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Sandy-Damaged Photos Bring New Acclaim To Photographer

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A collection of photographs damaged by Superstorm Sandy now have a new brilliance, and the man who took the pictures is attracting international acclaim.

As CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu reported, much of Randy Taylor’s previous work as a documentary-style photographer was changed forever after Superstorm Sandy.

“There was a commercial storage facility and it was basically downstairs in the basement. We had to rip open the filing cabinets. So we had crowbars and all the filing cabinets just kind of floated from the water. Mold was killing the photographs,” Taylor said.

To stop the mold on the few dozen images still left intact, Taylor dipped them in rubbing alcohol, creating an effect that mixed photo journalism and art.

“All of these are better now than they were as the originals,” Taylor said.

Taylor traveled around the world for 40 years taking pictures – nearly 30,000 images, Hsu reported. His photo of a shootout in Paris even earned Taylor a Pulitzer Prize nomination.

Taylor retired a while back, but the altered images are bringing him renewed attention. They’ve been published in both Italy and France.

He also has offers to show the images in several New York City galleries.

“I think that the lesson is that we can’t control the things that happen. The only thing we can control is our reaction to the event,” Taylor said.

Taylor said his goal has always been to tell a great story. He thinks the damage from Sandy has made those stories even better.

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