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Justin Maxon, who spent the days leading up to Super Tuesday photographing Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum for TIME, started the project new to the political photography scene—but it didn’t take him long to figure out how the campaign events in Ohio would go.

“Every single rally looks the same and sounds the same,” he says. At this point, the candidate’s appearances are fully stage-managed affairs with low levels of access for photographers.

Maxon had noticed that there was a high level of excitement about Santorum, and he wanted to get to the bottom of it, but found it hard to do at official campaign events. “There’s just so much that goes into the image of the candidate,” says Maxon, “that it’s hard to really know what’s orchestrated and what’s real.”

One technique Maxon used to get around the artifice was to look for people and objects that could serve as symbols of the larger issues. He was fascinated by the grassroots enthusiasm for Santorum’s candidacy and the values that underlie that support, so he tried to give visual expression to those ideas.

“There was a family I photographed with four children, and the mother had this 3-week-old baby that she was carrying around,” he recalls of one such example. “In addition to this baby, she had this American flag she was carrying with her, as well. To me, seeing these large families and their patriotism was an insight into the values of the people who support this candidate.”

Another way Maxon explored the campaign was to leave the political events behind. At one rally, the photographer met Pastor Lonnie Vestal, who is featured in the photo gallery above. Not normally a political man, Vestal had become excited about Santorum’s message. He invited Maxon to attend Sunday services at his church, the Way of the Cross Pentecostal Church in Mason, Ohio, and then to go canvassing after the prayers, walking from home to home and trying to engage in political dialogues with residents.

The pastor was not the only such person he met. “I’ve been talking to people and trying to grasp why people are really interested in Santorum.” With his photographs from Ohio, Maxon says he wants viewers to get an impression of not just the reasons that people gave for their enthusiasm about the candidate—mostly “issues involving the home,” he says—but also his own perceptions of how the Santorum campaign is striving to encourage those feelings.

“Part of telling the story is hearing people’s stories,” he says. “I’ve been trying to weave together what people are saying and the things that I’m actually seeing.”

Justin Maxon is a California-based photographer and a recent recipient of a Magnum Emergency Fund Grant. See more of his work here, or on LightBox.

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In the days leading up to yesterday’s Super Tuesday primary contests, Republican candidate Mitt Romney set his sights on Ohio, a swing state that has played a crucial role in recent presidential elections. Photographer Lauren Fleishman, who was photographing the candidate for TIME, did the same.

“I have been here before. It’s what I remember,” she says of the state, where she previously spent time working on an extensive personal project about the Amish. “The landscape still looks the same.” And, although the photographer was focused on a different kind of Ohioan this time around, she found that, while Romney was the star of the scene, the people of Ohio were still the highlight of the trip.

Photo opportunities with Romney were highly controlled—something that Justin Maxon, who was also photographing Super Tuesday for TIME, found to be equally true for Rick Santorum’s campaign. It was especially so after when Fleishman left her car to join the official campaign bus. The increase in access, the backstage passes, was paid for in limitations on where and when the photographer could stand and shoot. Taking those photographs was an artistic and technical challenge—how to make a good picture when you can’t get close enough?—but Fleishman found that the people who turned up to see the candidate were the real source of interest.

For example, at a factory in Canton, Ohio, on Monday, Fleishman turned her camera to the workers. “They were in their work outfits, which is just jumpers and construction hats, because they went to work on a Monday and a lot of them, I was told, didn’t even know that there was going to be something going on,” she says. “For me the most exciting thing is getting to see the people from each town come out, and to speak to them and to see their faces.”

From Dayton to Youngstown, each town had its own character—and each town had its own characters. Each campaign event presented the photographer with one group of people that made up one piece of Ohio. As the campaign bus traveled through the state, the photographer was able to put those pieces together, many portraits of people becoming a portrait of a state. And yesterday, anticipating leaving the state to join Romney as he waited for the day’s results in Boston, Fleishman hoped that her photographs from Ohio would show the state itself as a part of a larger puzzle.

“You get these little glimpses into different towns,” she says. “I want the photographs in some way to show a portrait of America through the candidate.”

