Archie Panjabi

You may know her as Kalinda from The Good Wife, but now Archie Panjabi has moved onto NBC's Blindspot. She was graceful and tuned in, taking directions well and playing around openly. This was a secondary shot after we covered a full-length on a white seamless for a New York Times Arts column. There were about 5 minutes left before she had to run, so we quickly rearranged the lights to focus just on her and darken the room behind her.

 

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.

 

Strange, familiar Fort Lauderdale on CNN Photos

Read the story below, and visit the gallery here.

 

At age 10, Danny Ghitis moved with his family to a suburb just outside of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He relocated to New York after college but still heads south to visit his parents a few times a year.

On a trip in 2009, he started taking pictures at various spots along the city’s seven miles of beaches. The ongoing project has allowed him to rediscover a familiar place.

"Being a guest in your own home is a strange feeling," Ghitis says. “But in my case, it helps me let go.”

It led him to a slower kind of photography than the “run-and-gun approach” he learned shooting for newspapers. Now he often uses his vacation time to explore life along the Atlantic shoreline.

Fort Lauderdale gained popularity as a spring-break destination in the decades after it was shown on the big screen in the 1960 film "Where the Boys Are."

“I was not around in the ‘80s to party with the spring-break crowds or hang with the bikers,” Ghitis says. “But I have seen the boardwalk change over the years.”

By 1985, the city had passed a strict ordinance against public drinking to help shed its image as a mecca for college students. The strip where most of the shops, hotels and restaurants are congregated has gotten more upscale since then.

Ghitis says the culture and nightlife of Fort Lauderdale has always felt just outside of his reach.

“As a teenager I looked on from a distance, not being old or perhaps bold enough to be fully involved,” he says. “When I reconsidered the city as an adult, I felt my opportunity to dive into the debauchery had past and I was once again an observer.”

When he’s cruising the beach with his camera, Ghitis isn’t looking for anything in particular. But he likes to have a “balance of sincerity and awkwardness” in his images.

After years of redevelopment, tourists still flock to Fort Lauderdale. Despite the down economy, the area hosted a record 11.1 million visitors in 2011.

“I find the supposed paradise concept of the beach amusing,” Ghitis says. “Because to me it's just home, beautiful but imperfect.”

– Brett Roegiers, CNN

 

Rutgers Controversy for Chronicle of Higher Education

An ongoing discussion about anti-Semitism on the Rutgers college campus has drawn national attention. Aaron Marcus, a senior, has been at the center of the controversy. Since transferring from Yeshiva University three years ago he says he has encountered several incidents that crossed the line from anti-Israel to anti-Semitism. Last year he appealed to the Zionist Organization of America, which filed a complaint with the U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights accusing Rutgers of violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by failing to afford Jewish students the same protections against discrimination it would afford members of other minority groups. Dr. Charles Haberl, director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers was responsible for the investigation into anti-Semitism allegations against one of his department's staff members. Read more here (original link requires subscription).

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes and Sean Eldridge

Potentially the most powerful gay couple in the world, Chris Hughes and Sean Eldridge are getting married at their Garrison, NY estate in June. Hughes is a co-founder of Facebook and organized Obama's 2008 online campaign and is now editor-in-chief of The New Republic. Eldridge is an investor and political director of the Freedom to Marry organization. Quite the combination. Read the story here.

The Mob Wives. Fugetaboutit.

If I hadn't met the Mob Wives cast in person I wouldn't believe they were real. These ladies are intense and larger than life (in more ways than one, wink). I had to shoot two groups at separate locations because any little comment could set them off into a battle. And the producers of the reality show want to be there when the shit hits the fan.

Tyler Brule, creator of Monocle magazine

For this assignment I was asked to make a "variety" of portraits of a hot shot entrepreneur at a crowded Manhattan bookstore one weekday evening. Mr. Brule was noticeably impatient, the reporter was hovering, the PR handler kept reminding me they had no time, and the location was cramped and visually limited, and to top it off my flash tube died out...A perfect storm. Instead of freaking out I channeled my inner yogi and kept cool (also I've been playing Batman Arkham City lately and have been inspired to handle intense situations like a badass). The muscles in my face relaxed and I spoke in soothing tones. I requested that the manager shut off a couple of lights above the magazine section, flipped on the modeling light, shuffled some magazines around and made some small talk with the subject. Suddenly the nightmare turned into a little puzzle I was piecing together. After a few frames I stuck a strobe on my camera with a wide lens and made a different image in the same spot (variety = done). Come this Thursday I was pleased to see a huge run of Tyler Brule's portrait. Bada-bing, bada-boom.  

