Asia – A Week in Pictures January 16 2011

January 17, 2011

Our thoughts are with photographer Lucas Mebrouk Dolega who was covering the street protests in Tunisia who is now in a critical condition after sustaining head injuries on Friday from a tear gas canister fired by a nearby police officer.


A passenger in a car waves for assistance as a flash flood sweeps across an intersection in Toowoomba, 105 km (65 miles) west of Brisbane, January 10, 2011. Tsunami-like flash floods raced towards Australia’s third-largest city of Brisbane on Tuesday, prompting evacuations of its outskirts, flood warnings for the financial district and predictions that  the death toll is likely to climb.     REUTERS/Tomas Guerin

Rupert Murdoch’s iPad only newspaper “The Daily” is getting closer to launch (reports say the proposed launch of January 19th was delayed due to technical glitches) and others are  launching similar pay-for publications. Along with rumours of an imminent iPad2 and Apple’s competitors rushing to launch their own tablet devices, it seems to me much more likely that people will once more expect to pay for their news as opposed to expecting  to get it free. They will now have a device to easily download and read news and look at pictures and video immediately. Maybe the much heralded notion that the sometimes faster, but unsubstantiated, social media generated news would be the death knell of main stream media (why should I pay for the news when I get it free from the net quicker?) might have been a little premature and could actually be one of the factors that contribute to people expecting to pay for quality news viewed on hand held devices. What do you think?

What makes me raise this question is the fact that many of the pictures on the Reuters wire from the floods in Australia were sourced  from Facebook and Twitter to compliment the pictures shot by our staff photographers. The key differentiating factor was that Australia chief photographer Tim Wimborne was able to track down the originator of the material to verify its authenticity, pay for it and then transmit it for publication on mainstream media. The viewer of these pictures is able to trust what they see and read even though it was generated by a citizen journalist. Maybe I am wrong and people just want to believe what they see on social media and place no value on news and pictures checked and doubled checked by journalists?


Heavy equipment sits submerged in flood waters in an industrial area of Brisbane January 13, 2011. Flood water in Australia’s third-biggest city peaked below feared catastrophic levels on Thursday but Brisbane and other devastated regions faced years of rebuilding and even the  threat of fresh floods in the weeks ahead. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne

Throughout much of Asia concerns over food price inflation has created the visual headache for our photographers of how to illustrate the increases in food prices. Pictures come easier once concerns turn into demonstrations and clashes break out with government security forces. Mumbai-based Danish Siddiqui was assigned to cover the inflation story and luck was on his side as he walked through the fish market in Mumbai. A crane swooped down to steal fish from a woman carrying fish from a tray on her head. But his beautiful picture created another headache. What is the right crop for it? Leave it wide to give a sense of the scene and maintain a shape that is best viewed for on-line slide shows or crop it to the core of the image of the man looking up at the crane stealing fish. Or what about just crop it to the woman and the bird on her head ignoring the man completely?  Which do you think is right?


Mumbai combo

A crane eats a fish from a tub of fish at a wholesale market at a fish harbour in Mumbai January 14, 2011.  REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Making a silk purse from a sow’s ear is very much the hallmark of the file from Japan. Chief photographer Issei Kato was sent to photograph Hiroyuki Konuma, assistant director-general and regional representative for Asia and the Pacific of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (quite a mouthful). Using the strong light cast from the right and the shadow of the interviewing journalist Kato-san has made an interesting image from what was potentially a very boring subject. Take a very close look at where Konuma is actually sitting and imagine just how bad the picture could have been.


Hiroyuki Konuma, assistant director-general and regional representative for Asia and the Pacific of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), speaks during an interview with Reuters in Tokyo January 14, 2011.  The global food supply and demand balance is tight but the situation is not as severe as in 2008 because there are sufficient stocks of food grains, Konuma said on Friday. REUTERS/Issei Kato

 Japan-based Kim Kyung-Hoon is covering the Ski Jumping World Cup and has shot this amazing picture which gives the skier jumper the appearance of an exotic insect with the use of a slow shutter speed. It takes real confidence to risk missing pictures at a sporting event by using a very slow shutter speed. Imagine if the competitor crashed out and you are shooting at an 1/8 of a second, you’d get nothing but blur. Kim was also at Japan ruling party annual convention where he shot this picture which put a smile on my face. 