Lauren Fleishman is an award-winning photographer based in New York City. See more of her work here and her last post on LightBox here

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Charles "Teenie" Harris

Photographer Charles "Teenie" Harris holding a camera while standing on the sidewalk.

Watch many photographers today working on digital SLRs and you’ll see them shoot, pull the camera down to peek in the digital screen to check the image, then repeat. This action has become known as chimping, and old salts will say that it betrays the photographer as an amateur, because back in the days of film, once you took a photo, that was what you had.

But in the days of film, especially in a controlled setting, photographers often made redundant shots to make sure they captured what they wanted. Not Charles “Teenie” Harris. A native of Pittsburgh’s Hill District, the city’s cultural center of African-American life, Harris was a semi-pro athlete and a numbers runner before he bought his first camera in the 1930s. He opened a photography studio and specialized in glamour portraits, earning the nickname “One Shot” because he rarely made his subjects sit for a second take. Nearly 80 years later, a retrospective of the photographer’s work is on view at the Carnegie Museum of Art.

“One Shot” Harris freelanced for the Pittsburgh Courier, chronicling the life of black neighborhoods throughout the city. In 1953, he closed his portrait studio, and for the next 20 years, he captured the late Jim Crow and Civil Rights eras, photographing Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Muhammad Ali, John F. Kennedy, Dwight Eisenhower and dozens of others who shaped the late 20th century. But Harris is most remembered for his images of daily life—urban landscapes, social gatherings, musical performances and sports from boxing to Negro League baseball. He captured the vibrant times and slow death of the Crawford Grill, perhaps the most famous jazz club in the Hill District.

Harris made more than 80,000 images in his career, nearly 60,000 of which have been scanned and catalogued by the Carnegie Museum of Art. The Museum maintains a searchable archive online and a retrospective exhibition of Harris’ work will run until April 7, allowing visitors to see an era and a place captured one single shot at a time.

Teenie Harris, Photographer is on view at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh through April 7.

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GO TIME
GO TIME: Republican presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum climbed into a truck after he greeted patrons at MaryAnn’s Diner in Derry, N.H., Monday. The Granite State holds the nation’s first primary Tuesday. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

PACKED STREETS
PACKED STREETS: Nigerians packed Ikorodu Road in Lagos, Nigeria, Monday. Tens of thousands of protesters participated in a nationwide strike over gas prices that shot up when the government ended a decades-old gas subsidy. (Pius Utomi Ekpei/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

PROTECTING TEBOW
PROTECTING TEBOW: The Denver Broncos’ Willis McGahee (23) threw a block on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Larry Foote (50) as Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow (15) looked to pass the ball during a wild card playoff game in Denver Sunday. The Steelers lost 29-23 in overtime. (Jack Dempsey/Associated Press)

TOPSY-TURVY
TOPSY-TURVY: The Greek-owned cargo ship Rena, which has been grounded off the New Zealand coast since October, broke into two pieces after it was battered by strong waves in Tauranga, officials said Sunday. Oil has been seen leaking from the vessel. (Action Press/Zuma Press)

SCOUTS PRAY
SCOUTS PRAY: Boy Scouts Russ Pierce, left, and Paul Pierce prayed during the annual Religious Freedom Day event in Fredericksburg, Va., Sunday. (Suzanne Carr Rossi/The Free Lance-Star/Associated Press)

LEOPARD ATTACK
LEOPARD ATTACK: A leopard scalped a man, killed another man and injured three other people in Guwahati, India, Saturday. The animal was captured and will be released in the wild. Conservationists say deforestation is increasingly pushing leopards into populated areas. (Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

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Lars Tunbjörk is accustomed to seeking out the absurd. And on his first assignment covering U.S. politics, the Swedish photographer, best known for capturing the subtle humor in his native country’s suburban landscapes, didn’t need to look too hard. The frenzy of candidates, crowds and media that accompanied the Republican caucuses earlier this week in Iowa gave Tunbjörk absurdity by the ballotbox-full. This series of revealing and often humorous photos, commissioned to illustrate TIME‘s political coverage in the magazine and online, is a remarkable snapshot of American democracy in action. Tunbjörk often arrived early to watch campaign workers set up and stayed long after the the spectacle ended to capture them breaking down the stages. “The people of Iowa work hard during the process and take it very seriously,” the photographer says.

