From a ceasefire in the bloody conflict between Israel and Hamas and President Obama’s historic visit to Myanmar to a rebel takeover of Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congoand a camel fair in India, TIME presents the best images of the week.
Spent yesterday evening reading Time magazine’s latest issue, a U.S. election special, dated November 19, 2012, which came out last weekend. Thought I had had enough of the elections, but ended up staying up late into the night having found the magazine’s articles, commentaries, and photographs, pretty much unputdownable. Thought I’d share some of the issue’s brilliant photography here.
Brooks Kraft was following Obama for the magazine during the end of the presidential campaign. Below a terrific double spread of a photo, which can also be seen in the Lightbox slideshow, Last Days on the Road with Obama.
The issue also includes some brilliantly fascinating and quirky photos by Grant Cornett documenting the presidential campaign through physical objects. The work can be seen on Lightbox gallery, A History of the Campaign in 100 Objects.
Finally, there’s also stunning portraits by the magazine’s contract photographer, Marco Grob, of some of the politicians who we might see running for the US presidency in four years’ time. The portraits can be seen on Lightbox under the title, TIME’s Class of 2016: The Political Leaders to Watch.
Brooks Kraft (American) is a New York born photographer based in Washington D.C. whose work is licensed through Corbis. His work appears frequently in Time.
Grant Cornett (American) is a Texas born photographer based in Brooklyn.
Marco Grob (Swiss, b.1965) is a Swiss portrait and fashion photographer based in New York. He is a contract photographer with Time magazine.
From Herman Cains cowboy hattoStephen Colberts super-PAC fun pack to binders, Big Bird and bayonets, objects became the visual sound bites of the 2012 election. Perhaps because there was a dearth of ideas, politics watchers and Internet mememakers seemed to focus more on things than in any previous campaign. So we thought it only appropriate to create our version of the BBCBritish Museum series A History of the World in 100 Objects to tell the story of the election. The pages that follow show the real thing: actual pieces of history, often given to us by the candidates themselves. Rick Perry lent us his Stars-and-Stripes cowboy boots, Jon Huntsman his beat-up briefcase, Rick Santorum his dog-eared pocket Constitution. SEO Experts search engine marketing . Michele Bachmann sent the suit she wore on the day she won the Iowa straw poll. Saturday Night Live lent us the dentures Jason Sudeikis wears to flash Joe Bidens smile. dog clothes . The president of an Ohio charity sent us a soup pot that Paul Ryan cleanedor recleanedduring an impromptu drop-by. Congressman Darrell Issa lent us the gavel he used during the congressional hearing about security in Libya. And the Republican National Committee let us photograph the empty chair that famously shared the stage with Clint Eastwood.
Richard Stengel is the managing editor of TIME.
As Barack Obama and Mitt Romney fought for the presidency this fall, TIME contract photographer Marco Grob was crisscrossing the country to meet the men and women who may be doing the same four years from now.
From September to October, Grob, a Swiss photographer based in New York, traveled to 10 states and Washington, D.C., to shoot the 13 political leaders who comprise TIME’s Class of 2016 (Hillary Clinton and Andrew Cuomo were photographed earlier this year). “This series was very exciting because the fact that one of these politicians could be the next president was always on my mind,” says Grob, who took a variety of different kinds of shots and snapped extra rolls of photos to memorialize the moment.
Some of the subjects in Grob’s essay are American political royalty. Among the luminaries on TIME’s list are a First Lady (and now Secretary of State), a First Brother, six current and former governors and the current vice-president. Others, like San Antonio mayor Julián Castro and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, are rising stars – members of the fastest-growing demographic group in the U.S., men marked for higher office within their parties.
In the space of a single 48-hour stretch, the whirlwind assignment whisked Grob from Palo Alto, Calif., to Columbus, Ohio, to Baton Rouge. None of the subjects hinted at their political aspirations, and Grob preferred not to ask. “I don’t talk to them about their plans. I actually think it’s better if they don’t think I know much about their political careers,” he says. “They feel they can open up more.”
Breaking through that veneer of formality was one of the tasks confronting Grob, whose portfolio of portraits for TIME includes comedians and actors, world leaders and Ground Zero first responders. Politicians are trained are trained to stay on script. Grob’s challenge was to get them to veer from it. “Politicians, of all my subjects, are the most self-aware. They’re careful not to lose any voters, so they don’t get into anything controversial,” he says. His trick? “I always let them smile for a couple frames, but then I aim to make a more thoughtful portrait,” he says. “When you smile, you cover up your true face—that’s just what humans do.”
Alex Altman is a Washington correspondent for TIME. Follow him on Twitter @aaltman82.
Christopher Morris has photographed Barack Obama countless times but Tuesday was the first time he went behind the scenes with this U.S. president.
From 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Morris documented Obama’s day, which included a meeting with the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, lunch with Vice President Joe Biden, a sit-down with King Abdullah II of Jordan and a celebration for the 2011 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals. Morris is a veteran photographer of politics, having covered George W. Bush’s presidency and Obama’s 2009 inauguration for TIME, so spending the day with Obama didn’t make him nervous. “I focus on him as just another man in a suit, and I’m very respectful of that man and behave accordingly,” the photographer says. “Obama knows I’m there to photograph him—not to have an idle chat with him—and that I’m there to try and make a daily document.”
Though official duties filled much of the day, Tuesday was also Michelle Obama’s 48th birthday. As the president returned to the West Wing in the evening, he unexpectedly ran into the First Lady. “Obama gave her several kisses and wished her a happy birthday then walked off,” Morris says. “It was the highlight of the day for me—something you can’t plan for as a photographer. It was the most interesting photograph for me of the day by far.”
Feifei Sun is an associate editor at TIME. Follow her on Twitter at @feifei_sun.