Photographers' Blog

Back on his feet

New York, United States

By Mike Segar

On a cold Wednesday morning in March 2014, I saw Errol Samuels sitting in his wheelchair before a therapy session at a New York City hospital named Mount Sinai.

 

Errol, a 22-year-old from Hollis, Queens, is paraplegic. The week before his college final exams in May 2012, he and his friends went to an off-campus party. He went out on a deck and the roof collapsed on him, crushing his spine. Errol says his doctors “didn’t need to tell me what was wrong. Once it happened, I couldn’t move my legs at all”. But remarkably, less than two years later with the help of a revolutionary new device named the “ReWalk”, Errol is back on his feet.

 

He has been using an electronic, computer-controlled exoskeleton that powers the hips and knees, helping those with lower limb disabilities to walk upright using crutches. Made by the Israeli company Argo Medical Technologies, it has allowed Errol and other spinal cord injury patients who have enrolled in a clinical trial at Mount Sinai to do something that until recently was considered almost impossible – stand up and walk.

I have a personal interest in spinal cord injuries, so when I heard about the research being done with the ReWalk and other exoskeletons I was immediately fascinated. You see, long before I was born my father Joseph C. Segar injured his spinal chord in 1944 while fighting with his infantry unit in the Philippines during World War II. He became paralyzed from the waist down.

Doctors told my father he would never walk again. But many months later and with the devoted help of a young physical-therapy nurse back in the United States, my dad began to walk. With braces on his legs, and using crutches and later a cane, Joe walked and continued to walk for the rest of his life. That young physical therapist, Caroline Coggeshall, who helped him through his long recovery became my mother, Caroline Segar.

Inside the iSurgery operation

Hamburg, Germany

By Fabian Bimmer

When my boss, Joachim Herrmann, told me that I had to cover liver surgery using an iPad, I had no idea how an iPad could be helpful during an operation. I knew that iPhones, iPads and tablets were becoming more important in being useful in all sorts of activities in our daily life – but for surgeries?

We use these new toys in different ways: GPS for cars, during sporting activities, music, mail and for other ways to communicate. Some of my colleagues use tablet computers to present their portfolios and to operate their cameras. Swiss camera maker Alpa uses an iPhone as a viewfinder for their tilt and shift cameras. But I couldn’t imagine how an iPad would be helpful during an operation to remove two tumors from a liver.

Also, I knew nothing at all about livers or any surgery before this assignment.

Vinyl’s not dead, long live vinyl

Lodenice, Czech Republic

By Petr Josek

The good old times are probably, definitely, gone and the world and all its information will soon fit into mobile phones. You read papers on your mobile phone, you pay in stores by mobile phone, watch movies, chat with friends, take photographs, play games and, alongside many other applications offered in modern times, you also listen to music from your mobile phone.

The time when you sat at home, lit a candle, opened a bottle of wine and pulled out a nice black vinyl record of your choice to relax is history. But there is still a hope.

GZ Digital Media’s factory is located in a small village called Lodenice, some 26 kilometers (16 miles) west of Prague. It was established at the beginning of the 1950s, manufacturing records for the whole Eastern bloc.

Back to the pinhole future

Velenje, Slovenia

By Srdjan Zivulovic

I haven’t been this excited and concerned about a story for a long time. I was about to photograph a young designer and his wooden pin hole camera. Photographing in a pristine way, without a lens and on film is a really amazing experience. Working for a long time with digital photography, I got used to the ease and speed of shooting, editing and transmitting the captured material to Reuters clients. Now, I had to remember all the procedures and loopholes involved in capturing and processing on the Leica film format.

That’s why I am grateful to the young and ever-cheerful designer and photographer Elvis Halilović for continuing the idea and development of pinhole cameras.

Elvis got his education at the Academy of fine arts and design in Ljubljana and has been developing his camera ever since. The idea of a pinhole camera came as a counterweight to the quick thinking ways of today’s digital camera manufacturers. The camera was made for long-term use and as a designer object which can be handed down as a family heirloom for generations. He has even noticed that young people wish to use their acquired knowledge and their own handywork to develop printed photographs.

It’s Superman over California

San Diego, California

By Mike Blake

As technology costs drop allowing the individual inventor to become freer to pursue their dreams, create their ideas, and start up new businesses, the world will become a more fascinating place to live.