With a fresh eye, strong flash and unusual compositions, Tunbjörk captured the personality-driven candidacy of Rick Santorum as he prayed before a plate of nachos in Johnston, Iowa, and discovered Mitt Romney’s robotic rhetorical repetition on the trail in Clive and West Des Moines. Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann were also photographed, and Tunbjörk shows the full spectrum of the long days both the candidates and Iowans endure, waiting at events and standing out in the cold during the sometimes grueling caucus process. Under the Iowa big-top, the marvels never cease. “Sweden is such a quiet country,” Tunbjörk says. “And this process is such a circus.”

Lars Tunbjörk is a Stockholm-based photographer and represented by Agence Vu in Paris and by the Gun Gallery in Sweden and Paul Amador Gallery in New York. He is the author of Vinter (Steidl, 2007) and his next book, L.A. Office (MACK) will be out this spring.  

Adam Sorensen is an associate editor at TIME. Follow him on Twitter at @adamsorensen.

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On the afternoon of September 11, Pittsburgh-based photographer Scott Goldsmith was one of first journalists allowed to view the crash site of United Flight 93, which had been 20 min. away from its target, Washington D.C., when passengers and crew fought the terrorists, bringing the plane on a field near the small farming town of Shanksville, Pa. “The fire had been so severe there was no aircraft left,” says Goldsmith, describing the  crash site as it looked just hours after impact. “By the time we got there, there wasn’t even any smoke. Just eight or nine men in white protective suits moving around a crater, with a line of trees behind them, burnt black.”

Goldsmith continued working until Governor Tom Ridge’s press conference at sunset, returning home in time to catch Federal Express and dispatch the film to US News & World Report.

But the sense of what had happened at Shanksville lingered. As the media focused on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, “I felt Shanksville was forgotten,” says Goldsmith.

So he kept returning to document the town: the tourists, the government officials, the FBI and other technicians conducting the investigation. He’s made the trip about twice a year, for ten years, getting to know many of Shanksville’s 250 residents. “The town just grew and grew on me. And working there helped me deal with the event,” says Goldsmith, who is turning the project into a book. “Shanksville is something meaningful to me. And those sort of stories are far and few between when you’re trying to make a living in this business.”

Goldsmith, who has covered everything from the campaign trail to shale drilling, says this was the first story he immersed himself in at such length. As he pursued it, his budding relationships with the locals allowed him to meet a man who witnessed the plane smashing into the earth, and hear how he wasn’t able to leave his house for two weeks. He got to see how the scene continued to unfold, “people would come up to me with a handful of shredded cloth that looked like it may have been plane seats,” says Goldsmith “and say, ‘look what I found in my field.’” And he was let into areas that were supposed to be off-limits. “Wally Miller, who owns a funeral parlor, and helped a lot of the families of the victims, took me back behind police lines,” says Goldsmith, “and let me photograph trees near the site.”

For the most part, Goldsmith has had the story to himself. “It’s not like Ground Zero where no matter what time of day you go,” says Goldsmith, “someone is always there.”

That may soon change, as the National Park Service works on a memorial, with the first phase of construction completed on the 10th anniversary. Incorporating groves of trees, and a 93 ft. tower with 40 wind chimes, the park is designed to represent the passengers and crew who, as Elizabeth Kemmerer, whose mother was on board, said to the 9/11 Commission, “fought a battle at 35,000 ft., in an aisle no wider than 3 ft.”

As work on the park goes on, the thousands of people who visit the area over the last 10 years have set up their own tributes—writing messages of gratitude on guard rails, and leaving flags, jewelry, even Purple Hearts near the site. They were there when Goldsmith returned to gauge reaction to the killing of Osama bin Laden. There weren’t jubilant celebrations like the one’s that erupted in Washington and New York. Rather there was a muted sense of relief. “They don’t want to be in the limelight,” says Goldsmith. “That’s why they chose to live there. But all of a sudden, they became part of our history.”

To see more of Goldsmith’s work, click here.

To visit TIME’s Beyond 9/11: A Portrait of Resilience, a project that chronicles 9/11 and its aftermath, click here.

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