Oil Spill Over My Heart

A man holds a plastic bag with seawater and oil from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill south of Freemason Island, Louisiana May 7, 2010. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria, via CleanEnergy's Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cleanenergy/4606012463/in/photostream/)

I’ve been mostly absent from The Discerning Photographer these last couple of weeks, my blogging production down to almost zero. The reason is interesting and depressing at the same time: the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, just 100 miles south of my great city of New Orleans.

As a photo editor, photographer and videographer  at the New Orleans Times-Picayune, I’ve spent almost all of my work time involved in spill coverage, although from a distance: sending shooters out for boat tours and aerial flights, assembling photo galleries for our web site, producing daily reporter video updates from our newsroom. It’s been a real marathon of a story to cover, with no real end in sight: they still haven’t managed to plug the damned thing, as of this writing.

But this isn’t really the reason for no blogging. Although The Discerning Photographer is not a photojournalism or news blog, it is still a reflection of my approach to photography and my work. And lately, that work has felt like a bruise on my heart: watching a region and its people  you love slowly have their way of life destroyed by an oily, marsh-killing, man-made catastrophe.

A bruise on my heart: watching a region and its people  you love slowly have their way of life destroyed by an oily, marsh-killing, man-made catastrophe.

So I guess the energy I usually put into my blogging has just been consumed by this thing.

But I’m going to try and shake this off and get back to work: I’ve missed blogging and all that I get out of it. I decided the proper segue back in would be oil-spill related, in the form of links to photos and information about this nasty mess. So check this out, you won’t be disappointed:

Oil Spill Approaches the Lousisiana Coast at The Big Picture (Boston.com)

Boston.com does newsy photo galleries better than anybody online. Their format allows them to blow out the normal layout and make the photos really, really big. This is an early aggregation of images as the slick was just getting started.

Disaster Unfolds Slowly in the Gulf of Mexico at The Big Picture (Boston.com) Another great gallery from two weeks later. By this point we were starting to get a sense of how truly out-of-control this thing really was.

BP’s live video feed of one of the two oil leaks, 5000 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. After a lot badgering from U.S. Representative Edward Markey, BP agreed to start serving up a live video feed from the spill. The ‘insertion tube’ visible here is supposedly sucking up 5000 gallons of oil a day, the amount BP was originally claiming was the total being lost each day. They’ve had to admit now that the total is much, much higher, although they’re still squirming around and don’t want to give a realistic estimate.

Oil spill videos from our reporting staff at The Times-Picayune. We have more local expertise than any other news organization in the area and I’ve tried to capitalize on it with our daily updates from the newsroom. This is the index page for all oil spill video we produce.

Gulf Oil Spill page at Huffington Post. The Huffington Post continues to do an awesome job of aggregating and displaying content on the oil spill. This main article page has great content and a layout which make perusing the information easy on the viewer. I check it every day.

Oil Spill Images at The Associated Press.  The Associated Press has an incredibly talented bunch of photographers and when the spill happened, they brought in several extra shooters to help with the effort. This page can be viewed without being an AP member and has some great photos on it.

Oil Spill Photos at Getty Images. AP’s biggest competitor in the U.S., Getty has been hard at work covering the oil spill too. This page loads over 1200 images from a search of “BP Oil Spill.”  Click on the thumbnail to blow the photo up and read the caption.

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill 2010 photos on Flickr.  Still a small group of images, I expect this will grow as this sad story continues.

Oil Spill Photos from The Times-Picayune. Finally, our index page of photo galleries on the spill. This list grows daily so check back for updates.
Hi, I’m Andrew Boyd, a.k.a. The Discerning Photographer, and I hope this post has been interesting and informative. Please leave me a comment about it, let me know what you’d like to see more of on the site! You can also sign up for email delivery of all future articles or my RSS feed. Thanks!–DiscerningPhotog

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About the Author:

Photographer, videographer and photo editor. Host and creator of The Discerning Photographer web site. Currently a Canon shooter.

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