Asia – A week in pictures 26 June 2011

June 28, 2011

Last week a series of unconnected bomb attacks across Asia left dozens dead and many more injured.  Thirty-five people were killed in a suicide bombing next to a hospital in Afghanistan’s Logar province south of Kabul, at least four police officers were wounded in blast in eastern Pakistan, and suspected Taliban militants stormed a police station in a town in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least five policemen. Four explosions rocked Myanmar’s capital, Naypyitaw.  In Thailand a triple bombing by suspected insurgents kills at least two people and wounded nine others in Thailand’s deep south.

A victim of a suicide bomb attack yells as medics apply burn cream to his torso after he was brought to the Lady Reading hospital for treatment in Peshawar June 20, 2011. A suicide bomber blew himself up in a market area on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing at least two people and wounded three, police and hospital officials said. This image has been rotated 180 degrees.  REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz

Covering violence and the suffering it causes is a daily diet for the team in Pakaistan so when I saw Fayaz’s up-side-down picture on the wire  I asked Adrees Latif, chief photographer Pakistan, why it had been rotated. Visually I was uncomfortable with it.  Adrees’ answer made me stop and think about the way I look at these pictures so I thought that I’d share his reply.

“Respect your perspective. I don’t normally rotate images and not trying to make it a habit but Fayaz said the victim was yelling and I connected with the subject better from this angle. I feel the image I edited is stronger from the rotation and so not to mislead the viewer, I did clarify the image was rotated 180 in caption. I have viewed them next to each other and they look like two completely different images. I feel one is repetitive, the other is full of impact.”

Here are the images next to one another, one rotated and one not.  Here in the office the debate that raged over this image split the camp. What do you think?

I would be hard-pressed not to include a picture from the week’s violence in Afghanistan. I thought Ahmad Masood’s picture of two boys fighting in a camp for war-displaced people seemed to sum up it all up. Staying in Afghanistan, Baz Ratner is embdded with Canadian forces;  two of his images caught my eye because I liked the way the viewer is drawn into the centre of the picture. The first picture draws the eye in through a series of changing tones and shapes of decreasing size, past the boy silhouetted in the passage, to the final destination of the strongest colour in the picture, a turquiose gate. The perspective then journeys out again to make eye contact with the boy in the foreground. The second picture quickly pulls you in as the subject of the image is surrounded by black empty space.

Afghan children from Helmand province, displaced due to the war, fight as they play outside their tents in Kabul June 22, 2011.  REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

An Afghan boy holds a baby as U.S. , Canadian and Afghan soldiers give away school supplies, donated by a school in Canada, in the village of Small Loi Kola in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province southern Afghanistan , June 23 , 2011. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Canadian army corporal John McMurry uses his laptop in the back of a light armored vehicle in Seprwan Ghar Forward fire base in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan, June 24, 2011. Canada will end its combat role in Afghanistan by the end of July, after nearly ten years fighting in Afghanistan. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

In Thailand the country is gearing up for the election on July 3 but in the meantime a bombing campiagn by insurgents continues relentlessly. Bombs in this part of the world (and many others too) are particularly difficult to cover as photographers. The bombers often use the technique where a first blast draws in security forces, rescue services and the media, then a second larger blast is detonated to kill and maim those who have gathered to the scene. The picture below and the link of the video is as close as anyone can get to a bomb without being injured — chilling imagery.

Members of a Thai bomb squad help a colleague after a bomb attack in Narathiwat province June 24, 2011. A triple bombing by suspected insurgents killed two villagers and wounded nine others in Thailand’s deep south on Friday, police said, the latest attacks in the restive Muslim-dominated region bordering Malaysia.   REUTERS/Stringer

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of the ruling Democrat Party addresses his supporters during an election campaign at Ratchaprason intersection at Bangkok’s shopping district June 23, 2011. The supporters of ruling party gathered at the site that was occupied by anti-government red shirt protesters during the 2010 unrest that killed 91 people and wounded at least 1,800 in the worst political violence in modern Thai history.  Thailand’s  general election is on July 3.  REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang

A girl wearing a traditional costume shelters herself from the rain during a religious ceremony outside a temple in the village of Suan Mon near Udon Thani in northeastern Thailand June 25, 2011. Regional leaders of Thailand’s red-shirt protest movement held a traditional Buddhist ceremony to launch 38 villages to be designated as the “Red Shirt Village of Democracy”. The red shirts, supporters of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, have been branding hundreds of villages as red to rally behind Thaksin’s sister, Yingluck, who is leading the opposition ahead of July 3 general elections.   REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

As China’s premier Wen Jiabao travels in Europe, at home dissident Ai Weiwei was released from jail and David Gray made his way quickly to his studio to catch the artist returning home. I love the mircrophones and arms leading into the picture only to find that the terms of his release prevent him from making any comment. I am sure other subjects on the agenda as Wen travels in Europe would include China’s industrial pollution and the flooding that has killed more than 100 people. Both beautifully photographed by Darley Wong.

Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei waves from the entrance of his studio after being released on bail in Beijing June 23, 2011. Ai, detained since April, was released on bail on Wednesday, state media said, citing Beijing police. The agency, in a late evening announcement, said the artist had been freed “because of his good attitude in confessing his crimes as well as a chronic disease he suffers from”. Ai was detained at Beijing airport on April 3, igniting an outcry about China’s tightening grip on dissent, which has triggered the detention and arrest of dozens of rights activists and dissidents.    REUTERS/David Gray

Students in graduation robes stand on a stone bridge submerged underwater at the flooded Donghu Lake in Wuhan, Hubei province, June 21, 2011. Torrential rain across southern and eastern China which has killed more than 100 people and triggered the evacuation of half a million has left large areas of farmland devastated as food prices surge, state media said on Sunday. REUTERS/Darley Wong

A fisherman holds his fishing net in his mouth in a polluted river in Wuhan, Hubei province June 21, 2011. More than half of China’s cities are affected by acid rain and one-sixth of major rivers are so polluted the water is unfit even for farmland, a senior official said in a bleak assessment of the environmental price of the country’s economic boom.  REUTERS/Darley Wong

Indonesia is also struggling with pollution and Beawiharta produced a well-observed image of  rubbish being cleared from the rivers of Jakarta alongside a picture of swimmer in clear blue waters put into the river by an artist.  In neigbouring Malaysia Bazuki Muhammad has been working on a story about illegal logging.

A picture of a man swimming is seen on a polluted river as a worker collects rubbish from a bamboo raft beside it, in Jakarta June 22, 2011. Indonesian artist Fanny Octavianus placed a picture of a man swimming on a polluted river in protest against the pollution of the river in the capital, to mark the 484th anniversary of the city today. REUTERS/Beawiharta

Illegal loggers load the wood they cut from a mangrove forest before they are detained by Malaysia’s state of Selangor Forestry Department in Port Klang outside Kuala Lumpur June 22, 2011. Selangor lost 100 million ringgit ($33 million) worth of logs to illegal logging over the last 10 years, The Star online reported quoting the state chairman of the environment committee. Picture taken June 22, 2011. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad

One of the hardest assignments is to make news conference and business pictures look visually stimulating. Harder still when the venue for the business summit is your own office. I am filled with admiration at the hard work and craftsmanship displayed by the team in Japan when they covered a Reuters summit on the subject of rebuilding Japan.  The team would have had only have minutes if not seconds with each CEO who came into the office to participate in the summit. The success of the preplanning is obvious in the pictures and in a separate blog, “having fun in the office” by Kim Kyung-Hoon.  It isn’t only the team in Japan that has mastered this skill – have a look at the pictures from Seoul-based Jo Yong-Hak and Sydney-based Tim Wimborne.

