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 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 the timeline be obscured when describing the Combat Endurance Test. For this same reason I won't say how long the test lasted, 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.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
During the month of July I visited eleven different states with President Barack Obama. As the President began to kick his campaign into high gear my fellow photojournalists from the AP, Reuters, and AFP and I packed our bags and hit the road. The rallies, airports, and motorcade rides really begin to blend together when you spend a month on the campaign trail, but I'll never forget the laughter and memories made with my friends in the White House Press Pool. My editors, mentors, and colleagues deserve my gratitude every day for giving me this amazing opportunity and allowing me to stand on the shoulders of giants.
Saturday, September 8, 2012
What a blessing it's been to have work this Summer.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
I spent Memorial Day 2012 in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery. It was the somberest of days.
Monday, August 27, 2012
One afternoon in June I got a call from my editor asking if I wanted to drive 3 hours to the Eastern Shore of Maryland and slog around a swamp photographing wildlife trackers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. My answer: "Absolutely!" So I set out to meet up with Wildlife Specialists from the USDA who are tracking and hunting an invasive species from South America called Nutria. The species lives and feeds on thick marsh grass that is essential for the preservation of wetlands. As Nutria have reproduced and spread through Maryland their feeding habits have irreversibly changed dozens of marshlands into open water, displacing many species who call the wetlands home. The USDA's goal is the eventual total eradication of Nutria from the Mid-Atlantic. Happy hunting:
Sunday, August 26, 2012
This November the balance of power in the White House will be decided at the polls. Perhaps more importantly, so will the balance of power in the United States Senate. The 2012 Virginia Senate race pits two former Virginia Governors against one another: Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican George Allen. With recent polls showing the candidates neck and neck, the race is a toss up.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Earlier this year I got a nice break from political coverage and flew out to Indianapolis, Ind. to meet up with the Butler University men's basketball team for four days on the road in Ohio. The team was battling to make the NCAA tournament in the midst of a rocky season. Butler, as you may remember, made unprecedented back-to-back appearances in the NCAA National Championship Game in 2010 and 2011. Not bad for a school with an approximate enrollment of only 4700 students. I really enjoyed working with NYT Sports reporter Pete Thamel and after four days felt like a part of the team. Thanks to Head Coach Brad Stevens and all the players for giving us an inside look at life on the road for a college basketball team.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
I've fallen behind in posting work here. My apologies for that. So here are photos from May and April, mostly in Washington, D.C.
Monday, June 11, 2012
Sometimes it takes me six months to begin to appreciate photos I've taken. Ironically enough, I feel that this essay on Kentucky Bourbon that I shot for the New York Times Biz Section in 2011 has finally aged to perfection in a dark, unexplored corner of my MacBook Pro's hard drive. Please enjoy responsibly:
Friday, May 25, 2012
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Here are some photos from the month of March. Shot for the New York Times in Washington, D.C.
Monday, March 5, 2012
Sunday, January 29, 2012
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