Magnum Photos: Weather and the Human Condition   

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David Alan Harvey, Magnum Photos, Hurricane Irene
Billy and Sandra Stinson and their daughter Erin sit on the site of their North Carolina summer home that had been in the family for more than 50 years. It was completely wiped out during Hurricane Irene in 2011.

David Alan Harvey/Magnum Photos.


Over the last few days, we have all been inundated with imagery of Hurricane Sandy. Professional photojournalists, as well as friends and neighbors, have captured some pretty amazing photos of the record-breaking storm. Little has been ignored: storm preparations, Sandy’s arrival, the damage and destruction left in its wake and the emotions of the people who witnessed it.

Some images were instrumental in documenting the effects of the storm, often telling a story before it was reported. Other images stretched the truth a bit. Today we combed the Magnum archive for images from around the world taken before, during, and after stormy weather conditions (sometimes severe) and the subsequent effects on the planet and the human psyche. The images record the despair caused by devastating storms but also show how less-powerful weather can produce a bit of joy or a melancholic moment.

John Vink, Magnum Photos, Laos, Nam Hou River
First rains on the Nam Hou River in Laos, April 21, 1993.

John Vink/Magnum Photos.

Jean Gaumy, Magnum Photos, The Abeille Flandre tugboat
The Abeille Flandre tugboat returns to the Ouessant shipping lane after a rescue operation, 2000.

Jean Gaumy/Magnum Photos.

Trent Parke, Magnum Photos, Freshwater Beach, Sydney, Australia
Lightning strikes as a storm passes over Freshwater Beach on the north side of Sydney, Australia, in 2000.

Trent Parke/Magnum Photos.

Moises Saman, Magnum Photos, Hurricane Wilma, Cuba
The remains of a house destroyed in Cuba by Hurricane Wilma in 2005. The image was taken Jan. 28, 2008.

Moises Saman/Magnum Photos.

Paolo Pellegrin, Magnum Photos, Flood in Biloxi, Miss., Hurricane Katrina
Flood in Biloxi, Miss., from Hurricane Katrina, 2005.

Paolo Pellegrin/Magnum Photos.

Jonas Bendiksen, Magnum Photos, Jhapa, Bangladesh, Hurricane Aila
Villagers from Jhapa, Bangladesh, walk through flood waters caused by Hurricane Aila, 2009.

Jonas Bendiksen/Magnum Photos.

Harry Gruyaert, Magnum Photos, Ostende, Belgium
A man walks in the town of Ostende, Belgium, 1988.

Harry Gruyaert/Magnum Photos.

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