TIME Democratic National Convention

Sense and Absurdity: Photographs from the Democratic National Convention

Landon Nordeman captures the playful side of politics at the DNC

As Hillary Clinton was crowned the party’s nominee during the Democratic National Convention’s second night, other crowns—or rather hats, masks, accessories and signs—floated around the floor, captured in Landon Nordeman’s outlandish, vibrant pictures. The photographer, who has been on assignment for TIME at both political conventions, says that he respects how seriously delegates take the event but is visually drawn to “moments where humor or absurdity is present.”

As the Democratic party launched its operation to humanize Hillary last night, Nordeman succeeds at humanizing the party’s delegates and supporters in relatable acts—from sharing a french fry to posing for photos with the numerous props floating around the convention’s floor.

Nordeman says the Democrats’ four-day event in Philadelphia has, so far, been more chaotic than last week’s Republican affair, with a “sense of discord—people seeming much more on-edge.” Despite navigating stricter spaces and the tense atmosphere, he says the biggest challenge covering the back-to-back conventions is not repeating himself. “At an event like this, a lot of it looks the same. To keep your eyes and awareness fresh takes effort. The less sleep you get, the harder it is to do.”

Nordeman, who has been covering the election for TIME since December, succeeds in finding this fresh perspective in his startling compositions, bright colors and enigmatic scenes more expected from a comic-con festival than political gathering. “I try to never let politics get in the way of photography,” he says.

Follow TIME‘s photographers in real time during the RNC and DNC on Instagram (@timelightbox) and Snapchat (time_mag)

Landon Nordeman‘s photographs have been exhibited at The Howard Greenberg Gallery and The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing among other venues, and are in the collections of The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and The Columbus Museum of Art. Follow him on Instagram. And see more of Landon’s work covering the Trump campaign here.

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