In the past few months I’ve been thinking about how quickly the story and aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan disappeared from the front pages of the mainstream news. I’ve been wondering about the recovery efforts and what in hell happened with those nuclear power plants. The Atlantic’s photo blog, In Focus, with Alan Taylor (creator of The Boston Globe’s popular Big Picture feature) at the helm, somewhat answers my question with a collection of before and after photos of Japan. The earthquake and tsunami hit Japan earlier this year on March 11th, and the devastation of the immediate aftermath seemed overwhelming. Clearly, a lot of work remains, but these photos (such as the one above) taken six months later reflect how remarkable the clean-up and recovery efforts have been.
Before and after
French photographer Sacha Goldberger assembled an indoor studio at the Bois de Bologne in Paris, a park two-and-a-half times the size of Central Park, where he stopped joggers mid-workout and asked them do a sprint and then pose for a portrait immediately afterwards. The result? We look wretched when we work out, a fact anyone whose eyes have ever wandered in the gym can attest to. But that wasn’t the only point Goldberger wanted to make. After immortalizing his subjects’ blotchy, red-faced, sweat-soaked visages on film, he asked them to come to his studio the following week, where, using the same lighting, the same pose and similarly-colored clothing he took another portrait.