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Dramatic photos show how storms changed California’s drought

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AP video journalist Terry Chea, freelance photographers Noah Berger and Josh Edelson, and photo editor Alyssa Goodman, offered a compelling look at how recent storms transformed California from being in a state of drought to flush with water. Acting on a suggestion from Deputy Director of Photography Steph Mullen for a photo-driven story about the situation, Berger and Edelson went back to the locations where AP had shot photos in the depths of the drought in 2021. With an eye on the weather, the pair waited for a window of clear days that would create ideal conditions for strong drone photos. Through smart planning, clear communication and creative collaboration, Berger and Edelson produced jaw-dropping before-and-after photos of two major California reservoirs. Berger also shot drone video of water coming down the spillway at Oroville Dam, the nation’s tallest dam. Chea interviewed California’s water resources director, who noted that California went from the three driest years on record to the three wettest years, and Goodman put together a gorgeous photo layout on AP’s website. The story received 345,000 page views across web and app and was the most clicked push alert of the week with 31,000 clicks. 

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