Coronavirus News: Photojournalist documents emotion of NYC under lockdown

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- A photographer wakes up every day of this pandemic and takes to the streets of New York City to capture -- in black and white photos -- the crisis of our lives.

Over the past four decades, Peter Turnley has covered wars around the world.

The things Turnley has seen would astonish anyone, but when the lockdown started, he was the one who was stunned.

"I was shaken by what I saw, by a city that was empty," Turnley said. "I came back home, and I cried. I sobbed for a few minutes. I was shaken."

Ever since then, Turnley has hit the streets armed with his camera and his N95 face mask to document the brave faces and the strong people of the pandemic.

He captures the ones who answer the call, the ones who need a hand, the ones who keep the city moving and the ones who find joy -- every one of them a New Yorker.

"In the last six weeks, I have never met a New Yorker who has demanded any thanks or gratitude or appreciation," he said. "They just tell me they're doing their job, what they think is their duty."

Turnley said what we are all now living is something none of us have ever experienced before.

"We're all scared we're gonna take that long trip in the ambulance to the hospital, and it's challenging all of us to figure out what's most important in their life, he said. "What has struck me so often has been the role and the theme of love. In a moment like this, most of us think of what's most important to us,. And at the end of the day, it has a lot to do with the people closest to us in our family."

Turnley has taken thousands of pictures during the lockdown and has posted more than 100 of his favorite images online for all to see.

He said the images are a gift to a city that won't back down.

Click here for more from Turnley on YouTube.

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