New York Magazine editors on how they got that Baan photo

New York Magazine

New York Magazine editors wanted to capture the “clear delineation of lights on and off in different parts of the city" after Hurricane Sandy.

They decided an aerial image would work well for their cover shot and called contributing photographer Iwan Baan last Wednesday to see if he was in the city. Baan, who takes photographs from helicopters about once a week, is based in Amsterdam but often travels to New York.

New York Magazine reports:

Fortunately, Baan was in town, but two of his three different helicopter contacts were unresponsive. A third was available and prepared to take off for us. Total flight time was two and a half hours: one hour to get to Manhattan, half an hour shooting time over the city, and one hour back to eastern Long Island. It was a clear night with wonderful visibility and just enough cloud presence to make for a beautiful sky.

This was the first time Baan had taken a photo from a helicopter in the middle of the night.

He told Poynter's Caitlin Johnston, "It was the only way to show that New York was two cities, almost. One was almost like a third world country where everything was becoming scarce. Everything was complicated. And then another was a completely vibrant, alive New York.”

Related: Slideshow of Baan's blackout photos

  • Mallary Jean Tenore

    As managing editor of The Poynter Institute’s website,, I report on the media news industry, edit the site’s How To section, and moderate the site's live chats. I also help handle the site's social media efforts, and teach social media sessions on the side.


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