Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Flood That Never Came

On May 13, 2011 the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers opened the Morganza Spillway in Southern Louisiana and diverted millions of gallons of water per second from the swollen and flooded Mississippi River down into Cajun country in the Atchafalaya Basin. The Corp projected nearly 18 feet of floodwater would settle over the sleepy Cajun hunting community of Butte La Rose. In a matter of days nearly 800 houses and trapping camps were abandoned, effectively rendering Butte La Rose a ghost town. Some residents spent their life savings elevating their homes on stilts and evacuating their families and personal belongings. The people of the Atchafalaya Basin held their collective breath waiting for the massive wall of water to envelope their community. Days passed, then weeks, but the water never came.

A towboat steams downriver on the very swollen Mississippi River past the flooded headquarters of the Golding Barge Line in Vicksburg, Miss. on Sunday, May 22, 2011. Heavy rains across the Midwest and higher than normal springtime snow melt caused one of the largest floods of the Mississippi of the past century. As the crest of the river made its way South into Louisiana, floodwaters threatened to engulf Baton Rouge and New Orleans for the first time since Katrina.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Circus Train

Throughout the Fall of 2010 and the Spring of 2011 I caught up with the Ringling Brothers Circus train across the Midwestern United States to work on a photo essay about life on the train. Thanks to my editors on the National Desk at The New York Times I was able to get access to work on the one project that I've wanted to tackle since I first picked up a camera sophomore year of high school. The project ran in the Times on May 30th, 2011.
Though usually pulled by diesel engines, the Union Pacific railroad and the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey circus collaborated to allow UP's Challenger No. 3985 steam locomotive to pull Ringling's "blue unit" circus train from Speer, Wy. into Denver, Col. on September 28, 2010. The collaboration allowed officials to boast that the world's largest operating steam locomotive had pulled the longest privately owned train in the world. (Luke Sharrett for The New York Times)


Saturday, August 6, 2011


Summer's been giving me time to go back through photos from the first six months of the year.

Shooting range. Lynchburg, Va.