Ben Affleck on motorcycle in the Mojave Desert (2002) photographed by Herb Ritts.
The photoshoot took place on 13 December, 2002 at El Mirage – a huge dry lake-bed two hours north of LA – with Ben Affleck riding his motorcycle around Ritts for the March 2003 cover of Vanity Fair. Dust storms were blowing all over and many of the 25 person crew developed flu-like symptoms. Ritts himself came down with pneumonia and two days later was hospitalized. His condition quickly deteriorated and he died on 26 December at the age of 50.