Photographers' Blog

from Russell Boyce:

Asia – A Week in Pictures 7 August 2011

August 8, 2011

After rioting in Xinjiang left 11 dead at the start of Ramadan the Chinese authorities stated that the insurgents who started the trouble had fled to Pakistan. Security forces quickly deployed in numbers to ensure that any further trouble was prevented or quickly quelled. Shanghai-based Carlos Barria travelled to Kashgar to shoot a story on the renovation of the old Kashgar centre, an example of China's modernising campaign in minority ethnic regions. A busy week for Aly Song, who is also Shanghai based, with taxi drivers on strike over rising fuel costs while Lang Lang had local fishermen preparing for typhoon Muifa to hit. In both pictures, the eye is cleverly drawn  to the distance to show in one image, a line of  striking taxi drivers, and in the other, rows of boats bracing for the imminent typhoon.

from Russell Boyce:

Asia – A week in pictures July 10, 2011

July 12, 2011

I am not a gamer at all but while looking at the file this week was reminded of a facility on electronic gaming my son showed me that allows you to see a different view point of the action. You can have wide, close and closer still. Two pictures of police beating protesters with batons have been shot as close as you can possibly get to the action but for sure this is no game.  Philippines based Romeo (Bobby) Ranoco picture is actually so close that it has been shot over the shoulder of the soldier, who, judging by the blood on the head of the unarmed protester, seems to have scored at least one direct hit . In India  and shot just slightly wider is Jayanta Dey's picture. The fact that it is shot slightly wider makes sure we are aware that it is actually three soldiers beating a protester and not one. The line of composition created by the baton and the flexed arm creating a perfect compositional triangle - Although I am not sure the protester would actually care about that. 

from Russell Boyce:

Asia – A week in pictures 26 June 2011

June 28, 2011

Last week a series of unconnected bomb attacks across Asia left dozens dead and many more injured.  Thirty-five people were killed in a suicide bombing next to a hospital in Afghanistan's Logar province south of Kabul, at least four police officers were wounded in blast in eastern Pakistan, and suspected Taliban militants stormed a police station in a town in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least five policemen. Four explosions rocked Myanmar's capital, Naypyitaw.  In Thailand a triple bombing by suspected insurgents kills at least two people and wounded nine others in Thailand's deep south.

from Russell Boyce:

Asia – A week in pictures, 19 June 2011

June 21, 2011

Last week a report came out listing which countries are the most dangerous places for women to live; three of them were in Asia -- Afghanistan, Pakistan and India -- and the other two were Congo and Somalia. Afghanistan topped the list. I shamelessly include in this week's highlights a picture shot by Afghanistan-based Ahmad Masood that I think is one of the strongest images ever shot illustrating the harsh life of some women in Kabul. You can almost feel the cold and wet seep into your bones as they beg for money for food for their families.

Trading fear for photos on a stricken plane

May 17, 2011

We took off smoothly for the short flight from Singapore to Jakarta, and I started falling asleep. Suddenly I was woken up by the sound of two bangs, like a bomb or truck tire blowing out. My wife gripped my hand and asked “Do you smell something burning?” Yes, there was a sharp smell stinging my nose. I realized there was something wrong because all the stewardesses ran back with the food carts.

from Russell Boyce:

Asia – A Week in Pictures April 3, 2011

April 4, 2011

In case anyone is in any doubt about the volatile situation many of our staff and stringers work under in Afghanistan I want to recount what happened on Saturday. Ahmad Nadeem was covering a demonstration that was sparked by the actions of extremist Christian preacher Terry Jones, who, according to his website, supervised the burning of the Koran in front of about 50 people at a church in Florida. The mood at the demonstration changed very quickly as the crowd sought a focus for their anger. Ahmad, our stringer in Kandahar was targeted. He was beaten with sticks, his gear smashed and his hand broken. Then an armed man instructed the mob to kill him. Ahmad fled for his life escaping into a nearby house where he successfully hid from the mob. Earlier in the day a suicide attack also hit a NATO military base in the capital Kabul, the day after protesters overran a U.N. mission in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif and killed seven foreign staff in the deadliest attack on the U.N. in Afghanistan.

from Russell Boyce:

Asia – A Week in Pictures January 30, 2011

January 31, 2011

Even though the world's gaze is firmly focused on the events in Egypt and Tunisia, top stories continue to break in Asia. Last week during my morning call with Enny Nuraheni, our Indonesia Chief Photographer, she told there was a ferry on fire with hundreds on board, a train had crashed and Mount Bromo was spewing ash, all on the same day.  In Japan Mount Kirishima was erupting, thousands of birds culled to try to stop the spread of bird flu and the economy and government were under pressure.  But all Japanese worries were forgotten briefly as Japan beat Australia 1-0 in the AFC Asian Cup final in Doha. 

from Russell Boyce:

Asia – A Week in Pictures 5 December 2010

December 6, 2010

Unlike fondue parties, burgundy flares, home knitted tank tops, sideburns and keeping secrets secret all of which have fallen out of favour forever, eye contact in news pictures swings in and out of fashion. What is a permanent truth is that it can make or break an image :  direct eye contact with a good portrait picture can tell a whole story or enable the subject to make their feelings felt in the frozen moment of time - or maybe even provide the viewer a glimpse into the soul of the subject. When it doesn't work the presence of the photographer destroys the intimacy of the moment. Can we tell what that person is like from a picture?  I think we can. What is also interesting to think about is that when a fleeting moment of eye contact is captured the photographer is blinded at the exact same moment of by the mechanism of the camera (yeah yeah rangefinder) so they have to be able to indentify the importance of the image when editing. How do you illustrate a story of people who have few rights and poor education?  Make them faceless but empower them with eye contact in the background that demands attention.

Always on alert among 17,000 islands

By Enny Nuraheni
November 25, 2010

A google map shows Indonesia.  REUTERS/Google

Monday, October 25, 2010.

As I sat in Jakarta’s traffic for five hours, trying to rescue my daughter stranded at her school after the worst floods in Indonesia’s capital for years, I thought about how serious a volcanic eruption at Mount Merapi in Java could become. It was coming at a bad time – Jakarta-based staff photographer Beawiharta was also stuck in the jam trying to get to the airport to shoot it. Then I got a call from regional pictures editor Paul Barker. He told me there had been a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Indonesia. Wow!!!

An erupting volcano and a local saviour

November 9, 2010

People run after Mount Merapi erupted at Kaliurang village in Sleman, near the ancient city of Yogyakarta, October 26, 2010.  REUTERS/Beawiharta

I want to share my experiences photographing Mount Merapi’s volcanic eruptions in Indonesia but I will say upfront that this won’t be a blog about suffering. There won’t be stories of those who have lost their homes, of painful deaths, of burns, of the death of valuable cattle or the destruction the volcano has caused.