Darkly Comic Photos of Tourists Watching Atomic Explosions

“Imagine if the advent of the atomic era occurred during today’s information age,” writes photographer Clay Lipsky in the introduction to his series, Atomic Overlook. “Tourists would gather to view bomb tests, at the ‘safe’ distances used in the 1950s, and share the resulting cell phone photos online. Broadcast media would regurgitate such visual fodder ad nauseam, bringing new levels of desensitization.” The fact that he’s entirely correct — and that, as he mentions, the atomic threat isn’t as remote in 2012 as many of us seem to believe — gives the humor of the photos, in which we watch stereotypical tourists as they watch and photographic mushroom clouds, a dark, political edge. Click through to see some of our favorite pieces from Atomic Overlook, which we discovered via Faith is Torment, and visit Lipsky’s website for more of his work.

Photo credit: Clay Lipsky