Photographers' Blog

North Korea – From the outside looking in

September 17, 2008

Recently, I went to the Chinese border-town of Dandong on the Yalu River to see what I could photograph to match stories about reports that the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il was sick. Dandong is one of the closest towns on the border to the secretive country, and was the obvious choice due mainly to the chances of a journalist entering the highly restricted and reclusive country at such short notice being practically impossible. They don’t accept journalists at the best of times, let alone when their ‘dear leader’, as he is officially known, is not well. Kim has led communist North Korea for 14 years and if he was dead, the potentially nuclear-capable country could quickly become a scary and somewhat horrifying scenario.My hope for the assignment was that maybe I could get pictures of North Korean soldiers on border patrols, or perhaps even people working in the fields – something that showed life on the ‘other side’.

Lucy in the sky with diamonds

August 11, 2008

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds was my nickname yesterday.

My Olympic opening ceremony endurance test began with an 8am call to be on the roof of the Bird’s Nest stadium for a meeting of photographers.

There is always one…Part four

August 7, 2008

Sport is a dominant theme at the moment, obviously, because of the impending start of the Olympic Games in China. 

A picture is worth another thousand words…

August 4, 2008

A short while back I collated a few choice quotations and sayings on photography and the picture-taking process: ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’.

Getting your point across

July 8, 2008

With the Olympics now only a month away the search for scene-setting images to tempt the visual palate has begun in earnest. From the Beijing file Henry Lee gives us this to kick start the week - Wei Shengchu, 58, a supporter of traditional Chinese medicine, poses for photos in front of Beijing Railway Station with his head covered with acupuncture needles depicting 205 national flags and an Olympic torch, 7, 2008. Local media reported that Wei wanted to express his good wishes for the upcoming Beijing Olympic Games as well as to promote traditional Chinese medicine. 

First impressions of a photographer’s life in Hong Kong

June 20, 2008

 Six months ago, after eight years working in Spain I began a new stage in my life as a photographer based in Hong Kong. Here are some of my first impressions. 

Walking with survivors: Audio slideshow

June 16, 2008

Shanghai-based photographer Nir Elias tells of his hike with survivors of the Sichuan quake.

Aftermath of a quake: Audio slideshow

June 16, 2008

A showcase of David’s Gray images of the aftermath of the Sichuan earthquake are set to music in this audio slideshow.

Earthquake in China – a photographer’s view

June 3, 2008

1. Dujiangyan, 2: 30 am, May 13th.

In misty light I arrived at Chongqing Airport with my TV colleague Royston. We drove straight toward Dujiangyan, with rain spitting gloomily and the air damply hazing my breath. The city seemed as though the Big Bang had just happened, everything had stopped. The crying and sirens all around made me dizzy and I cannot really remember how I arrived at the ruins of what had once been a school, with its 900 pupils buried in the rubble. A rescue team was desperately looking for anybody still alive, while I stood on the mountain of dust and the dead, shooting pictures. The sound of the shutter seemed to me to be like death itself scratching away.

Earthquake in China – a view from Beijing

June 3, 2008

It happened and it just happened, quietly but tangibly …  it only lasted 5 seconds…
 
May 12, 2008, 2:28 pm on the button, I was stooping to pick up a gift before rushing off to visit a client with two colleagues. The sudden dizzy feeling made me mentally rebuke myself for skipping breakfast and lunch; in those 5 seconds, I swore to myself never to do it again if I had to attend a formal meeting. But of course, my expressions remained calm. 
 
It’s an earthquake“, a sharp yet clear voice from the corner of the office broke this temporary silence which instinctively ignited my relief of being faint. “Hey buddy, maybe you are not so bad”, I said to myself.
 
So, that is how it started … on a normal working day, it just happened.
 
No worries, we had already had contingency plans…
 
Photographers immediately  rushed to the airport, we skipped the client visit and began to tackle the breaking story. From that moment, for the first time ever, the Beijing Pix Desk began running 24/7 with three editors: Grace Liang, Reinhard Krause and myself.
 
The first pictures of white collars wandering downstairs after escaping from a shaking Beijing office building hit the wire 10 minutes after the quake struck while we continued moving pix from around China showing general damage like burst water pipes and cracked walls.