Tyler Brule

Chef Marcus Samuelsson for the NYT

I took an express train to Harlem to meet the great Chef Marcus Samuelsson at his restaurant Red Rooster. He has such a graceful and welcoming manner, as does the locale, that I felt comfortable working with him from the get go. His appreciation for the rich diversity of the neighborhood is incorporated in the design and cuisine. For this assignment, however, I focused on Samuelsson's obsession with a particular designer's ties for a story on men who stockpile.

Portrait of the artist (as a middle-aged man)

Times reporter Bob Morris sums it up pretty well. "Surrounded by fast cars, guitars and celebrity: the portrait painter Richard Phillips has much to envy."

Check out his short films with Lindsay Lohan and Sasha Grey.

Richard was a pleasure to work with. I was struck by how composed and patient he was, whereas many subjects of stature seem to be either nervous or in a hurry. His paintings are typically exploding with flashy colors but when I entered his studio there were only patches of color amid large unfinished paintings of Lindsay Lohan, his most recent interest. There was also a large blue work-in-progress, a private commission, of a nude bombshell of a woman in the desert holding a Desert Eagle. He told me about his experience traveling to Utah to meet this subject and how they brought along a case filled with automatic weapons. Apparently the huge handgun was her favorite. As we decided on a couple of different spaces to photograph in his studio he regaled me with stories about his career- what a pleasure Lindsay is to work with, his meticulous painting process, how he has no clue how to use a camera yet recently had a multiple-page fashion spread in Elle. I felt at ease moving him around the room, trying different ideas and chatting like old pals. But not too at ease. This guy is a force to be reckoned with.

 

 

The lives we lost on 9/11, and how we deal with it

John Cartier, 43, lost his brother James, a 26-year old electrician who was working at the WTC during the attacks. Soon after he started the American Brotherhood Motorcycle Club to memorialize the victims of 9/11 and serve as a reminder of American freedom. When photographing John for AmNY I could sense his pain, and listened to him rant angrily about justice. I asked whether he was a member of the armed services. He said he enlisted immediately after 9/11 but was promptly discharged once the military discovered his brother’s fate. He said they were right to kick him out because he probably wouldn’t have been able to control his rage. Among the vitriolic statements he made about Muslims he seemed satisfied by the number of “them that we’ve killed over there.” I feel sympathetic for John, and all of the families of victims. And I also feel rage at times. But meeting John provided me with yet another opportunity to see how useless anger and the desire for violence are. I’ve come to understand certain patterns of human behavior, and observe over and over the endless cycle of victimization. In a recent editorial piece for the Times Ahmed Rashid explores the consequences of our anger. “We have begun to ask the question of 9/11 in reverse: why do Americans hate us so much?”  The reaction of blaming an entire group of people for the actions of a few, carving out some idea of an "other," is dangerously irrational.  But not everyone sees that.  And this is an issue that should continue to be addressed and flushed out. Justice and reconciliation can be one and the same.

Jamie Beck, a Tumblr extraordinaire

Jamie Beck runs a successful Tumblr site centered around her fashion photography called From Me To You. She is also the co-creator of Cinemagraphs. She was profiled in the Times as an example of how Tumblr is becoming an integral part of the fashion world online.... "Formerly a pileup of profanity-laced teenage ramblings and partly expressed emotions, at least to an outsider’s eye, Tumblr has become an image-driven platform of importance to fashion photographers — like Terry Richardson (who uses it mostly as a diary) — brands and bloggers, who have made it an integral part of their online lives."

The Brooklyn Circus

The Brooklyn Circus/BKc story begins in 2006 in a quaint neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York with the aim to strengthen consumers’ appreciation for classic aesthetics and antique motifs whilst upholding the pillars of modern design within a hundred year plan. With time-tested values of classic American craftsmanship, a love for urban tradition, vintage sensibilities, and an endless search for the timeless silhouette, the empowerment and authenticity. Founded by graphic designer Ouigi Theodore and developed by an arsenal of visionaries fueled by a common purpose, this bustling junction of style and character is always an experience. Beyond embracing techniques of timeless craftsmanship and sophisticated simplicity, The BKc fosters creative relationships, providing a social sanctuary for open-minded forward-thinkers. Every cuff of trouser, roll of the sleeves, and peaking pocket square is connected to a greater story, as they’ve succeeded at tailoring not only cloth and fabric, but lifestyles.

Read the article here: Pushing the boundaries of black style