Author Joshua Cohen for The New York Times

This genius, Joshua Cohen, talked my ear off about the weirdness of the internet at his home in Red Hook, Brooklyn, where I made his portraits. The New York Times Book Review is calling his new epic "more impressive than all but a few novels published so far this decade.” I had a moment seeing myself as an old man, remembering when I got to photograph one of America's most celebrated authors. What a great experience.

David Ho for Caltech

Caltech's alumni magazine asked me to photograph one of their most celebrated graduates, the HIV/AIDS researcher David Ho. They wanted a dramatically-lit portrait of the science giant to make him look epic but approachable. This is a slight deviation from my typical approach, but I much welcome one. 

Brooklyn Half Marathon for Runner's World

The wonderful Anna Schulte gave me one of the best assignments I've ever had. AND I was able shoot the whole thing on a medium format rangefinder. It's a good thing I've been doing some exercise lately because covering the Brooklyn Half Marathon was physically grueling. I rode my bike along the runners, darting in and out of the crowds (think: Frogger), and somehow managed to be in twelve places at once before the finish on the Coney Island boardwalk. The best part was grabbing a beer and hot dog at MCU Park for the after party and laying on the spongy turf watching Donny Vomit swallow swords.

Aperture Panel Talk from CPW Exhibition

The broadcast from The New School panel discussion I was fortunate to be a part of is now online. It was hosted by Aperture Foundation, curated by Stephen Mayes, about "The Space Between" exhibition curated by Henry Jacobson at The Center for Photography at Woodstock. I discussed my collaborations with Daniella Zalcman of Echo/Sight.

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With more than one billion images uploaded every day, the smartphone seems to have opened the door to visual creativity for nearly half the world's population. But what are we saying, and what does it mean, when the smartphone doesn't only provide the pictures but knows more about them than we do—when the instrument joins the conversation as cocreator and publisher? Technology and psychology commingle as we venture into a world of unknown opportunity as well as risk. The discussion opens new perspectives on the seemingly innocent simplicity of our visual lives online.

 

 

Meditation and Ceramics in Japan for RISD

I'm spending the month of January documenting the Rhode Island School of Design's ceramics program abroad. My challenge is to help them create a social media presence that goes beyond the literal aspects of the course and translates the students' contemplative experience for a wider audience. Here are some examples, but follow along on Instagram.com/RISDJAPANCERAMICS to see the work in progress. 

Kelli demos the wheel. #RISD #ceramics #pottery #japan

A video posted by Danny Ghitis (@dannyghitis) on

Naoshima beach sunset sublime

A video posted by Danny Ghitis (@dannyghitis) on

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Psychic Twin

Last night my friend Erin who leads the band Psychic Twin called me up to ask for a spontaneous photo shoot. 

Disney odyssey with family

I was raised in South Florida by immigrants, which means Disney World was the holy grail. We memorized the movie lines, sang along to the tapes, and piled into a minivan and journeyed to the bizarre capitalist Mecca countless times. I wonder sometimes how my identity would've been shaped without the influence of Disney. Click through for some snaps from a recent family trip to Orlando. 

 

Exhibition on May 17th in Oswiecim, Poland

It is an honor to be exhibiting my Land of Oś images at the renovated Kluger House at the Auschwitz Jewish Center in Oświęcim, Poland. In 2010, I journeyed to Poland to confront a past that haunted me. I spent five months in the country that I had once perceived as a mass graveyard for the Jewish people, and through painstaking work found light at the end of the tunnel. Read/see more here

Click through the gallery below to view mock-ups of the show. 

Remember Newtown

I haven't been able to look at the images I shot in Newtown, CT since leaving the place. I had been yanked away from a quiet and contemplative artist residency in upstate New York when the shootings went down. After the week or so of shooting (for Stern and Maclean's) I raced back from Newtown as fast as possible to lick my wounds. A heart-wrenching experience, to say the least. And if it was that hard for me I can't comprehend the pain of the families of the victims and the town as a whole. Lifting the camera became a physically exhausting experience with the emotional weight becoming a very palpable feeling. It took a couple months to be convinced the insane media attention was worthwhile, although at the time seeing all the news crews made me sick. The government seems to have recognized we need gun control as a result, so let's hope some legislation passes and we move toward a more evolved society. (Update: 4-18 - Senate minority has blocked the background check bill. Contact your representative and senator and tell them you won't abide). Hard news photography isn't my passion, but I'm grateful to have contributed to a collective response to this terrible tragedy.

Looking back now at the images, I start feeling like I did in the moment...Utterly depressed about the loss of beautiful innocent children, angry at the shooter and the culture that made him a possibility, spiteful of the TV crews with their bloated budgets and sensationalized storytelling,  and intoxicated by the adrenaline coursing through my veins. Yet there were moments of elation and peace in the spaces between noise. These children were miracles, the community's support was a miracle, the country's desire to improve is a miracle, and the fact I was able to witness and possibly help in some small way feels like a miracle.

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Harlem Valley, continued

For the month of December I'll be in-residence at The Wassaic Project. It's my second go around after a last April when I started a project called Harlem Valley, about the strange rural area between wealthy Hudson Valley and Connecticut. There's a good chance this work will be the subject of a solo show at Recession Art in March. Will keep you posted.

Superstorm Sandy

In between volunteering shifts at Rockaway Beach where Sandy wreaked havoc, I made some iPhone pictures. This one was featured on Instagram's weekly roundup. The new technology is no longer just a trend. With TIME magazine using an iPhone image on its cover it's undeniable that being a contemporary photographer means embracing this new form of visual communication. Will be adding a gallery of iPhoneography to my homepage soon. Follow my Instagram feed here.