2011 Photo Contest, Nature, Stories, 1st prize

Oil on Water

Photographer

Benjamin Lowy

27 April, 2010

In April, the Deepwater Horizon oil-drilling rig, in the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast, sunk after an explosion.

About

Benjamin Lowy

Benjamin Lowy was born in 1979. He received a BFA from Washington University, St Louis in 2002 and began his career covering the Iraq War in 2003 for Time. Since then he has cove...

Background story

Gulf of Mexico Pools of crude oil float to the surface of the Gulf of Mexico at the site of the sunken Deepwater Horizon drill. In April, the Deepwater Horizon oil-drilling rig, in the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast, sunk after an explosion. Over the next four months, the resultant sea-floor oil gusher released an estimated 4.9 million barrels (nearly 780 million liters) of crude oil, making it the biggest marine oil spill in history and causing extensive damage to marine and wildlife habitats, as well as to tourism and fishing industries in the Gulf. The rig, operated by Transocean under contract for BP, was drilling in about 1,525 meters of water, pushing the boundaries of deepwater drilling. President Barack Obama placed an immediate moratorium on new drilling off the US coast.

Photo credit:
Reportage by Getty Images for GQ

Technical information

Shutter Speed
1/800 s
Focal length
145 mm
F-Stop
f/4
ISO
200

This image is collected in