I first made contact with Otto Diefenbauch in early 2013 after a youtube video of him flying a cardboard-type plane along the California coastline went viral. We chatted and he said he was working on something even better and would drop me an email when he was ready to show it off. So, six months later when he dropped me an email I was curious to see what he had been up to. In this case, it was a much more refined and well designed “flying people” plane. I’m really not sure what to call them.

Otto would be testing some prototypes and I was invited to come along with my cameras. It was a bit of an early start, considering the past two months I have been working late helping edit the NBA and NHL playoffs. I was given very specific direction, though it was in somewhat of a strange location: Meet by some dumpsters off a side road in back of a building.

Going wider with our visual storytelling app

By Jassim Ahmad

We have just launched an update to The Wider Image app for iPad – an award-winning interactive experience showcasing visual insights by Reuters photographers. Thanks for your enthusiasm and feedback, which has helped drive these enhancements. Here is what’s new:

Share further
Our #1 reader request. You can now share stories and photographer profiles through Facebook and Twitter. Your friends and followers will be able to preview the story and read the full photographer profile, for example Lucas Jackson.

The share pages adapt to screen size, so they work across smartphones, tablets and desktops. When sharing stories on Twitter, your story tweets can expand to show the main image.

A bionic feat

Chicago, Illinois

By John Gress

Most of us climb stairs.

Some of us do it for exercise, some of us do it because there is no other option.

Many of us would complain that it’s a burden to ascend three floors, but for Zac Vawter climbing to the third floor of the Willis Tower on Sunday was an accomplishment – making it to the 103rd floor was historic.

Vawter took approximately 2100 steps to climb 1353 feet with the world’s first neural-controlled Bionic leg, according to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Their Center for Bionic Medicine has worked to develop technology that allows amputees, like Vawter, to better control prosthetics with their own thoughts.

China in color or black and white?

By Carlos Barria

I have heard this question asked a million times: would this picture be better in color, or in black and white? I grew up in the color era, but I do remember seeing television programs in black and white. That was before 1990, when my parents bought a color television to watch Argentina’s national soccer team play in the World Cup in Italy. (We won the Cup in 1986… in black and white.)

I find myself wondering sometimes whether a particular story, or a particular picture, would be stronger or clearer in black and white, or in color. To some degree, the answer is imposed. I work for a media organization that provides clients with color pictures, so I photograph in color.

But sometimes I like to experiment with converting pictures to black and white, just to see how they look. Recently I visited two Communist Party schools in China where trainees attended courses to reaffirm their foundation as Communist Party members. During the trip I went first to Jianggangshan in Jiangxi province, a historical area where former Chinese leader Mao Zedong fought the Nationalists, as a leader of the newly created Red Army. Then I visited a modern school in Pudong, in the cosmopolitan hub of Shanghai.

Robo-cams cover all the Olympic angles

By Fabrizio Bensch

We are on day 5 of competition at the London 2012 Olympic games and our robotic cameras triggered by the team of Reuters photographers are producing amazing pictures from the most unusual angles whenever athletes all over the world are competing for gold, silver and bronze medals.

GALLERY: OLYMPIC BEST FROM LONDON 2012

We had big expectations to create pictures from new perspectives and they have been surpassed by what we are seeing right now. From the colorful opening ceremony to the athletes’ reactions, many Olympic moments have been captured by the remote robotic cameras. At the moment I’m covering the fencing events at the ExCel venue and I trigger the remote cameras with the help of wireless Pocket Wizard wireless transmitters, simultaneously as I shoot with my hand-held camera with the 400 to 800mm lenses. When I see a new angle on the field of play, I can make corrections remotely with the joystick to control the two axis camera head.

Below is a selection of images made by our photographers (Michael Dalder, Adrees Latif, Murad Sezer, Sergio Perez, Mike Segar, Dominic Ebenbichler, Pawel Kopczynski and Fabrizio Bensch) with their eyes but through the lenses of the robotic DSLRs catching the dramatic moments at many different Olympic venues.

Multiple exposure’s digital era

By Mike Blake

The ability to take a number of pictures all on the same frame was simple in the days of film cameras.

You would find a situation where the background would drop off enough to accommodate a number of exposures on the same frame of film. After that, it was a matter of how many exposures and how do they all fit next to each other on the same frame.

GALLERY: MULTIPLE EXPOSURES

We have never been able to do that with the Canon camera system until the release of their new DX camera. And of course, being at the Olympics, what better place to use this new technology? Paired with the world’s best gymnasts and a camera that can take 14 pictures a second, it’s amazing.

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