Gallery Gate

Damage left behind by Hurricane Sandy's landfall last October can still be seen along the US East Coast, especially the hard hit beachfront areas in New Jersey, as many communities work to move forward. Dubbed "The Superstorm" and reaching 1,000 miles wide at times, Sandy caused some $50 billion in damage and killed 159 people. Flags decorate a fence on April 25 in Brick, N.J., around the burned remains of more than 60 small bungalows at Camp Osborn which were destroyed last October during Hurricane Sandy. Six months after Sandy devastated the Jersey shore and New York City and pounded coastal areas of New England, the region is dealing with a slow and frustrating, yet often hopeful, recovery. A construction crew works to build a boardwalk to replace the previous one that was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, in Seaside Heights, N.J., on April 26. A section of the boardwalk is expected to open to the public on May 1 and authorities hope the entire thing will be completed in time for the opening of the summer vacation season at the end of May. The new boardwalk will stretch one mile and require three thousand wooden piles to be driven into the sand. An oceanfront home is being raised to protect from flooding in Ortley Beach, N.J., on April 25. Six months after Hurricane Sandy devastated the Jersey shore and New York City and pounded coastal areas of New England, the region is dealing with a slow and frustrating, yet often hopeful, recovery.

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view Hurricane Sandy: 6 months later as presented by: Boston Big Picture


North Korea has long been enigmatic - especially to the West. An elaborate cult of personality created around the ruling Kim family permeates both the cultural and political lives of the nation. The world's most militarized nation, it has been developing nuclear weapons and a space program. In 2002, President George Bush labeled North Korea part of an "axis of evil," primarily due to its aggressive military posture but also because of its abysmal human rights record. North Korea has long maintained close relations with the People's Republic of China and Russia. In an attempt to ameliorate the loss of investments due to international sanctions over its weapons program, North Korean officials have initiated a tourism push, focused on Chinese visitors. Still, every travel group or individual visitor is constantly accompanied by one or two "guides" who normally speak the mother language of the tourist. While some tourism has increased over the last few years, Western visitors remain scarce. The last several photos in this post are by Associated Press photographer David Guttenfelder, who offers rare glimpses of life in the shuttered country. Rolling out the red carpet for tourists is not commonly associated with the reclusive North Korean government, but that is what workers did for the departure ceremony of Mangyongbyong cruise ship in Rason City on Aug. 30. About 130 passengers departed the rundown port of Rajin, near the China-Russia border, for the scenic Mount Kumgang resort near South Korea. North Korea's state tourism bureau has teamed up with a Chinese travel company to run the country's first ever cruise. A member of a marching band has her photo taken with a woman and young boy at an event to mark the birthday of Kim Il Sung at a park in Pyongyang, North Korea. Kim is considered the founder of the nation. The regime of his son, Kim Jong Il, has marked 2012, the centenary of Kim Il Sung's birth, a banner year and has been trying to bolster its economy to support festivities. North Koreans pay their respects at a monument to Kim Il Sung at Mansu Hill in Pyongyang, North Korea.

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There have always been those who are nomadic. Historically, it was often for necessity, following the needs of food, water and safety. But, there is also the hunger of movement, just for movement sake. It is the necessity to move and travel with few possessions, an endless appetite for new sights, sounds and experiences that drive individuals such as Mike Brodie. Brodie is one such adventurer, and lucky for us, he picked up a camera along the way and captured a rare take of the life of train hopping across America. Starting in 2004, at age seventeen, Brodie left his home in Pensacola, Florida; beginning a period of discovery and travel. He began meeting and sharing his adventures with a whole community of fellow nomads. You can see these photos at M+B Gallery in Los Angeles. The fact that Brodie was never formally trained in photography, and that his original intent was never to sell them or showcase them in a gallery, is the reason why they are so honest and intimate; raw and tough. This is the life on the road with a bunch of kids who could fall off a train and die at any moment, freeze in the cold, starve, get pregnant, or never value stability. It is the same group that may avoid frustration, apathy, and depression because they followed the restlessness inside and gave it a form and called it fun; or maybe just survival. Their tattoos speak volumes, “free rent” and “stay gold”. Their readings include Thompson’s: The Rum Diary, and short stories by Flannery O’Connor. They are definitely seekers, and Brodie makes us want to root for them.

