QuoteI'm not rubbishing the picture - it is an astonishing shot that conveys so much about New York after being hit by 'Sandy'. It is an indication of a photographer who knows the capabilities of his kit and was able to get and take the opportunity to prove it.
I know that many will argue that this image isn't anything great, that they themselves could have easily taken the shot given the same chance with the same equipment. It is the same argument that I have seen many others have made about the work of Peter Lik, Art Wolfe, Gregory Crewdson, Richard Avedon, Albert Watson, Sheila Metzner, and many others, that their work is subpar, mediocre. This same argument extends further to other creative areas such as painting, sculpture, etc. Comments/reactions to a work done by Jackson Pollack for example – "My four-year old kid could have done that" or "I could have easily done that" are often heard. Fact of the matter is that they did it, and not us. The fact that Iwan Baan, took advantage of the opportunity as well as the risks, to take the image is what mattered. Many people forget that more often than not, it's not about the final image but rather the story and/or process that was involved in taking the shot. They're often caught up in the technicality of the art and thus have forgotten that true photography is never about the final result but the events leading up to it. If this wan't the case, then no one would bother to consider the work of past photographers with subpar cameras yielding grainy, blurry images (Henri Cartier-Bresson, Brassai comes to mind) as who they really are...masters.
As Weegee said "f8 and be there"