Baan said that as soon as be began conceptualizing the shoot of the half-dark city, and knew that he would need a helicopter. “I began calling on all of the heli-pilots I could think of in the Manhattan area, but each of them were either without fuel, on recovery efforts, or without power themselves,” he wrote to us. “To my relief, after nearly exhausting all efforts, I managed to get a hold of a pilot who I had met just a week prior, and he said yes, he was able to fly.”
But in order to get to the helipad, he needed a car first and unfortunately, the rental company gave away the reservation he’d made in advance. A bit of finagling scored him a rental car all the way at JFK and after 4 hours of traffic, closed bridges and $2,000, he was sitting in the driver’s seat on his way to the heliport.
Despite freezing his lenses off on the hour-long helicopter ride over Manhattan, Baan was able to finally capture the photo that wowed us all when it appeared on the cover of New York Magazine this week. And afterwards, he was even able to analogize: “Illuminating the bottom left of the photograph is the glowing Goldman Sachs building. Just next is the construction site for the World Trade Centre, which is top-to-bottom, lit with power (despite the rest of lower Manhattan being completely powerless.) I think perhaps, this ‘division of power’ is an allegory for the country’s declining infrastructure, telling us also about who is truly prepared for when sobering events like Sandy’s strike.”
All photos: Iwan Baan