Photographers' Blog

Tribute to Danilo Krstanovic


Last Friday our long time Sarajevo photographer Danilo Krstanovic passed away unexpectedly. He was buried on Monday in Sarajevo.

Danilo began working for Reuters at the start of the siege of Sarajevo. His images were extraordinary and touching. There are many photographers who would brag about their war adventures, about what they did and how brave they were, but not Danilo. He would quietly go to take his pictures, endangering his life on a daily basis for four years. He always came back with amazing images, never complaining or boasting about any situation he was in.

Danilo is survived by his wife and daughter.

- Pawel Kopczynski

Danilo’s colleague Peter Andrews offers his thoughts below.

SLIDESHOW: PORTFOLIO OF WORK

People say that it always hurts more when it is close to home and it is very true. Our group, who have spent almost 20 years in various dangerous places, is used to seeing death and dead bodies and somehow have become totally accustomed to that. We do not cry when we see destruction and mayhem and we work calmly. Perhaps each of us processes each situation in a different way inside but we all stay calm outside… unless we don’t.

Still, when it comes to the death of people who were dear to us, it always hurts and leaves a huge void in our souls. It is hard to even speak about that. Danilo was one of us, taking pictures in Sarajevo during the Bosnian War. That is where I met him and had the privilege of working with him for two years. The difference between Danilo and us (photographers who come from abroad) was that we, once in a while, were able to leave Sarajevo and rest in a normal place not touched by war and destruction filled with death, suffering, crying and funerals. Funerals that happen every day. Danilo did not have this kind of luxury as he was not allowed to leave Sarajevo for he was Bosnian. So what he did was walk the streets of Sarajevo every day – putting his life on the line to bring amazing news pictures showing the horrors of the siege. He never complained as he was probably the most modest and quiet man I have ever known and have worked with.

I remember the last massacre in Sarajevo which happened on the 28th of August 1995. Danilo and I left the office in an armored Landrover and went to the center of the city. After we parked our car we went for a stroll. Sarajevo was quiet for a couple of weeks prior to that and people began walking on the streets feeling safer and more relaxed. We went for a coffee and then strolled by the Indoor Market and were just around the corner near the Cathedral when we heard a loud explosion. We were not sure where it had happened but we ran there and what we saw was horrifying; dead bodies everywhere, people running in panic, screaming for help. We both began taking pictures as there were many other people that were already helping the wounded. I do not remember how long we stayed but both of us decided to leave after a while and take some wounded to the hospital in our car. Danilo was very calm throughout the whole situation, talking to the wounded despite the fact that several more mortar rounds had landed nearby and that we had just walked in front of the entrance to the Indoor Marked few minutes earlier. After we drove to the hospital and helped the wounded that we had brought in, we went back to the office. Forty people died in that mortar attack and over 180 were wounded. We did not talk much about what happened, we just looked at each other.

Aviation spirit

By David Mercado

After being lost for nearly an hour in the north of El Alto, a city at 3,800 meters (12,467 ft) above sea level and one of the poorest and fastest growing in Latin America, we arrived at the home of Jaime Cancari. Jaime and his sons Hugo and Franklin, who like most of this city are ethnic Aymaras, have decided to become Bolivia’s first helicopter builders. We were there to visit their factory.

In a country with no aviation industry, we were at least expecting to find a small factory with considerable technology, but were shocked to find no more than a primitive workshop. The Cancaris normally make the iron bumpers and roof racks that are an essential part of off-road vehicles in Bolivia, where paved roads are few. The frames that resembled the beginnings of a helicopter were sitting in the same dirt yard where the Cancaris live and work.

Jaime and his sons Franklin and Hugo appeared in impeccable blue uniforms with a computerized logo sewn on them that read, “Cancari, Helicopters for Bolivia.” We started by asking about the project and their technical credentials, but the answer was, in the least, astonishing. None of the Cancaris had finished high school, and the team leader Jaime expressed himself better in his native Aymara than in Spanish.

Helping the helpless

More than just a photograph, irrefutable proof.

It was three weeks ago when a woman named Carolina called me to denounce abuses inside the Pequeño Cottolengo shelter in the city of Quintero, near Valparaiso. The shelter is part of a chain of homes for mentally handicapped children and youths run by the Catholic Church. Carolina had been working there only three months.

I met with her and saw photos that she had taken with her cell phone during the different shifts she worked there. One of the images showed very clearly the bruises caused by the beating of a young girl, a girl too handicapped to defend herself. Others showed the obvious effects of malnutrition on one young boy.

I asked her if it was possible to take more images, and she answered that she was willing to face all the consequences, including losing her job, to be able to help the children.

Boxing their own worst enemy

On some of my first trips around Sao Paulo after moving here, I caught glimpses of life under the city’s many highway viaducts, whether it was of people storing recyclable waste or even living under the bridges. I refer to my roaming excursions in this city as “trips,” because this massive city of nearly 20 million inhabitants is a world in itself.

The shadow of aspiring boxer Laercio is projected on a wall as he uses a discarded truck axle for weight training at a gymnasium under the Alcantara Machado viaduct in the Mooca neighborhood of Sao Paulo, March 28, 2011. REUTERS/Nacho Doce

One day, as I gradually widened my geographic range and knowledge of my new city, I spotted people practicing sports under one bridge. It was a brief view but long enough to register in my mind. So when I read soon after about a boxing school under a viaduct and went to search it out, I realized immediately it was the same one I had spotted that day.

