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On Tuesday, Mitt Romney will conclude a nearly six-year campaign journey for the White House — and his supporters, as Christopher Morris’ latest photo essay reveals, could not be more earnest or more ready. The former Massachusetts Governor launched his first presidential bid in February 2007, and his second in June, 2011 — now the polls are tight and battleground states like Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Florida hang in the balance. Even though Hurricane Sandy disrupted the campaign flow in its final days, Republicans continue to hope that Romney’s earlier momentum and economic vision will win him the 270 electoral votes needed to take the oath of office in January.

Photojournalist Christopher Morris spent the last week of the campaign photographing Romney on the trail for TIME. He first photographed the Republican nominee back in the New Hampshire primary and has witnessed his journey to the upcoming finale. Last week he crisscrossed the country with the campaign, from Canton and Kettering, Ohio, to Tampa and Land O’Lakes, Fla.

Morris trains his lens on the voters rallying with great expectations to Romney’s side. Their anticipation and determination can almost be physically felt. Many politicos have summed this election up as two men and two parties with very different visions for America’s future, and Morris’ images capture just how deep this divide plunges. “I was a bit taken back by the strong division in the country, with a palpable disdain and hatred for President Obama by the crowds at the Romney events,” says Morris, who covered the George W. Bush’s two terms in the White House. “Having covered Gore, Kerry, Bush, and McCain, I’ve never quite seen it like this.”

Morris produced My America, a look at Republican nationalism in the country during George W. Bush’s terms. Later this month, Steidl will release Morris’ new book Americans, which further examines a nation in divide.

Christopher Morris is a contract photographer for TIME and is represented by VII

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Millions of people from Maine to the Carolinas awoke Tuesday without power, and an eerily quiet New York City was all but closed off by car, train and air as superstorm Hurricane Sandy steamed inland, still delivering punishing wind and rain. The full extent of the damage in New Jersey, where the storm roared ashore [...]

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Obama’s in the news a lot, partly because he’s kind of in charge of the world, and partly because he’s outrageously photogenic. Bear in mind it takes a lot more than good-looks to be photogenic — being completely comfortable in your own skin, having great style and being in interesting places helps a lot too, which in Obama’s case is not difficult.

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Too often the subjects of images of Africa seem to be reduced to symbols - viewers do not encounter them as fully rounded human beings, rarely seeing journalistic images of the middle class, artists or the cultural heritage of African countries. Peter DiCampo, with his iPhone, endeavors to address this.

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THUMBS DOWN
THUMBS DOWN: Women in the House gallery in Concord, N.H., showed their displeasure as New Hampshire’s Republican-controlled House voted Wednesday to allow employers with religious objections to exclude contraceptive coverage from their health plans. The House voted 196-150 to send the bill to the Senate. (Jim Cole/Associated Press)

BURNED
BURNED: An Afghan doctor treated a woman as she lay on a hospital bed after she set herself on fire on Wednesday. (Aref Karimi/AFP/Getty Images)

MISSING MOM
MISSING MOM: Kevin Alberto, 2, held a photograph of his mother, Maricela Gonzalez, who has been missing since May 26, 2011, outside his home in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, on Tuesday. Hundreds of women and girls have been murdered in the city since 1993, many on their way to or from work at assembly-for-export factories. (Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters)

WIND IN THEIR HAIR
WIND IN THEIR HAIR: Visitors reacted to the rotor wash of the Marine One helicopter as President Barack Obama took off from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington Wednesday, on his way to North Carolina. (Charles Dharapak/Associated Press)

SLEEPING LIKE A BABY
SLEEPING LIKE A BABY: Three-year-old homeless boy Sarwar slept in a hammock along a sidewalk in Mumbai on Wednesday. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters)

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I arrived in Charlotte, N.C. early on the day of the South Carolina primary and headed straight to Tommy’s Ham House in Greenville. Newt Gingrich was giving an electrifying speech inside as a crowd milled around outside. The previous week I’d covered my first presidential primary in New Hampshire, where many events were disrupted by attention seekers and protesters. Occupy Wall Street supporters came to a Mitt Romney rally and were quickly thrown out by police. At a Ron Paul event, a man with a boot on his head named Vermin Supreme made chicken noises and claimed that if he were elected president, every American would get a pony.

