Gulf of Mexico oil spill images collected, discussed by Times-Picayune photo staff (PHOTOS)


When the BP oil spill erupted in the Gulf of Mexico, members of our Times-Picayune photo staff sprang into action to cover this tragedy. Here’s a look at what it was like to cover the spill, in the words and photographs of some of those staffers.

The interviews conducted here and the photo selection was done by staff photographer John McCusker.

“When I first approached the explosion,” Times-Picayune photographer Michael DeMocker said, “It was still clearly burning really well and we were quite a way away still. I don’t know how many miles, but it was way out at the horizon, and just giant plumes of gray and black smoke.

“It reminded me of Sept. 11, or the days after Sept. 11, when I was going down the streets from north Manhattan to get to ground zero. It looked very similar, it had the same kind of feel to it, of just this unbelievable amount of damage that had occurred.

“It just seemed to take forever to get to the rig itself. It felt like an hour of just looking at this giant plume of smoke and fire. We just never seemed to get to it.

“The light hit the water in such a way that you could see the oil on the surface just going like a river away from the disaster.”

Times-Picayune photographer Ted Jackson said: “The thing that I found about the oil spill was that you knew there was a huge monster out there coming at us, and it was so hard to find.

“We knew it was coming, and we had to keep looking for it and serving as scouts for the newspaper to see where it was going to be hitting the shore.”

See impressive photo gallery (127 pics) here:

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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