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from Photographers' Blog:

Inside the prison actors studio

Norco, California
By Mario Anzuoni

Recently I was granted access inside a California state prison to photograph the Actors’ Gang Prison Project final presentation. The project is funded by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and aims to rehabilitate inmates through the arts.

Inmates participate in the workshop "Commedia Dell'Arte", part of the The Actors' Gang Prison Project program at the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco

The California Rehabilitation Center is located in Norco, about 60 miles east of Los Angeles, only a couple of blocks from a dense residential area, and houses more than 3,000 inmates.

Inmates watch the workshop "Commedia Dell'Arte", part of the The Actors' Gang Prison Project program at the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco, California

I cleared security around 9 a.m., and was escorted through a sliding gate and into a minivan, which inadvertently gave me a tour of the prison grounds before finally arriving at our destination atop the hill.

I was led into a room adapted into a small auditorium. It was quiet and as I looked around, I could see that the inmates participating in the project were on the floor, meditating, while the artistic director of the project, actor Tim Robbins, sat quietly in a corner.

from Photographers' Blog:

Decline of the Catskills

Catskills, New York

By Carlo Allegri

Dubbed the "Borscht Belt," in its heyday the Catskills was a bustling vacation resort region popular with middle and working-class New Yorkers of Jewish origin. Situated about 100 miles north of New York City, people flocked to the area to escape the stifling summer heat of the city. Many families would relocate to the area for several months, with men visiting their wives and children on the weekends.

An abandoned house is pictured in the Catskills region of New York

Thousands of people were drawn to the area by hotels like Grossinger's and the Concord, once the largest resort in the United States, which along with hundreds of other smaller resorts, hotels and colonies dotted the landscape.

from Photographers' Blog:

Living on minimum wage

Delores Leonard is a 28 year-old single mother raising two daughters Erin, 6, and Emmarie, 8, on the South Side of Chicago. She’s been a fast food worker at a McDonald's restaurant for 7 years and makes $8.25 an hour. It’s her only source of work income and she’s never made more than minimum wage working at the drive-thru window.

Delores Leonard helps her daughter Erin with her homework at the breakfast table.  REUTERS/Jim Young

I have covered several organized protests by fast food workers over the last year in Chicago, but wanted to take a closer look at how people balance their lives and finances as a worker living on minimum wage. I arrive at her house before sunrise and she is already up getting breakfast for her two girls, helping daughter Erin with her homework and getting them dressed for school.

from Photographers' Blog:

Remote Dangers

Incheon, South Korea

By Rob Dawson

To receive messages saying, “Police detained me” and “Running a bit late. Broke my nose,” is not something I expected when editing the Asian Games. With some 10,000 athletes taking part in the 16-day multi-sport competition it was always going to be a challenge to cover such a sporting spectacular, but this was out of the ordinary.

South Korea's Jung celebrates beating Uzbekistan's Turdiev in their Men's Greco-Roman 71 kg gold medal wrestling match during the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon

As a picture editor, I was based in the Main Press Centre, sitting alongside colleagues from text and TV. I was often the central point of contact for the six photographers covering the event alongside my main responsibility for picture editing.

from Full Focus:

Images of September

Our top photos from the month of September.

from Photographers' Blog:

Abandoned on the border

Suruc, Turkey

By Murad Sezer

A new crossing point was set up along the Turkish-Syrian border last week by the government of Turkey, where humanitarian agencies and the Red Crescent offered first aid and registered the new arrivals.

The frontier was normally a hive of activity, with wailing children and families desperately trying to carry whatever they could manage across the dusty terrain. Heavily armed security officers patrolled the border and police would search bags before the refugees passed into Turkey.

from Photographers' Blog:

An American rebel in Ukraine

Yasynuvata, Ukraine

By Marko Djurica

He stood beside a jeep, wearing the Russian army’s tight, black boots and trousers, that most of the insurgents wear, and a green military jumper. A small compass and large hunting knife in a sheath hung on his belt, an AK47 was slung over his shoulder. He looked straight at me through a balaclava. As I approached, he seemed to get bigger and bigger.

 An American who calls himself "Hunter" holds his rifle as he walks through a field near the town of Yasynuvata, in eastern Ukraine

I was in Ukraine again, where the West and Russia have taken opposing sides in a separatist war with the pro-Russians in the East.

from Photographers' Blog:

Clooney gets hitched

Venice, Italy

By Alessandro Bianchi

I was waiting aboard a taxi boat moored in front of the Hotel Cipriani in Venice for four hours waiting to photograph U.S. actor George Clooney at the gala dinner ahead of his wedding ceremony. Unfortunately, about 30 taxi boats full of reporters, photographers and the paparazzi had exactly the same idea.

U.S. actor Clooney and his wife Alamuddin stand in a water taxi on the Grand Canal in Venice

At around 6 o’clock in the evening, George jumped on his personal taxi boat “Amore” to go to the Aman Hotel and the taxi fleet swarmed around his boat to take the best picture.

from Photographers' Blog:

The thrill of the fair

Munich, Germany

By Michael Dalder

Many of us have been invited to wedding ceremonies and receptions in our time, as guests or even as photographers. One Saturday, at five o’clock in the morning, my colleague Lukas Barth and I prepared our camera gear to photograph a wedding party, with around six million guests.

I’m not sure how many of them were aware of the fact that the party they were attending – “the Oktoberfest” – originally celebrated and honoured the marriage of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen in 1810.

from Photographers' Blog:

Fleeing Islamic State

Suruc, Turkey
By Murad Sezer

Tens of thousands of Kurdish Syrians have fled Islamic State and flocked to the Turkish border. Most of them are from the Syrian border town Kobani and its surrounding villages, where the group’s fighters have launched attacks, but other refugees have travelled from further away.

A Kurdish Syrian refugee waits for transport during a sand storm on the Turkish-Syrian border near the southeastern town of Suruc

They arrive at the border, tired, miserable and desperate for water, but many have to wait days before they are allowed to cross into Turkey.

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