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.

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