Photographers' Blog

Crashed ice: A woman’s sport

At the beginning of January, staff at Reuters and I had a discussion about creating a multimedia piece on the Red Bull Crashed Ice race, an event where competitors have to skate down an urban ice course in the middle of Old Quebec. After some discussion, the idea of doing a multimedia piece on the introduction of the woman’s category at the event was suggested, which I thought was a great idea.

On race day, the temperature was slightly below -30 Celsius in Quebec City, which is not unusual for that time of the year. One of my colleagues had the grease in his lens’ zoom barrel freeze during the race, so I had to be careful and keep my cameras, voice recorder and video camera warm.

It was my first time shooting pictures, videos and collecting audio to do a multimedia piece. My plan of attack was to shoot my pictures first and then film the videos. It’s always a good thing to have a plan when you’re out of your comfort zone. When I felt confident I had good pictures for the wire, I decided to switch to my video camera to shoot short video clips. This event was well suited for pictures and videos since there was more than thirty heats of four competitors. As always, if you’re filming video and something important happens, you will not be able to get the still image that the other agencies might have. I think photographers have to be careful not to spend too much time shooting video and concentrate on their primary job — taking pictures. Fortunately for me, nothing happened while I was capturing my video clips.

Camera in the crowd

It was an early wake up call for Barack Obama’s inauguration day, and I was assigned to photograph the enormous crowds on the National Mall in Washington. I left the office with New York City based photographer Shannon Stapleton, only to find out the crowds of people would prevent us from entering the National Mall. Even without media accreditation the amount of people trying to gain access to the National Mall became a giant obstacle.

After trying to gain access at all of the entrance points we realized that it may not be possible to get in and do our jobs. Stress levels quickly rose as we realized that our assignment would not be easy, or even possible. We were stuck in the streets with impatient crowds with all of our gear and computers strapped to our shoulders.

Shannon had heard rumors of an entrance at 3rd st while we were waiting in line at the 7th st entrance. We decided to split up, hoping that at least one of us would get in. Around 10 am, I got a phone call from Shannon and learned he had gained access. I quickly ran down to the 3rd st entrance, only to find out it was too late, the line up was too long.

Finbarr from the field

On Jan. 14 Reuters hosted a live video Q&A with our renowned photographer Finbarr O’Reilly about his experiences in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. Finbarr addressed what drew him to Africa and the most difficult aspects of being a photographer in a war zone.

Finbarr is still available to answer questions, submit them in the comments section below or send a Twitter message with the hash tag “#finbarr” .

LIVE CHAT: Finbarr O Reilly

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Check out “Death all around,” his multimedia report from a Congolese refugee camp, dispatches from Chad and Afghanistan, selected photos from his portfolio, and an audio slideshow from his most recent Congo assignment.

Rhode Island worse-off than most

The city of Pawtucket in Rhode Island offers a vivid glimpse into the depth of America’s worsening recession — and a warning of the dangers of rising unemployment.

View Brian Snyder’s audio slideshow from Pawtucket here. To read the feature story by Boston Bureau Chief Jason Szep, click here.

Tibetan prayers: Audio slideshow

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A five day prayer meeting is temporarily held at a monastery in Tongren, Qinghai province. Monks blessed sweets, fruit and biscuits then distributed to the worshipers, who scrambled to get them.

Click here to view an audio slideshow.

Maasai fertility blessing: Audio slideshow

Click on the play button above to view an audio slideshow on the Loita Maasai in Kenya blessing women from their village to ensure they have children in a rare fertility ceremony.

Main street and Wall street: Audio slideshow

Ken Shrum is the owner of the Windom Grain and Feed store near the intersection of Main street and Wall street in Windom Texas. Shrum has to drive 30 miles to pick up his own feed in order to keep his costs down.

Photographer Jessica Rinaldi visits with small business owners to see how the financial crisis is impacting those along Main street.

The stars of Venice – Audio slideshow

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View an audio slideshow from the Venice Film Festival here.