Documenting Sandy: Photographer Highlight — Nathan Kensinger

In case you missed it, our Documenting Sandy exhibition is up in our 3rd floor gallery, exhibiting photographs taken by professionals and amateurs in the devastating aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.  A couple times a month, we’re going to tell you more about the photographers who contributed to the exhibition, and what their experience was like as both an observer and a participant.

Nathan Kensinger is a professional photographer and filmmaker who hails from San Francisco and now resides in Brooklyn.  I first saw some of Nathan’s work at a Brooklyn Public Library exhibition showing a side of NYC that I was less familiar with: the waterfront.  This is just one of Nathan’s visual interests.  His work also encompasses the urban landscape, structures and places off the beaten path or outright forbidden, and environmental disaster zones.  I included his photographs in this exhibition because they are aesthetically pleasing, but Nathan also offers his viewers a different perspective on the streets and area we think we know so well as native, naturalized, and die-hard Brooklynites.  His work is the kind that Brooklyn Historical Society seeks to showcase for its visual appeal mingled with documentation that comes from a fellow Brooklynite; experiencing what we all experience with the addition of a shutter release.

Nathan’s home neighborhood of Sunset Park avoided serious damage, and that allowed Nathan to continue documenting.  He ventured outside to speak with neighbors and take photographs of the storm’s aftermath.  These photographs not only add to work he already explored in earlier series, but contribute to a new series of essays about recovery efforts in the five boroughs of New York City.  Nathan ventured out to Red Hook, the Rockaways, Staten Island, and parts in between.

Sea Gate, 2012. Nathan Kensinger.

Sea Gate, 2012. Nathan Kensinger.

Nathan creates a bi-monthly photo essay called Camera Obscura on Curbed New York, has exhibited at Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, and the BRIC Rotunda Gallery, and has been featured in the New York Times, Wired Magazine, the New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal and New York Magazine.  Finally, he has contributed several photographs to our Documenting Sandy exhibition.  You can see them in person through Spring 2014 or at Nathan’s website:

On a related note, our call for submissions for Superstorm Sandy materials remains active. We are not only collecting photographs, but artifacts, ephemera, and other documentation of this storm and its effect on the residents of Brooklyn.  You can email our Collection Staff to discuss further.


About Julie May

I am the Director of Library & Archives at Brooklyn Historical Society.
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