South Carolina was more restrained. There were no active protesters. A lone Ron Paul supporter kept a silent vigil a respectful distance away. Tommy’s Ham House continued to serve breakfast. I didn’t try their famous ham, but their hot cakes were excellent. Gingrich left in a bus with a giant portrait of his face emblazoned on the side. It started pouring and the crowd hid under signs that read, ‘Newt 2012. Rebuilding the America We Love.’

Next, Gingrich stopped at a nearby middle school serving as a voting station. He patiently shook every hand of the assembled crowd, numbering close to a hundred. There were only a few journalists, compared to New Hampshire, where the media often ringed the candidates three or four deep.

One of the last stops of the day was a Gingrich campaign gathering at a Chick-fil-A in Anderson. Like most Gingrich events, it was packed to the brim, with supporters pressing their faces against the restaurant’s windows to get a peek. Sometimes the event locations seemed arbitrary. Why a Chick-fil-A, which was founded in Georgia, instead of a locally-owned business? Another journalist speculated it was because of the widely-promoted Christian values of its founder, Truett Cathy. All the candidates were trying to woo the evangelical base, and nearly everyone at the event was caucasian.

Gingrich would beat Romney to win the South Carolina primary that evening. The victory party that night was restrained, though 1970s and 1980s rock-and-roll classics blared in the packed ballroom. There were a few brief speeches before Gingrich arrived to thank his supporters and attack Barack Obama. Most of the attendees left immediately after the speech was over. I asked where everyone was going and was told the private parties would continue deep into the night.

Peter van Agtmael is a photographer represented by Magnum. His work from Iraq won a World Press Photo award in 2007. More of his work can be seen here.

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Apologies for no updates in nearly three weeks…just been busy with own work… But here we go again. Loads to share…

Features and Essays

Brilliant…Full edit of Gene Smith’s classic ‘Country Doctor’ online for the first time on LIFE.com….

Eugene Smith: Country Doctor (Life.com)

Finally received the first issue of my annual National Geographic Magazine subscription..Bought annual deal in NatGeo’s Regent Street store in London in August…Found out in December my activation hadn’t gone through, and then told should start receiving issues from January….Got on my nerves…Five months wait… oh well… Glad to finally being able to enjoy print issues on regular basis…From the February 2012 issue….

Amy Toensing: Papua New Guinea’s Cave People (NGM)

Gerd Ludwig: Astana, Kazakhstan (NGM)

This week’s Time International cover story…Christopher Morris has been back to the White House…

Christopher Morris: Inside Barack Obama’s World (Lightbox)

Republican primaries…

Two series by Charles Ommanney for Newsweek…

Charles Ommanney: South Carolina Trail (Newsweek)

Charles Ommanney: The Granite State Weighs In (Newsweek)

Chris Morris from New Hampshire for TIME…

Christopher Morris: New Hampshire Primary (Lightbox)

Brooks Kraft: Running Romney (Photo Booth)

Mark Makela: How to Run for President (zReportage)

One year since the Egypt revolution…Ed Ou video and slideshow on NYT

Ed Ou and Ben Solomon: Reflections on an Unfinished Revolution (NYT) video

Ed Ou: Youth in Egypt (NYT Lens)

Ed Ou: The Ongoing Revolution (Photographer’s website)

Denix Dailleux: Egyptian Artists (Newsweek)

Nice series by Adam Dean…

Adam Dean: Kachin Come Under Siege in Myanmar (NYT)

Erika Larsen’s beautiful Sami work on NYT Lens…

Erika Larsen: Sami People (NYT Lens)

Alejandro Chaskielberg:  Horn of Africa (BBC)

Eunice Adorno: The Flower Girls: Mennonites in Mexico (Lightbox)

Ed Kashi: Turkey (VII)

Nikos Economopoulos: India in Colour (Magnum)

Ron Haviv: The Devastating Costs of the Amazon Gold Rush (Smithsonian)

Glenna Gordon: Living with the Past in Liberia (Lightbox)

Greg Girard: Lifestyle on U.S. Military Bases (NYT Lens)

Rina Castelnuovo: In Israel, a Clash Between the Secular and Ultra-Orthodox  (NYT)

Steve Shelton: Sudan’s Secession Crisis (zReportage)

Richard Tsong Taatarii: Baby Buddha (zReportage)

