I'll admit, I was a little intimidated by the prospect of tackling the photo portion of the month later edition of the paper. (At our paper, most of our front page stories are planned in advance, and assigned to a particular photographer to pursue, working with the reporter and editors to produce the package.) "We've seen enough of people cleaning," was the general consensus. So, how do we show the passage of time without being redundant to much of the work that's run on our pages? A brainstorming meeting came up with this: choose a handful of photos from during the flood, and re-shoot them now. So, I dug through our 1,500+ image archive from the flood, chose eight photos, and got to work. The photos ran as diptychs in last Sunday's paper.
Oddly, the photo that was one of the easiest to get during the flood was one of the most difficult now. During the flood, since all the exits and entrances from downtown were closed, so I was able to park in the merge lane to take the top photo. This time around, I didn't exactly have that option, so I had photo editor Rollin Banderob drive while I shot out the car window, strap wrapped around my wrists with the camera held high overhead to simulate the angle I had when I stood on the road. It took three passes to get it almost right. We cropped both photos long for the layout of the front page, and to match what I shot the second time around.
Jonathan Woods shot this photo from the boat as it drove up Second Avenue. I couldn't exactly block traffic, so it also took a few tries to get close to the original. In many of these pairs, the 'now' photo is pretty boring. But the contrast between the two was really striking, making them more interesting as a pair.
Another challenge: finding the exact locations. Fortunately, photographer Cliff Jette specified the street this house was on in the caption, making my hunt a little easier. Still, I couldn't stand in the street for long to take this photo, since Second Ave SW is *sort of* a busy street, so they're not an exact match.
I carried two different lenses while I tried to figure out Jonathan's vantage point on Highway 6 in Coralville. I took proofs of each photo with me, making the picture hunt a little easier. (Of course, he was there at sunset, while I was there late in the afternoon.)
The unique bark on the tree to the right helped me find Brian Ray's photo pretty quickly once I got to Normandy in Iowa City. It's amazing how different everything looks when it's dry..