Wednesday, January 30, 2013
While walking through the Mass Media and Technology Hall at Western Kentucky University this afternoon a large 4 screen television bank broadcasting CNN caught my attention. There in the unintentional crosshairs formed by the 4 flat screen samsung TV's was the author of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and her apparent foil Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association. Shot with an iPhone 5.
Monday, January 28, 2013
The big day started with a 4am wake up call. Because I was assigned to be in the White House travel pool on Inauguration Day, I got to sleep in. My co-workers at the New York Times had to be at the U.S. Capitol by four, thus dictating an even earlier wake up call. This was my first inauguration "inside the bubble," but not my first altogether. In 2008 I road-tripped from Western Kentucky with friends and classmates from my photojournalism classes to cover President Barack Obama's first inauguration. We awoke long before the crack of dawn and stuffed ourselves into overloaded subway cars like sardines. By the time we got to the National Mall we couldn't get any closer to the Capitol than the Washington Monument.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
When Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the Jersey shore on October 29, 2012, the iconic beach town of Seaside Heights was changed forever. Monster waves and crushing storm surge collapsed Casino Pier and Funtown Pier, tossing roller coasters into the angry Atlantic ocean. Beachfront souvenir shops and pizza parlors on the boardwalk were flooded and swept away. The historic boardwalk long enjoyed by vacationing families for generations was severely damaged and eventually demolished by town officials after the storm.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Hurricane Superstorm Sandy made landfall on the coast of New Jersey on October 29, 2012. By the time it was all said and done, 7.5 million people were left without power, dozens were dead, and damage in the billions stretched throughout multiple states up and down the Atlantic Seaboard. Americans had never seen a storm as large or devastating as Sandy and may never see one again in their lifetimes. It truly was a once-in-a-lifetime.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
During the 2008 Presidential election, Southwest Virginia's blue collar coal mining counties voted for Democrat Barack Obama. This unlikely geopolitical swing in 2008 ensured that then Senator Obama would receive Virginia's hotly contested battleground electoral votes. Four years later, Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney's campaign looked to coal country to deliver The Old Dominion back into Republican hands. With federal environmental regulations and changing markets hurting local economies in Virginia's coal country, the Romney camp and other Republican groups focused much of their ground game in Southwest Virginia. While Romney won back coal country from Obama, it ultimately was not enough to win Virginia on November 6.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
In a sandy pine forest along the Virginia/North Carolina border an elite team of U.S. Marines stack up outside a kill house full of enemy combatants. "GET DOWN!" yells the team leader as eight FAST Marines flood in to recapture the "embassy." Highly trained in close quarters battle and embassy security, Americans Marines move methodically from room to room. "CLEAR!" one yells after sweeping the room with his M4 Carbine. He drops an infrared chem light before moving on to the next room.
Monday, November 5, 2012
Tomorrow is the big day. It's been an incredible experience on the campaign trail and in Washington during this election season. I switched off the trail with NYT greats Doug Mills and Damon Winter a month or so back, but wanted to share these photos before it's too late. Campaigning has changed a lot in the last twenty years. So much so that the pictures and rallies and flights have really begun to blur together. With that in mind, I'm very grateful for these photos. Photos that freeze a moment in time and history. Every one of them is a gift to me that I am blessed to share with the readers of The New York Times and you all, my friends.
I covered the third and final day of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. from the back stand. Over the course of 6 or so hours I watched as the brightest stars the Democratic Party had to offer paraded across the stage, giving speeches perfectly on cue and staying directly on message. The stagecraft of the convention was very obvious and it's message very pervasive. Being stuck in a head-on position on the back stand for the duration of the night forced me to get creative and stay on my toes. Enjoy!
Sunday, October 7, 2012
In July I had the privilege of accompanying veteran New York Times war correspondent C.J. Chivers to Marine Corp Base Quantico in Northeast Virginia to document the last all-male Combat Endurance Test in Marine Corps history. For the first time in history female Marines are now allowed to volunteer for the course as part of an experimental program. The CET is an intensely grueling and secretive ordeal that all Marine Officers must endure on the path to becoming infantry officers. Because the test is designed to weed out officers who don't have what it takes to lead United States Infantry Marines under fire, it's the first segment of the strenuous Marine Infantry Officer Course.
To protect the integrity and efficacy of the training for future officer classes, the Marine Corps asked that some events not be photographed and that some details be omitted when describing the Combat Endurance Test. Most of the photos in this blog post have been shuffled out of chronological order at the Marine Corps request. For the same reason I won't say how long the test lasted for or how far we (much less the Marines) went, but I will say this was both mentally and physically the toughest assignment I've ever shot. I have a newfound respect for our Marine Infantry Officers and the men who train them.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
In August I got a call from my national desk editor that I've always dreamed of: "Luke, we need you to ride Amtrak for 5 days between Washington and Boston photographing trains and infrastructure." I was pretty stoked to be photographing a subject that I've been interested in since I was 2 years old. Assignments like this really make up for the long Summer days sweating it out on Capitol Hill.
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