Photographers' Blog

Inside the Pistorius courthouse

Pretoria, South Africa

By Siphiwe Sibeko

The Oscar Pistorius murder trial is one of the biggest stories South Africa has ever had. Covering it as a Reuters photographer was one of the most demanding and frustrating assignments I’ve ever had.

We were given strict orders by the court not to take photographs of anything or anyone while the magistrate was in the courtroom. This limited our access to Oscar and made it difficult to take good pictures.

On his first court appearance he stood in the dock and looked straight at the magistrate, avoiding looking at photographers and the people in the gallery. The magistrate read out that Oscar had been charged with murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Oscar bowed his head and breathed heavily, struggling to contain his emotions and wept. I think this was when it hit him that it was not a dream but reality. At the end of the court proceedings on that first day I only managed to photograph Oscar from the side as he was avoiding photographers. Then he turned as quickly as he could and left the court.

On the second day we were allowed in the court during proceedings, but again we weren’t allowed to take any photographs. I sat in front of the dock, an arm’s length from Oscar. Because of the poor light in the courtroom I positioned myself in such a way that should I get a chance to photograph him I would make use of the available light.

I positioned myself to have him in the center and also get the people in the background to illustrate the atmosphere of the courtroom. It did not take long: the magistrate called for a short break and as he left the court I stood up as quickly as I could and took a few frames of Oscar standing and facing the direction of the magistrate. I then gave my camera card to a TV colleague to pass it on to my manager Mike Hutchings who was outside the court waiting to file the images.

Gabriel just wants to play

By Ricardo Moraes

What would people say if I told them that I met a footless boy who plays football? (Of course, since I’m talking about Brazil, football is really soccer.) I don’t think even my family or closest friends would believe me. Luckily, I’m a photographer and can show them. The beautiful part of this story is not just that Gabriel plays football without feet, but that he plays incredibly well.

Gabriel Muniz, an 11-year-old boy born with malformed feet, grew up like most Brazilian children with a soccer ball by his side.

Gabriel became famous after he was featured on a TV sports program. Those scenes of him demonstrating great skill with the ball hadn’t left my mind, so I was excited about the opportunity to photograph him. But while on the road to Campos do Goytacazes, where Gabriel lives, I kept thinking that maybe the TV show had been overproduced and that he couldn’t really be THAT good.

from Russell Boyce:

Asia – A Week in Pictures 31 July 2011

Ramadan started in Asia on Sunday and Indonesia-based photographer Ahmed Yusef produced this beautiful image to mark the start of the most important period in the Muslim calendar. The viewer focuses on the young woman's eyes as the red scarf draws you to her through a sea of swirling white created by a slow exposure. Also in Indonesia, Dwi Oblo's picture draws you into the picture through  light and smoke to evoke a real feeling of people humbling themselves as they pay respects to their dead relatives as they also prepare for Ramadan.

Muslim woman attend mass prayer session "Tarawih", which marks the beginning of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, at Al Markaz Al Islami mosque in Makassar, South Sulawesi July 31, 2011. Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking and conducting sexual relations from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. REUTERS/Ahmad Yusuf 

 Indonesian Muslims pray at the graves of their relatives in Bantul in central Java, July 25, 2011, ahead of Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Indonesian Muslims traditionally visit the graves of their loved ones before and towards the end of the holy month. REUTERS/Dwi Oblo

  • Editors & Key Contributors