Aspiring boxers train at a gymnasium under the Alcantara Machado viaduct as cars drive past in the Mooca neighborhood of Sao Paulo, March 28, 2011.  REUTERS/Nacho Doce

Aspiring boxer Laercio (R) trains with his coach Mauricio Cruz at a gymnasium under the Alcantara Machado viaduct in the Mooca neighborhood of Sao Paulo, March 14, 2011. REUTERS/Nacho Doce

Under the bridge I met former pro boxer Nilson Garrido, the founder and owner of the school. Six years ago Garrido started a project in which he created several boxing academies under the viaducts of Sao Paulo. His goal was to take the sport to the poor and marginalized population. In the meantime the project attracted other people who started to contribute a small monthly fee for the use of the gym.

Simple people, proud actors

The inhabitants of a Caribbean fishing village with no cinema, have become movie stars.

When I was invited to attend the screening of the movie “The Kid Who Lies” (El Chico que Miente) in the same village on Venezuela’s Caribbean coast where it was filmed, I had no doubt it would be a fantastic experience.

I could just imagine the excitement of its inhabitants seeing themselves and their familiar places on the big screen. But when I reached Ocumare I discovered that this was a place that hadn’t seen a movie screening since its last theater closed 40 years ago, and that this one would be truly special.

Adrees Latif wins ICP Infinity Award for Photojournalism

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.  REUTERS/Adrees Latif

Pakistan chief photographer Adrees Latif has won the prestigious ICP Infinity Award in Photojournalism for his outstanding coverage of last year’s Pakistan floods. Working under the most difficult of conditions he led the Reuters pictures team to tell the story from every possible angle. His images were published daily across international front pages, bringing attention to the enormity of the catastrophe from its early stages. Latif’s work has received numerous industry accolades including the Pulitzer prize for Breaking News Photography in 2008.

An Army helicopter drops relief supplies to flood victims in Pakistan's Rajanpur district in Punjab province August 15, 2010.  REUTERS/Adrees Latif

Resident Ikramulla, 37, stands near a pen where he lost a handful of water buffalos to floods in Nowshera, located in Pakistan's northwest Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province August 1, 2010.  REUTERS/Adrees Latif

Residents being evacuated through flood waters dodge an army truck carrying relief supplies for flood victims in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district in Punjab province August 11, 2010.  REUTERS/Adrees Latif

Flood victims crowd the back of a trailer while evacuating to higher grounds in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district in Punjab province August 11, 2010.   REUTERS/Adrees Latif

Adrees recounts how he took the award-winning image of marooned flood victims grasping on to an army helicopter as they tried to escape.

Heavy monsoon rains in late July 2010 caused widespread flooding across Pakistan, sweeping away entire villages and killing at least 1,600 people and displacing 10 million. Water submerged around one-fifth of the country and led to the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis in decades. A week into the crisis, flooding had submerged areas of southern Pujab province while leaving a trail of death, damaged infrastructure and an uncertain future in the north of the country. As the flood waters ravaged villages and towns along the Indus River basin, I too followed its trail of destruction. After spending days wading through flood waters to tell the story, I arrived in Multan on August 6 in the hope of getting a seat upon a helicopter taking part in relief efforts. My goal was to bring light to the vast amount of landmass the floods had covered, the same viewpoint that made U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon note the Pakistan floods were worst disaster he had ever seen.

True or false?

If it is written in a newspaper, is it true or false?

One of the most interesting parts of our job as a photo-reporter is one of the basic principles of journalism – that is telling the TRUE and REAL STORY to newspaper readers and online viewers who were not there but want to know the real story behind the headlines.

But journalism is changing. Long gone are the days when people said “It must be true, the newspaper says so.” Especially in Italy, it looks like some reporters do not tell the whole truth. They do not look for the truth nor do they investigate to try to arrive at the truth. They look for little or wrong clues. They use it to prove their story; a biased truth. Do they do this to confuse the readers and to contribute to warped thoughts? Are the journalists simply not capable of good reporting?

I’m irritated when these types of journalists use our pictures to prove their false version of reality.

from From Reuters.com:

Reuters scoops up awards at SABEW, Best of Photojournalism

The Reuters trophy case got a little more crowded on Tuesday, with a raft of awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, and the Best of Photojournalism Awards from the National Press Photographers Association.

And the winners are:

SABEW Award for real-time news organizations

David Baily, correspondent; Kevin Krolicki, Detroit bureau chief; Jui Chakravorty, correspondent; Poornima Gupta, correspondent; Kim Soyoung, correspondent; and Nick Carey, correspondent: "GM/Chrysler deal hopes rise, then shattered"

From the judges' comments:

This package on the potential for a GM/Chrysler deal broke significant new ground with exclusive details of the negotiations between the two auto companies and the federal government. The stories were comprehensively reported and smoothly written, impressive given the many twists and turns of the story.  Besides landing scoops, the reporters were able to see all the angles, and put their exclusives in the larger context of the federal auto bailout and a troubled industry. Although the stories relied heavily on unattributed sources -  and the judges would have like to have seen more precise descriptions of those sources - the stories’ accuracy speaks to the quality of the information those sources provided.

Looking Back, Looking Forward

MEMORY OF THE PRESENT

I have just received the first copy of the new book Our World Now 2. The title page reads “Executive Picture Editor: Ayperi Karabuda Ecer”. But besides pleasing my parents (my teenage daughter does not care), what does that mean?

On the one hand, everyone at Reuters is an editor. News flows between photographers, regional chiefs, global editors, picture deskers, keyworders and specialist editors. All are absolutely vital to deliver a daily output of some 1,700 images for the international media. My efforts are only in addition to what has already been produced.

On the other hand, within such a rich, global production there is no such thing as one final edit. Working with Reuters imagery is, like the book’s title, opening a window to our world now – it is live and constantly changing.