Capozziello and Sullivan Collaborate Unknowingly on New York Times Story

First mate Justin Infantino aboard the Sea Mist off the coast of Branford, Conn. Andrew Sullivan for The New York Times

First mate Justin Infantino aboard the Sea Mist off the coast of Branford, Conn. Andrew Sullivan for The New York Times

So I'm just back from four months in Mexico, scouting, photographing, and setting up SEEK Workshops headquarters in San Miguel de Allende when I get an email from Niko Koppel, one of my photo editors at The New York Times. It's for an assignment in Branford, Conn., east of New Haven, shooting from a boat. Other than worrying about shivering in freezing weather on Long Island Sound after growing accustomed to daily temperatures near 80 degrees while in Mexico, I always like a boat ride. I drove an hour or so to meet Mike Infantino, captain of the Sea Mist, a tour boat where you can buy a souvenir pirate eye patch for $1.50.

The New York Times had chartered the boat for an hour so I could photograph a reef with a name from the 19th Century that Connecticut State Senator Ted Kennedy Jr. (yes, his dad was one of those famous Kennedys), wants to respectfully rename.  We cruised out to the reef, which turned out to be submerged, even at low tide, and while I was a bit disappointed to not see the reef, the light was sparkling on the water and the sky was a deep blue. It turned out to be a case of making something out of nothing, not thinking too literally, and savoring the moment, trying to capture the natural beauty of the water meeting the sky. I worked the scene as much as I could, asking the captain to position his boat in one direction or another, all the while chuckling that the reef in question wasn't going to be visible, even at dead low tide.

Heading back to shore with cold-numbed hands, I thanked Captain Mike and his first mate, his son Justin, seen in the photo above. After filing my photos, and visiting with SEEK producer Dru Nadler at the Yale Art Gallery, I headed back.

Tonight, while checking in to see the news, I was happy to discover that my friend and SEEK colleague Chris Capozziello, shot other photos for the story, and it was a pleasant surprise to see that we had been on the same photographic wavelength, just more evidence of the power of our SEEK connection and how our experiences as photojournalists for The New York Times add many layers to our abilities as teachers and curators for SEEK Workshops.

Here's a link to the story, which is a good piece written by Lisa Foderaro: http://nyti.ms/1QzEfyX

And thanks as always to Niko Koppel, who gives us interesting assignments.