A New Orleans photographer spent 10 years shooting haunting images of the city after Katrina

Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans ten years ago this week.

Photographer David Spielman — who’s called New Orleans home for four decades — documented the storm and its aftermath.

His work has been turned into the new book, “The Katrina Decade: Images of an Altered City.”

The pictures, as you’ll see from the below excerpt, are haunting.

Over 10 years, Spielman drove over 50,000 miles around New Orleans. He shot over 10,000 images with his Leica M6 film camera.

Photograph courtesy of The Historic New Orleans Collection

'I think my book is a window into some of the parts of the city that have been overlooked,' Spielman tells Tech Insider.

Photograph courtesy of The Historic New Orleans Collection
'Hollygrove, 2012'

Now closed, the art deco Charity Hospital was a landmark of New Orleans. 'People in the community used to call themselves Charity Hospital babies,' Spielman says. 'That building is one of the casualties of Katrina.'

Photograph courtesy of The Historic New Orleans Collection
'Charity Hospital, 2014'

Many of Spielman's photos are of buildings -- or the remains of buildings -- after the storm.

Photograph courtesy of The Historic New Orleans Collection
'Mid-City, 2012'

'Architecture reflects the population,' Spielman says. 'Every building tells a story.'

Photograph courtesy of The Historic New Orleans Collection
'Seventh Ward, 2011'

'A lot of these buildings that are covered in vines,' Spielman says. 'You can see how quickly mother nature steps back in the reclaim its own.'

Photograph courtesy of The Historic New Orleans Collection
'New Orleans East, 2014'

'Each house has generations of people who lived in it,' Spielman says. 'These houses are monuments to all of the people that have lived there.'

Photograph courtesy of The Historic New Orleans Collection
'Uptown, 2013'

New Orleans has 'changed dramatically' since the storm, Spielman says. About 80% of the city flooded, over 20% of the population left, and the BP oil spill hit soon after. But charter schools, a new medical system, and an influx of entrepreneurs signal a bright future. 'Anybody that thinks it should all be fixed in 10 years in delusional,' Spielman says, 'but we're moving in the right direction.'

Photograph courtesy of The Historic New Orleans Collection
'Six Flags New Orleans, 2012'

'Our brains don't remember video clips,' Spielman says; they remember singular images of world events, like the tank in Tiananmen Square or the plane flying into the World Trade Center. 'I hope that some of these images will be, over time, representative of what happened during Katrina,' he says.

Photograph courtesy of The Historic New Orleans Collection

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