LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 04: A person walks along the Las Vegas Strip on Wednesday October 04, 2017 in Las Vegas, NV. Suspected gunman, Stephen Paddock shot and killed people attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival. He was known as being a high stakes gambler. (Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 04: Manikins are seen as a person casts a shadow as morning light fills the Las Vegas Strip on Wednesday October 04, 2017 in Las Vegas, NV. Suspected gunman, Stephen Paddock shot and killed people attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival. He was known as being a high stakes gambler. (Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

According to the Gun Violence Archive, last week’s mass shooting in Las Vegas was the 278th so far this year.  For Washington Post photographer Matt McClain, it was the fifth of his career.

“The hardest part for me is seeing the anxiety and raw emotion” says McClain who covered the 1999 Wedgwood Baptist Church shooting in Fort Worth, the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, the 2012 Aurora, Colo., shooting and the 2013 shooting at Washington Navy Yard. “Some of those moments are always carried with you.”

Last week, in addition to covering the daily news out of Las Vegas for The Post, McClain decided to work on this series of visual vignettes that showcased a different side to the massacre. Here, he says, he “tried to tell the shooting’s effect on the city through a more esoteric approach that hoped to convey the mood and atmosphere of the city, while interpreting the situation in a different way.”

McClain says he approached the project as a chance to “play with light and space through the daily and mundane situations of people returning to their daily lives.” The subsequent poignant images illuminate a city engulfed in tragedy and the tension that returning to normalcy brings.


LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 09: Light reflecting off a building illuminates people along the Las Vegas Strip on Monday October 09, 2017 in Las Vegas, NV. Suspected gunman, Stephen Paddock shot and killed people attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival. He was known as being a high stakes gambler. (Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 05: A man dressed as Superman walks along the Las Vegas Strip on Thursday October 05, 2017 in Las Vegas, NV. Suspected gunman, Stephen Paddock shot and killed people attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival. He was known as being a high stakes gambler. (Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 09: Green light illuminate people sitting outdoors along Las Vegas Blvd. as the lights on the Las Vegas Strip begin to overpower the night's sky on Monday October 09, 2017 in Las Vegas, NV. Suspected gunman, Stephen Paddock shot and killed people attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival. He was known as being a high stakes gambler. (Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 09: Seen from the sidewalk, a woman gambles at Casino Royale on Monday October 09, 2017 in Las Vegas, NV. Suspected gunman, Stephen Paddock shot and killed people attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival. He was known as being a high stakes gambler. (Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 03: A pedestrian stands in front of a fortune telling machine on Tuesday October 03, 2017 in Las Vegas, NV. Suspected gunman, Stephen Paddock shot and killed people attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival. He was known as being a high stakes gambler. (Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 09: A woman poses for photographs outside of the Venetian Las Vegas on Monday October 09, 2017 in Las Vegas, NV. Suspected gunman, Stephen Paddock shot and killed people attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival. He was known as being a high stakes gambler. (Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

More on In Sight:

Strumming along Virginia’s Crooked Road

Homegrown rodeos make it ‘Cowboy Christmas’ in the Rocky Mountain summertime

Stepping away from the national stage, a photographer returns to Midwest roots