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view Mike Brodie: A Period of Juvenile Properity as presented by: Off To See The Elephant



Actor Jeff Bridges, also an amateur photographer and author, took the camera into his own hands after his Wall Street Journal photo shoot this week. In town before the premiere of his new movie, “The Giver,” based on the dystopian young adult novel about a community run by elders who have banned pain, emotion and personal choice, Mr. Bridges hooted and hollered as photographer Axel Dupeux took his portrait, then he directed a few shots himself. On set, Mr. Bridges takes his own photographs of his movies’ scenes to relax.

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view Behind the Scenes at the Jeff Bridges Photo Shoot as presented by: Wall Street Journal


Every month, I dedicate a post to the continuing conflict in Afghanistan. In this installment, I'm happy to share a distinctive set of panoramic images by photographer Louie Palu. These were tricky to get. "With the growing threat of targeted attacks against journalists and their Afghan fixers [guides and translators] in many of the areas I wanted to visit, using a camera openly was too dangerous -- so I had to come up with an invisible way of taking photos," Palu explains. That meant being able to hide his equipment on his body: "I began using a super-wide panoramic camera, which allowed me to photograph scenes with the camera wrapped in a scarf or hidden under my arm. The lens has a small motor in it that starts at one side and revolves 120 degrees to capture a cinematic view of what I was seeing. The resulting pictures, shot on black-and-white film, are sometimes-distorted, long-and-narrow panoramas, but they also capture the environment in an unguarded and authentic way." In 2010, Palu was awarded a grant from the Alexia Foundation for his project on Kandahar. These photographs were taken during 2009-10 in Kandahar's Zhari, Panjwaii, Spin Boldak, and Maiwand Districts, Kandahar City, Nimruz and Farah Provinces. US Marines from the 2nd MEB of the 2/3 Marines patrol the mountains of the Black Pass after fighting the previous night on September 09, 2009.

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view Afghanistan in Panorama, March 2011 as presented by: The Atlantic


Americans from Washington to California marked Memorial Day with parades, barbecues and somber moments of reflection. Here's a look at some of the images from the Memorial Day events. Mayor Lisa Doring prays over the grave of her husband Nathanael J. Doring in section 60 at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, his birthday, Monday, May 30, 2011. Juan Torres, 60, of Kaufman, Texas, salutes the grave of Ernest L. Torres at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery in observance of Memorial Day on May 30, 2011. Ernest was his mother's uncle. Juan was in the Army. Pearl Harbor survivor Maynard Hoffman,93, of Bremerton salutes during the playing of the "Star Spangled Banner" at Ivy Green Cemetery in Bremerton, Wash., during a Memorial Day service, Monday, May 30, 2011. He was a major in the Marine Corps from 1935-78.

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view Americans mark Memorial Day 2011 as presented by: Sacramento Bee


The Winter X Games wrapped up in Aspen late Sunday with Shaun White winning his fourth consecutive gold medal in snowboard superpipe. Take a look at some of the best images from the games. Fans fill the venue as Shaun White of Carlsbad, California made history with his four-peat gold medal in the Men's Snowboard Superpipe at Winter X Games 15 at Buttermilk Mountain on January 30, 2011 in Aspen, Colorado. Fans also set a Winter X Games record of 114,200 spectators over the four day event. Nick Baumgartner hugs his son, Landon, 6, following his gold medal run in the men's Snowboarder X finals at the Winter X Games on Buttermilk Mountain on Saturday, January 29, 2011. Baumgartner's win was his first X Games medal and it ended Nate Holland's streak of five consecutive gold's in the event. Miles Fricker, 14, of Eagle, rocks an afro as he watches a performance during the Winter X Games on Buttermilk Mountain on Saturday, January 29, 2011. Fricker said he has grown his aftro out since the second grade because it's individualistic.

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The Boryeong Mud Festival is an annual festival which takes place during the summer in Boryeong, South Korea. The first Mud Festival was staged in 1998. By 2007, the festival attracted 2.2 million visitors to Boryeong. The mud is dug up near Boryeong, trucked to the Daecheon beach area, and dumped at a 'Mud Experience Land'. The mud is considered rich in minerals and used to manufacture cosmetics. Some of the final weekend participants are foreign tourists, but most of the participants during the week are Koreans, attracted by clever marketing by the town. The town fathers and mothers discovered that the mud is more lucrative as a tourist attraction than using the muddy fields for agriculture. A South Korean girl reacts during the Boryeong Mud Festival on Daecheon Beach in Boryeong, south of Seoul, South Korea. Tourists play with the mud during the Boryeong Mud Festival on Daecheon Beach in Boryeong, south of Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, July 18, 2010. The 13th annual mud festival features mud wrestling, mud sliding and a mud king contest.

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