Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene is making its way North. It is a fairly quiet night. Minimal cars are out, few and are between are passing by. A solitary window is open, passing a cool breeze into the house. The rain drops are poetic and soft, not threatening in nature yet. The rain here in Massachusetts has not yet been as problematic as it has been else where in the country. The Atlantic coast has been taken a pounding the past few days as Irene makes its way up. The anticipation of the hurricanes severity has caused alarm and set in motion a series of closing and cancellations. Today we had a wedding. The rain was a huge factor in the events for the day and left us unable to produce 25% of what we had planned to. As photographers, we can control light, weather, well that isn't something we can really control, at all.

During the ride to the wedding there was a little bit of silence in the car. It was a sad day, a wedding on the "eve of Irene," as the voice on the radio was calling it. The silence gave me a moment to think about how as a photographer I am most concerned with telling a story through images. Due to a major logistical issue, I can not be where I would Luke to be, on the coast in the southern part of the Atlantic, between Virginia and South Carolina. Though in terms of the images I'd seek to produce, I wouldn't shun away from New York City, after all, it is the first time in the history of the city the sub ways have been closed. Regardless of my passion to share visual stories, I am land locked and unable to position myself where I'd prefer to be. As a visual narrator, I am fueled to share what I see by documenting the events I witness. I do not label myself as a documentary photographer, instead it is a role I step into when an event warrants a response to be captured and shared. This event, this soon to be event, hurricane Irene, is not the same situation as the tornado back on June 1st. It is just as sever and can be as deadly as a spontaneous twister that presents itself in a multi town devastation course.

I will be seeking refuge with my camera as I roam around documenting what happens. I have yet to make a single photo in response to Irene, but when the weather changes and the storm presents itself I will be poised with my finger on the shutter. All major news sand weather reports are saying the eye of the storm is going to pass right over our county, Western Mass.

With nearly every store already closed, the immediate threat of the storm has already made its mark, with only a fraction of the rain we are slotted to receive. Power has already been anticipated to be lost. Some communities are preparing for up to a week with this loss. In the event this shall happen, I hope to retain mobile connectivity so I can blog the events that happen. As I document the devastation occurring, I will have both my camera and my camera phone in full operation. Until then, I eagerly await the moments when I am needed to make image and tell the story of Irene's visit.

Be safe, be aware, and take caution. If you feel the pull, the allure to document any form of this storm, please be of the utmost cautious. As I reflect on the day and hearing my family discuss their plans for safety, there is one person not far from my thoughts, but far from the physical safety of home that I worry about. Within a few days a safe return will be made and things will go back to a more peaceful state of mind as the weather clears. Share your images and stories, but please, be safe in doing so.

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