Friday, January 21, 2011

Painting in Deadly Oil // From The NY Times' Lens Blog

Full article here // Excerpt below

Oil-soaked pelicans. Turtles caught midstroke in black ooze. Floating schools of dead fish. And then fishermen throwing out their catch.

In the visual coverage of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill last year, certain tableaus became pervasive. An image would move over the wires and photojournalists on the scene competed to match it. “Everyone was trying to make the same picture,” said Benjamin Lowy, “because it was very hard to articulate visually.” For one thing, he said, the spill was so vast.

Mr. Lowy, 31, a photographer with Reportage by Getty Images, found another way to capture the story. He focused on the oil itself as it collected on the water’s surface in phosphorescent, psychedelic swirls and paisleys, the result of different chemical mixtures, rates of oxidation and lighting angles.

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