 Germany’s Felix Schoft soars through air at the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup in Sapporo, northern Japan, January 15, 2011.  REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon


Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan (4th R) raises his fists with party members during an annual party convention of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan in Chiba, east of Tokyo, January 13, 2011. Japan’s prime minister will appoint former administrative reform minister Yukio Edano as his de facto deputy and give a fiscal hawk a key post when he reshuffles his cabinet this week, domestic media reported on Thursday.   REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Two pictures that also caught my eye this week both tell different stories of sadness from Afghanistan. The first is a portrait of 11-year-old boy shot by Hamid Sayedi. The pain the boy is suffering obvious through his eyes as he is treated for burns after a domestic accident. The second picture, shot by Ahmad Masood, of a man recovering from his injuries in hospital after a suicide bomb attack. I asked Masood why the walls were green, as it seemed to me to be a strange colour for a hospital. He told me that the hospital was new.


Enzer Gul, the 11-year-old son of Khan Mohammad, is treated after his face was burnt in Kabul January 9, 2011. Mohammad’s once-long and henna-stained beard has burned up to his chin and his face is swollen and raw after a gas lamp exploded because it was too close to the family’s wood-burning stove. The explosion also hurt Gul. As temperatures drop well below freezing during the country’s harsh winter, bombs and bullets from a near-decade long war against a Taliban-led insurgency are not the only threat — just trying to light a home and stay warm can be deadly.  REUTERS/Hamid Sayedi 


A wounded Afghan man rests in a hospital after a suicide bomb attack in Kabul January 12, 2011. A suicide bomber on a motorbike killed two people and wounded more than 35 near the Afghan  parliament on Wednesday, officials said, the third bomb attack in the capital Kabul in less than a month.  REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Lastly, and as ever just because I like them, I have included a few more pictures that I think deserve a second look. The  portrait by Truth Leem of film director Park Chan-wook harks back to film noir with the use of a slither of light to highlight his eye. Andrew Biraj’s picture of investors taking out the frustration of their losses on a hapless driver after the government intervened in the markets causing a fall in the stocks; And two pictures from India: Moshin Raza’s frame of rickshaw drivers in the cold fog, the fog making a flat backdrop to the rescue scene and Jitendra Prakash’s picture of the man who seems to be able to walk on water after taking a holy dip in the waters.


South Korean director Park Chan-wook poses during an interview with Reuters in Goyang, north of Seoul January 12, 2011. Prize-winning South Korean director Park’s latest film, “Night Fishing,” has created a buzz in his native country — it was filmed using 10 Apple iPhone 4s, three of which he himself controlled. Park, who won the Cannes Grand Prix in 2004 for “Oldboy,” also directed the 30-minute tale about a fisherman and a female shaman with his brother, Chan-kyong, and said the circumstances of its shooting gave making the film an unusual flavour. Picture taken January 12, 2011.    REUTERS/Truth Leem


Investors beat the driver of a car during a clash around the Dhaka Stock Exchange in Dhaka January 10, 2011. Bangladesh police fired tear gas and water cannon to break up violent protests by investors on Monday after stock trading was halted when prices went into free fall. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj


A man rides a motorcycle rickshaw as the rider tows another rickshaw during a cold and foggy day in Lahore, January 10, 2011.   REUTERS/Mohsin Raza


A man runs after taking a holy dip at Sangam ahead of Magh Mela, a month-long Hindu festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 13, 2011. The festival is an annual religious event held during the Hindu month of Magh, when thousands of Hindu devotees take a holy dip in the waters of the Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati. REUTERS/Jitendra Prakash

 Reuters Pictures have an iPad app that you might enjoy called Reuters Galleries and Reuters NewsPro.


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