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PostSubject: Storm Aftermath Photos That Will Make You Look for Higher Ground   Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:01 am



Mario Tama spent more than his fair share of 2012 in a helicopter, surveying and photographing the destruction of some of that year’s many powerful storms. But it was on the ground where he felt the real impact, as he photographed the people affected by these extreme meteorological events. Like Melanie Martinez, a resident of Braithwaite, Louisiana, as she looked through her flooded house after Hurricane Isaac.

“There was no specific plan to focus on climate change in 2012, as much of what we do as photojournalists is reactive,” says Tama, a photojournalist for Getty Images. “But I suppose the evolution of the project was a natural progression given the multitude of weather-related events of 2012 in this country.”

His edit of these photos, titled 2012 Climate Change: A New Normal in America?, just won a Judge’s Special Recognition award in the Environmental Awareness Award category at Picture of the Year International contest. Climate change is a broad, diffuse subject, and it’s hard to illustrate it with photographs, but Tama’s photos capture the sheer size of the destruction while also humanizing the impacts.

Extreme weather has moved from anomaly to daily global reality. Last year hurricanes, heat waves, blizzards and super storms all racked the U.S. and made regular headlines. Tama says he’s witnessed a lot of horrible things over the years while covering natural disasters — a focus he attributes to his reaction to Hurricane Katrina — and last year he says it was superstorm Sandy that really set him on edge.

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