Mimi Chakarova: Sold for Sex in Eastern Europe (CNN Photo blog)

Luigi Baldelli: Afghanistan (Corriere.it)

Leon Borensztein: American Portraits (Lightbox)

Sean Gallagher: The Smog That Ate Beijing (Foreign Policy)

Louise Serpa: Sweetheart of the Rodeo (NYT Lens)

Brian Cassey: Hong Kong’s Poor Living in Cages (CNN Photo blog)

Leonard Freed: Behind New York City’s ‘Police Work’ (Lightbox)

Jeff Harris: 4,748 Self-Portraits and Counting (Lightbox)

Giuliano Camarda: Jahalin Bedouins in East Jerusalem (Photographer’s website)

Åsa Sjöström: Turkana Draught (Moment Agency)

Ragnar Axelsson: Greenland (Polka)

Joel Sternfeld:  First Pictures (Photo Booth)

Kalpesh Lathigra: From the Film Set of ‘Coriolanus’ (Photobooth)

Jessica Ingram: Following the Trail of Civil Rights (NYT Lens)

Joseph Szabo: Coming of Age in America (Lightbox)

Davide Monteleone: Red Thistle (VII)

NPR photographer David Gilkey has been discovering Russia by rail…

David Gilkey: Russia By Rail (NPR)

Larry Racioppo: New York Housing Pictures (NYT Lens)

Peter Mcdiarmid: Year in Pictures 2011 (Photographer’s Vimeo)

Kieran Dodds: The Scottish Highland Games (The Atlantic)

Lee Jeffries: Homeless (Guardian)

Interviews

Chris Johns, Editor, National Geographic Magazine (burn Magazine)

Patti Smith (BBC)

Steve McCurry on fall of Kodak (BBC)

Alejandro Chaskielberg (BBC)

Adam Dean (Digital Photo Pro)

Luca Sage (Sojournposse)

Guy Martin (BBC) Starts at around 17 mins.

Toni Greaves : Radical Love, The Promise (BJP)

Jason Larkin : Cairo Divided (BJP)

Joel Sartore (NPR)

Heidi Levine on working in Libya (laurenmwolfe.com)

Chris Floyd (Hungry Eye Mag Vimeo)

Maggie Steber (NPR)

Ron Haviv (TV4.se)

Jim Wilson (NYT Lens)

Umit Bektas, Reuters photographer ,  reflects on the essence of war (MSNBC)

Rineke Dijkstra (PDN)

Shelby Lee Adams : An Ode to Appalachia (PDN)

Christopher Manson (NYT Lens)

Errol Morris : ‘We’ve forgotten that photographs are connected to the physical world’ (Guardian)

Sebastian Liste (GUP Magazine)

John McDermott (PDN)

Antonio Faccilongo (KL Photoawards)

Sean Gallagher (Asiasociety.org)

Articles

photo: William Eggleston

Guardian: The Month in Photography |The Observer New Review’s monthly guide to the 20 best photographic exhibitions and books, featuring Pieter Hugo, Eve Arnold, William Eggleston, Don McCullin and Annie Leibovitz|

photo: Simon Roberts

FT: A New Beginning(FT Magazine) | “After the disasters of the past year, we asked photographers to look at the people and places putting themselves back together again in 2012″ |Toshiki Senoue,  Davide Monteleone, John Davies, Jim Dow, Antoine Doyen,  Massimo Vitali, Simon Roberts, Laura Pannack,  Michael Collins, and Marcus Bleasdale

NYT: Blame Photoshop, Not Diabetes, for This Amputation

Radu Sigheti: The Problem with Prizes (Reuters photo blog)

BBC News: Syria unrest: French journalist Gilles Jacquier killed

World Press Photo: Preparing for Judging

David Burnett: Talent Added: Photojournalism

Ed Kashi: 3 Qualities of a photojournalist

Little Brown Mushroom blog: On Marrying a Photographer

AP: AP opens full news bureau in North Korea

Guardian: Why newspapers are closing the shutters on staff photographers

Guardian: Is photography the most influential medium for environmental awareness?

