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A Sandy Aftermath Samantha Garlitos


A Sandy Aftermath is a montage of photos that were taken months after the “superstorm� Hurricane Sandy hit the Jersey Shore. This hurricane completely destroyed all of the East Coast. This topic interested me much because it hit so close to home, literally. My hometown and neighboring towns were completely destroyed. Local bars, restaurants, convenience stores, local boutiques, and local surf shops were completely destroyed and gone. Friends of mine and my family were displaced and required to find another place to live. Cherished belongings, carpets, sofas, bathtubs, sinks, and kitchen tiles were spread out on the curb like a yard sale on every corner. I never thought a natural disaster would hit this area, and there is still evidence of Sandy still remaining. The media and news cover the aftermath of hurricanes and natural disasters immediately after the storm. I wanted to show and tell the stories of the clean up that people are still going through months and months after. The storm devastated homes so badly that many of the houses I took photographs of were vacated, because the house was deemed dangerous to live in. The essay is presented for an audience of all ages and intended to shed light and make people aware of the devastation and how this storm is still effecting families at the beach still to this day.

Photo Essay

Composition Analysis I chose this image to analyze because it touches on many of the aspects of composition. First, the aspect of lines. The fence and boardwalk immediately catch your eye when looking at this picture. The huge metal bar (huge line) skewed to the right of this image makes this image powerful. It’s almost like, looking through the photographers point of view, that we are not allowed to be in this area. Also, the boardwalk is completely devastated and the straight boards and chunks of boards are not in any type of organized fashion. They are diagonal, straight, horizontal, vertical, and converging as well. This gives the powerful feeling of disarray and chaos. We also see the texture of the sand in this image where we can almost see footprints of peoples shoes and feet. This gives off an ironic and uneasy feeling knowing that the beach is supposed to be somewhere to relax; however, there is ruins left to sit here. In addition, ‘depth of field’ is in this image

because we only see the horizon and the ocean meet. The ruins of the boardwalk have no end in this picture, just a beginning. It looks as if the ruined boardwalk keeps going and going. This, as well, gives off the feeling of chaos because there is a sense of ‘unknowingness’ in this image. Although this image does not adhere to the element of composition that has to do with “framing” the picture with its natural borders, I believe the fact that it does not adhere to this makes it an even more interesting photograph. By setting the frame off to the side and make the fence enter the picture, there is a more powerful emotion that is evoked. Fences signify borders, they allow you in or out, and they can keep you in or out as well. It is up to the audience who is viewing this image to decide.

Photo Analysis For this photo essay, I chose these twelve pictures to show the real devastation that I went through during hurricane Sandy. Everyone in the world knows how devastating the hurricane was to the East Coast; however, these pictures were chosen purposefully to show how personal the devastation was. Many people see pictures and videos online and on the news that show the damages of storms, but taking these photographs myself really put the immense devastation into perspective for me. I chose purposefully not to include any people in the photographs for many reasons. One reason was because I wanted my audience to be able to put themselves in the picture, almost like it was there sofas and carpet laid out on the pavement. Applying McCloud’s theory of abstraction, the more abstract a picture is, the better someone can place themselves in the situation. Another reason was because I felt like if I placed anyone in my photographs, the photos would be too staged. Like Annie Leibovitz mentioned in her documentary, the photographer has to develop a comfortability level with the people being photographed. I also wanted to focused only on the devastation. To take these images, I used my iPhone camera. I decided to use this camera because I liked the sharpness of the photos compared to my mom’s digital camera. I was thinking about buying a disposable camera but I liked the fact that I could take numerous photos and then look back and decide if I needed to take another one or if one of the photos would look better from a different angle. Once I uploaded them to dropbox and saw how the images looked on the computer, I used the photo editor: PhotoBucket to edit my photos. I used this one because all of the other photo editors I tried on my computer were seriously lagging or I couldn’t figure out how to apply the effects that I want to the picture. PhotoBucket was perfect for me. All of the photos in my

photo essay are under a filter called “Vintage” and under that filter there are specific other filters that change the look of the picture. All of the images are mostly under the filters Earl and Jyler. I chose these filters because they gave the images a warmer but spooky feel to them. I wanted to make the images look warmer because I think the contrast and brightness really brought out every piece of rubble, dirt, or glass in the picture. Also, the filter “Earl” had blurry edges which I thought looked awesome. It made the picture look a little aged. Then, I added the border “Ink” to the photos. Also, in that border category- there were many different borders to choose from. I mostly went with a black ink border. I liked the way that the border and the filters together made the picture look a little aged and worn out. I wanted to make the photos looked aged and worn out because I wanted to sort of juxtaposition that feeling with the fact that these photos are completely recent. I wanted that contrast to bring my audience to a realization that there is still devastation and our shores are still being cleaned up.

A Sandy Aftermath  

A Sandy Aftermath is a montage of photos that were taken months after the “superstorm” Hurricane Sandy hit the Jersey Shore. A hurricane th...

A Sandy Aftermath  

A Sandy Aftermath is a montage of photos that were taken months after the “superstorm” Hurricane Sandy hit the Jersey Shore. A hurricane th...