ruddy Roye

Perhaps its largely because we’re so used to the presence of phones.

By Craig Wetherby

“I’d watch as they do portraits. And people are more open with them and more relaxed with them because they don’t have a big camera in their face,” Gallery says.

By 13th Witness

“They’re talking to the person about their experience and getting to know them, but at the same time taking photographs of them. It’s effortless and blends into the conversation. People are a little more real and open.”

By Wyatt Gallery

The images show the brutality of the storm in high relief, as well as the subtler bits of wreckage--like worn-down details in flooded homes.

By Ruddy Roye

The shots showcase a specific, professional mastery.

By Andrew Quilty

Gallery’s goal with #Sandy is to raise awareness about the people and neighborhoods still struggling, close to a year later.

By Sam Horine

One hundred percent of royalties for the book will go to Occupy Sandy and the Sandy Storyline project.

By Sam Horine

The first published books will cost $50. Check out the #Sandy campaign here.

Co.Design

14 Stunning iPhone Photos Taken During Hurricane Sandy

With powerful images--and all royalties for relief--#Sandy captures the raw during-and-after of the superstorm.

As all New Yorkers, New Jerseyans (and most Americans) will remember, the days that immediately followed Hurricane Sandy last fall were largely spent trying to find out what was going on. With power losses, wreckage and flooding, people had to struggle to communicate with each other--how to phone someone to ask to charge your dead phone?--and news organizations had to exercise on-the-fly ingenuity.

Citizens and reporters alike were able to steadily pump bits of news out through Twitter. But one of the most comprehensive views on the storm and its aftermath was via Instagram. And it wasn’t just because the New York and New Jersey-dwelling portion of Instagram’s 90 million users were all posting pictures of eerily dead streets and a blacked-out skyline--it was because professional photographers ditched their gear for a week and captured the entire mess with their iPhones.

“The iPhone became a really powerful tool in the moment because we could upload the photos as we were taking them and report on the storm at that moment, instead of at the end of the day or the next day,” says Wyatt Gallery, who was among that group of photographers. Gallery, a New York-based photojournalist whose body of work includes a series on life in Haiti post-earthquake, is now assembling a collection of Hurricane Sandy iPhone images in a book. There’s an Indiegogo campaign to publish #Sandy, which features the work of 20 professional photographers who captured images of their post-storm hometowns.

It’s quickly apparent how artfully shot the images are--even though they’re sourced from Instagram and Hipstamatic. “Most people look at the photos and say, ‘I can’t believe this is from an iPhone,’ because these images take it to the next level,” Gallery tells Co.Design.

As it turns out, shooting with an iPhone may actually have been the all-access pass the photographers needed to truly capture the raw emotion of the storm. A phone--versus a heavy camera, lenses, and tripod--enables nimble and reflexive photo-taking. Also by now we’re all accustomed enough to phones that they’re far less apt to cause offense (or posing).

“I’d watch as they do portraits. People are more open and more relaxed with the photographers because they don’t have a big camera in their face,” Gallery says. “They’re talking to the person about their experience and getting to know them, but at the same time taking photographs of them. It’s effortless and blends into the conversation.”

The first published run of the books will cost $50, and 100% of royalties will go to Occupy Sandy and the Sandy Storyline project. Check out the #Sandy campaign here.

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4 Comments

  • ROYCE da VOICE

    "Using an iPhone also got the 20 photographers access to spaces--both geographical and emotional--that might not have been possible with clunkier, more obtrusive equipment."OK... Because in that geographical location, a flight of stairs is that emotionally tough to trudge down with a camera bag and a tripod? 

  • Seth Hosko

    Carrying equipment is a different emotional approach.. it's a signal that you're intending to take photographs. I think the author's point was that since we always carry our phones, the photographers were unburdened emotionally, and were able to take photos without expectation.

  • cassette_walkman

    So it's the iPhone that created these amazing images?? Get real. It's not the technoogy that created these images.

    Give a high-end camera to Joe Blow and you'll generally get banal images. Give an iPhone to Joe Blow and you'll generally get ... banal images.

    "Stunning iPhone photos"? Nope: Stunning photographers' photos. It's the photographers that created these amazing images.

  • Robert Dominic Wilkey

    Yeah, I'm pretty sure they gave all the credit to the photographers, not the iPhone.  That's why Ms. Rhodes used language like "The shots showcase a specific, professional mastery."