Photographers' Blog

from Russell Boyce:

Asia – A week in Pictures 17 October 2010

Only days after the world watched the 33 Chilean miners emerge from the bowels of the earth, triumphant, an explosion at another mine, half a world away, is making headlines, but on a much smaller scale. The blast in China is reported to have killed 26 miners and trapped 11, with rescue attempts hampered by coal dust. Last year over 2,600 miners died in industrial accidents in China, whose mining industry is considered the deadliest in the world. The access given to the photographer is quite amazing in the circumstances.

CHINA-MINERS/

A rescuer is seen in a tunnel of the Pingyu No.4 Coal mine in Yuzhou, Henan province October 16, 2010. An explosion in the Chinese coal mine killed at least 20 miners in central Henan Province on Saturday, state media reported. REUTERS/Stringer

Looking at the file from last week I got the sense that Asia seemed strangely calm - maybe the calm before the storm of Super Typhoon Megi that is bearing down on the Philippines.  Winds of over 250 kph are expected along with flooding, landslides and possible injury and damage.  Our team are waiting, poised and ready to jump into action; one of the hardest things to do for photographers is to wait and watch until the danger has passed knowing that safety must come first - no point becoming the story yourself by being injured or worse killed, but always in their minds are the pictures they are missing.

WEATHER-PHILIPPINES/

This NASA satellite image, taken and released on October 17, 2010, shows Typhoon Megi, locally known as Juan, approaching the Philippines at 0500 GMT. The super typhoon bore down on the northeastern Philippines on Sunday packing winds of more than 250 kph (155mph), and evacuations began before it makes landfall on Monday morning. REUTERS/NASA/Handout

In India, the Commonwealth Games ended, and no doubt the organisers would like it to be remembered for the athletes competing infront of stunning landmarks and not the images of flooded accommodation, collapsed bridges and dirty pool water.  Tim's picture of diver Grace Reid is a highlight for me: a mixture of beauty, grace (no pun intended), movement and the feeling of controlled panic of a human trying to fly or at least control their fall, unaided by wing or motor.

from Russell Boyce:

Asia – A Week in Pictures 10 October 2010

North Korea opened its doors and the internet to the World's media to allow a glimpse of the parade which marked the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party. More importantly, it gave the world its first independent look at the protege Kim Jong-un. China based Chief Photographer Petar Kujundzic took full advantage of the opportunity.  The warmth of the picture of the women soldiers smiling - a rare glimpse into the world from which we normally only get formal, over compressed and pixelated images.

KOREA-NORTH/

North Korean female soldiers smile before a parade to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang October 10, 2010. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic

KOREA-NORTH/

Female North Korean soldiers march during a military parade to commemorate the 65th anniversary of founding of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang October 10, 2010. Secretive North Korea's leader-in-waiting, the youngest son of ailing ruler Kim Jong-il, took centre stage during a massive military parade on Sunday, appearing live for the first time in public.      REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic

from Russell Boyce:

Asia – A week in pictures

Rarely do so many big stories of global interest happen at the same time from one region but last week in Asia its been incredible.

Soldiers and aid workers struggled to reach at least a million people cut off by landslides that have complicated relief efforts after the worst floods in Pakistan in 80 years. Poor weather has grounded relief helicopters and more rain was expected to compound the misery of more than 13 million people . The floods have killed more than 1,600 people. 

PAKISTAN-FLOODS/

Marooned flood victims looking to escape grab the side bars of a hovering Army helicopter which arrived to distribute food supplies in the Muzaffargarh district of Pakistan's Punjab province August 7, 2010. Pakistanis desperate to get out of flooded villages threw themselves at helicopters on Saturday as more heavy rain was expected to intensify both suffering and anger with the government. The disaster killed more than 1,600 people and disrupted the lives of 12 million.  REUTERS/Adrees Latif

Straight off the bat

It certainly is the best seat in the house, but sitting close to the boundary of a cricket field does not necessarily ensure you would have a good time watching the match. Cricket is like a religion in India. An unusual game, that goes on all day even through lunch and tea. Naturally then, covering this game in India is like covering it nowhere else in the world.

At least four hours before a match, photographers start out for the stadium, winding through noisy, mile-long lines. The lines of spectators are so long that one wonders if the last man actually gets to see the full match.

Security is often difficult. Parking passes are virtually impossible to get. So there’s little else a photographer can do, but walk along crowded dusty paths carrying heavy equipment. Certainly not a good thing for the faint-hearted!

from Left field:

Sports photo of the week

Here's Sports Pictures editor Greg Bos's view: Photographer Phil Brown captured a superb action moment from the cricket match between England and the West Indies. He's got the ball in the frame, the player with both feet off the ground and a clean dark background to make the image standout.

ORIGINAL CAPTION: West Indies' Lendl Simmons reacts to an Amjad Khan bouncer during their cricket test match against England at Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain March 8, 2009. REUTERS/Philip Brown

Cricket, lovely cricket…

Glancing up while sitting in the departure lounge of Grantley Adams Airport in Barbados my heart sank - oh crap! – joining me and a few other passengers in the waiting area was the Australian Cricket team.  Nothing personal, all good guys.   Some passengers, who were clearly supporters, reacted with muted excitement.  But it became painfully obvious to me, the team was joining us on our flight leaving shortly for St Vincent. I smiled an evil grin at the ignorant supporters in the lounge for they were unaware of the fact that the team’s presence on our plane meant only one thing and it wasn’t good… but I will come back to that.

1

I have been covering cricket in the West Indies for about 15 years now and consider myself a veteran of many a tour through the islands.  When I tell friends and colleagues that I am off to the Caribbean for cricket, I am constantly met comments of the, ”wow nice!!” or “man another tough assignment in paradise”, kind. I admit, it sounds pretty good to me too, but I know better… I have been there, got the T-shirt and worn it out. 

Most people when they travel down to the Windies for a holiday fly on a major airline, unpack, sit in the sun, drink too much, burn their skin the colour of a ripe tomato, pack their bags, get back on that big jet and go home… no fuss no muss. I and my photo colleagues also board that big jet but remain behind to move from island to island for the next four to eight weeks… well read on…