Disaster photography specifically refers to photos taken during or after a destructive event, usually a natural disaster, but some are man-made. These photos range from hurricane aftermath to Chernobyl pictures.
I thought that the images from these types of scenes are unique in the sense that they are familiar. Yet they have a haunting or unsettling quality to them due to familiar settings being warped in almost unrealistic ways.
Most of the people that do disaster photography are photojournalists, and are reporting for the news or a magazine, and many of them are also war photographers. And I also thought that part of it was interesting as well, because many aspects of both types of photography are similar. The styles look similar and can provide similar feelings as well despite the subjects being different.
Another interesting part of this was that the process of getting into these scenes and taking the photographs seem to have similar difficulties to war photographers. Such as being barred by authorities, especially when at the scenes of human disasters such as Chernobyl or the twin towers after 9/11. And there is a lot of debate about whether or not disaster photography is taking advantage of peoples strife or accurately reflecting the scenes and events of these disasters.
According to the main article that I read the gear that is used and the settings used are “(A) Canon EOS 5D Mark II and either a 50mm f/1.4, 16-35mm f/2.8, or 70-200mm f/2.8 lens on an Induro carbon fiber tripod with a ball head… With the images that have people in them I was often shooting at ISO 800-3200 in order to get the beautiful low light in the photo while also freezing the subject… For the still life and landscape photographs I was most commonly on ISO 800 but I went to 400 sometimes and even up to 1600. ”
Adam K. Smith