When news broke that Osama Bin Laden was dead, the Reuters Global Pictures Desk in Singapore could think of only one thing: We have to see the picture of the dead body. The world needed a genuine photo to confirm that the elusive Islamic militant leader was dead. We also knew that the first news agency to publish a picture of his dead body would lead the way on this historic story. Sending out a fake picture could be very embarrassing.
A few hours later a picture was circulating on the Internet. It appeared to be Osama Bin Laden’s bloodied face in a video transmitted by a TV station in Pakistan. But was it really Bin Laden?
In Japan nothing says I’m sorry like a nice, deep bow, and lately there’s been a whole lot to be sorry for. Ideally the depth of the bow should match the level of regret, allowing observers to make judgements about how sincere the apology really is. Facing massive recalls Toyota President Akio Toyoda and Toyota Motor Corp’s managing director Yuji Yokoyama faced journalists at separate news conferences.
Toyota Motor Corp’s managing director Yuji Yokoyama (R) bows after submitting a document of a recall to an official of the Transport Ministry Ryuji Masuno (2nd R) at the Transport Ministry in Tokyo February 9, 2010. Toyota Motor Corp is recalling nearly half a million of its flagship Prius and other hybrid cars for braking problems, a third major recall since September and a further blow to the reputation of the world’s largest automaker. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
When you pack scores of journalists into a room and they’re all trying to listen to, photograph, and film one person – like the head of a political party – it’s easy to get blocked by the people and things in front of you.For a photographer, this is the kiss of death. It means not getting a picture. Next, your phone rings with an angry editor on the other end - a brief conversation is followed by a lengthy period of woe and despair. For this and other reasons, photographers go to great lengths to get a good photo position.For Sunday’s Democratic Party of Japan election event, the first photographers arrived at 2 a.m. for an event that wasn’t expected to start until almost 8 p.m. – 16 hours later. Well before any big event photographers make a land grab vying for the best possible real-estate.At popular events, once you’re in position it can be difficult to get out again with all the other photographers around. Waiting is just part of the job. Photographers also usually come armed with rolls of duct tape to mark out territory, stickers to place on chairs and tables, and ladders to see over those pesky tall people.On the other hand, sometimes a little bit of obstruction can make a very interesting picture. Flags, people, and video cameras can be useful objects to “frame” a picture in order to concentrate the viewer’s eye on the subject.When choosing a position, it’s a brave photographer indeed who, given the choice, purposely chooses a spot without a clear view. But sometimes the risk is worth it.
Photo credits: REUTERS/Toru Hanai, Yuriko Nakao, Issei Kato