The devastation of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina has been imprinted in our collective visual memory by thousands of images in the media and books of dramatic photographs by Robert Polidori, Larry Towell, Chris Jordan, Debbie Fleming Caffrey, and others. New Orleanians want the world to see and respond to the destruction of their city and the suffering of its people--and yet so many images of so much destruction threaten a visual and emotional overload that would tempt us to avert our eyes and become numb. In The Color of Loss, Dan Burkholder presents a powerful new way of seeing the ravaged homes, churches, schools, and businesses of New Orleans. Using an innovative digital photographic technology called high dynamic range (HDR) imaging, in which multiple exposures are artistically blended to bring out details in the shadows and highlights that would be hidden in conventional photographs, he creates images that are almost like paintings in their richness of colour and profusion of detail.Far more intense and poetic than purely documentary photographs, Burkholder's images lure viewers to linger over the artefacts of people's lives--a child's red wagon abandoned in a mud-caked room, a moulding picture of Jesus--to fully understand the havoc thrust upon the people of New Orleans.
In the deserted, sinisterly beautiful rooms of The Color of Loss, we see how much of the splendour and texture of New Orleans washed away in the flood. This is the hidden truth of Katrina that Dan Burkholder has revealed.
DAN BURKHOLDER is an acknowledged master of digital fine art photography. His landmark book, Making Digital Negatives for Contact Printing, has become the standard reference. Burkholder has taught at the International Center of Photography (New York), the Royal Photographic Society (Spain), the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Melbourne Royal Institute of Technology (Australia), and Santa Fe Workshops (New Mexico). ANDREI CODRESCU is the author of New Orleans, Mon Amour: Twenty Years of Writings from the City; Wakefield, a novel; and it was today: new poems. He has also written extensively about photography, including two essays on Walker Evans published by the Getty Museum. A regular commentator on NPR's "All Things Considered," Andrei Codrescu lives in New Orleans and teaches at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He also serves as editor of the literary journal Exquisite Corpse.