Photographers' Blog

from Our Take on Your Take:

Too busy with pirates

My initial contact with Abdinasir Mohamed Guled was when he submitted a photo to our user-generated content service, called You Witness at the time, now Your View. The caption read "hi reuters" and the location was listed as Mogadishu suqa holaha district. This was enough to peak my attention.

I spoke with Abdinasir, who at the time was busy covering the story of pirates off the Somali coast. Below is his account of his journey from contributor to You Witness to regular stringer for Reuters.

A Somali family arrive at the Elasha Biyaha camp for the internally displaced  after they fled from renewed clashes in Mogadishu, May 13, 2009.  REUTERS/Abdi Guled

"Before working for Reuters I was working for a local radio station in Mogadishu and for various websites. I was working as a producer and would contribute to CNN.

I do like taking photographs, however it is not always easy in Somalia. One day I took a picture of Ethiopian soldiers walking on the street. They were really annoyed. One of the soldiers asked me what I was doing and I told him I was fixing my camera. He asked me to show him the picture and told me to leave the area. Be careful, always.

from Our Take on Your Take:

Fire and ice

When Ingolfur Juliusson's first pictures of the riots in Iceland came in to Your View we had no pictures by Reuters photographers or stringers on our professional picture wire. Seeing this and the quality of the images, I sent them along to our chief photographer of the region. In cases where we use citizen journalists pictures on our professional wire it is usually the chief photographer who negotiates usage and payment for the photographer. As our chief photographer was out of the office and knowing that Europe was on deadline for these pictures, I contacted Ingolfur directly and negotiated a payment for 5 pictures.

The selection was quickly moved on the wire and it wasn't long before we saw some online play.

This screenshot is from

A number of Your View contributors have had their pictures moved on the Reuters Pictures wire.

from Our Take on Your Take:

Capturing the crash aftermath

Two hours after the news broke about a military jet crashing into San Diego homes, I received an email to You Witness from Ron Belanger with a link to dramatic photos of the incident. Here is Ron's account of events.

I was working at home near MCAS Miramar in San Diego mid-day Monday, when I heard the unmistakable "pop… pop…" sound of ejection seats firing nearby but hadn't heard the jet's engines. As a retired Navy pilot and aircraft accident investigator I suddenly realized this meant that a pilotless aircraft and ejection seats would soon be coming down. I took cover under my desk then heard a deafening sound as the plane crashed and the house shook violently.

When I ran outside there was a large black cloud of smoke rising and I could feel the heat. I tried to call 911 but the line was already busy as other witnesses called in the emergency. I grabbed my shoes and camera and ran down to the scene which is five houses over from mine. Several of us asked neighbors if there was anyone in the house. Since that wasn't known, we went down the right side, where part of the house was still standing, shouting out to anyone inside but there was no answer… just the roar of the fire and the sound of small explosions. We couldn't go in because the house was fully involved in flames at every opening we found. As we were checking out the back yard, a propane tank from the camper which had been pushed into the house exploded. We quickly retreated since there was nothing we could do.

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