Guardian: Decisive moment? Smartphones steal focus from point-and-shoot cameras

Congratulations to Danfung Dennis for being nominated for an Oscar for Hell and Back Again…

Oscar.go.com: Documentary Feature Nominee: Hell and Back Again

Aidan Sullivan to Replace David Friend as World Press Photo Jury Chair (Reportage Tumblr)

Wayne Ford: The Suffering of Light: Thirty Years of Photographs’ by Magnum Photographer Alex Webb

David Gonzalez: Life — and Kodak — Remembered (NYT Lens)

Ben Roberts: Exposure Don’t Buy You Shit! (Photographer’s blog)

Poynter: Washington Post raises eyebrows, questions with ‘composite’ photo on front page

NYT Lens: The Radical Camera: New York’s Photo League

NYT Lens: William Gedney’s View of Myrtle Avenue

NYT Lens: Parting Glance: Eve Arnold 

Sean O’Hagan writes on Eve Arnold’s touching photograph of a bar girl in Havana…

Guardian: The big picture: Bar Girl in a Brothel in the Red Light District, Havana, 1954

Guardian: Happy birthday, Firecracker: the site for female photographers | In an industry still dominated by men, Firecracker promotes and supports women working in photography

NYT: After an Arrest, Civil Rights Questions

CNN: CNN Digital Names Simon Barnett As Photography Director 

Guardian: Leo Maguire’s Best Shot

BJP: Christopher Anderson signs with New York Magazine

BJP: AFP v. Morel: Both parties moving for summary judgment

BJP: Photographer Lauren Greenfield sued for defamation

BJP: How are the Tate, V&A and National Media Museum investing in photography?

BJP: London Underground apologises for DSLR ban blunder

photo: Chris Hondros

Foreign Policy: Photos that mattered in 2011

NYT Mag 6th floor blog: Entering Weegee’s World

DuckRabbit: Cameras, communication and the intimacy of a moment.

David Campbell: Thinking Images v.25: Iran as perpetual enemy

Miniature helicopter in new use…

NGM: Field Test: Serengeti Lions

Comments on crowdfunding…

Joerg Colberg: Crowdfunding is not a cash cow (Conscientious)

Pete Brook: The Etiquette of Crowdfunding (Prison Photography)

Verve: Birthe Piontek

Verve: Kevin Kunishi

Verve: Dimitri Stefanov

Verve: Tomasz Lazar

How to make a Magnum in Motion-style essay

7 Tips for HD Color Correction and DSLR Color Correction

A Few Thoughts on Filenames…

multiMedia

photo: Joachim Ladefoged

Once Magazine Issue 4 is for sale in the App store

The cover story is by Joachim Ladefoged… If you don’t have an iPad and thus no access to Once Magazine, you can view Ladefoged’s terrific 2003 Newfoundland series on his agency VII’s website here.

British Journal of Photography – iPad App

Crowd funding

‘McCullin’ – Feature Documentary (indiegogo)

Exhibitions

The Last Days of Mubarak : Photos by Guy Martin and Ivor Prickett : Host Gallery : London : 9 February – 10 March 2012

Peter diCampo: Life Without Lights : 6 -12 February 2012 11am – 6pm at The Strand Gallery : London

Nobel Peace Center to present Hetherington, Addario exhibition

Awards, Grants, and Competitions

Leica Oskar Barnack Award

Center International Awards

Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalism 

Renaissaince Photography Prize Calling for Entries

Hillmann Prize nominations

Photobook Dummy Award 2012

Useful site for grants and awards etc. …The Curator Ship

PDN Photo Annual : Deadline: 25 January

Hasselblad’s Masters Award winners announced

Events

UK Premiere: Under Fire: Journalists in Combat, February  8 :  7pm :  Frontline club : London

Sneak preview of the above on YouTube here

powerHouse Portfolio Review : NYC

PhotoFest : Mexico

Agencies

Magnum Photos January 2012 Newsletter

VII Photo Newsletter January 2012

BJP: VII Photo appoints new director of business development

Jobs

UPI : senior staff photographer in LA

Summer internship on NPR’s Social Media Desk

Photographers

Simon Roberts has updated his website….

Simon Roberts

Kalpesh Lathigra

Fritz Hoffman

Monique Jaques

Giuliano Camarda

Jonathan May

Rhea Karam

Equipment

CPN: Gary Knight introduces the new Canon G1X

BJP: Fujifilm goes back to its professional roots, releases the X-Pro 1

To finish off… Fotoshop by Adobe

and Texting While Walking

and This is Brighton

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