Seven & I Holdings President and COO Noritoshi Murata is seen through windows as he poses for a picture before the Reuters Rebuilding Japan Summit in Tokyo June 22, 2011. The Reuters Rebuilding Japan Summit, held June 20-22 in Tokyo, features more than 20 CEOs, government officials and other senior executives discussing the outlook for Japan and how it can bounce back from the crisis. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Toyota Motor Corp. Executive Vice President Yukitoshi Funo poses for a picture before the Reuters Rebuilding Japan Summit in Tokyo June 22, 2011. The Reuters Rebuilding Japan Summit, held June 20-22 in Tokyo, features more than 20 CEOs, government officials and other senior executives discussing the outlook for Japan and how it can bounce back from the crisis. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group President Koichi Miyata poses for a picture before the Reuters Rebuilding Japan Summit in Tokyo June 22, 2011. The Reuters Rebuilding Japan Summit, held June 20-22 in Tokyo, features more than 20 CEOs, government officials and other senior executives discussing the outlook for Japan and how it can bounce back from the crisis. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Japan’s Softbank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son reacts during a news conference at a hotel in Seoul June 20, 2011. Softbank expects to reach an agreement “soon” with Alibaba Group over ownership of China’s leading e-payment provider Alipay, Son said on Monday.  REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak

Three computer keyboard keys with the letters NBN, the acronym for National Broadband Network, are pictured in this photo illustration taken in Sydney June 23, 2011. Australia cleared a key hurdle on Thursday in setting up a $38 billion high-speed broadband system after phone operator Telstra agreed to rent out its network for the nation’s biggest infrastructure project in decades.   REUTERS/Tim Wimborne

Nothing pleases me more than when I am able to make connections between pictures that should have nothing in common.  Imagine a joke that starts: “What do Lady Gaga, table tennis and a mud festival have in common?” The quick and addled-brain answer might be Glastonbury as the mind tumbles around trying to see how table tennis would fit it. But in this case the answer is in the eyes.

U.S. singer Lady Gaga, closing her eyes, takes off her sunglass during a news conference after performing at the MTV Video Music Aid Japan in Chiba, near Tokyo June 25, 2011.   REUTERS/Toru Hanai

China’s Guo Yan eyes the ball as she serves against Kim Kying Ah of South Korea during their table tennis match at the Volkswagen 2011 China vs. World Team Challenge event in Shanghai June 24, 2011. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

A devotee covered in mud looks out from under a covering of dried leaves during a religious ceremony celebrating the feast day of their Christian patron, Saint John the Baptist, in the remote village of Bibiclat in Nueva Ecija, north of Manila, June 24, 2011. Hundreds of devotees took part in this annual religious tradition, which has been held in the village since 1945. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

Last of all pictures that have caught my eye for no other reason than I like them. From hopskotch in India to Michael Jackson tributes in Korea, I hope you like them too.

Children play a game of hopskotch on a grid drawn into the dirt in Gobindpur village, about 75 km (46 miles) east of Orissa’s state capital Bhubaneswar, June 22, 2011. Local protests have forced the poor eastern state of Orissa to halt acquiring land for a proposed $12 billion steel plant to be built by South Korea’s POSCO, further delaying the biggest foreign direct investment in Asia’s third largest economy. Farmers accuse the Orissa state government of being in cahoots with big business to trick them out of land their families have held for generations. Gobindpur is one of several villages from which people will have to be relocated for the plant. Picture taken June 22, 2011. To match Feature INDIA-POSCO/  REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

A man bathes his horse on the banks of the Ravi river in the outskirts of Lahore June 24, 2011. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza

A farmer dries rice in Nhan Hien village, 20 km (12.5 miles) south of Hanoi  June 23, 2011. Vietnam has contracted to sell around 100,000 tonnes of 25 percent broken rice to several African nations so far this month, helping to keep prices stable at the start of a harvest in the Mekong Delta, traders said on June 22, 2011.   REUTERS/Kham

The feet of child is seen as she is being balanced on a wooden prong planted into a chariot, during a procession to celebrate “Trishul Jatra” or Tridents Festival, at Jayabageshwari in Kathmandu June 23, 2011. The festival is celebrated by Hindu devotees and parents who believe their children will be blessed with good health after participating in rituals. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar

South Korean fans of the deceased U.S. pop star Michael Jackson dance during a flash mob event commemorating the second anniversary of his death at Gwanghwamoon Square in central Seoul June 25, 2011.   REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak

Comments

About the rotated image in the lead… I saw this on the wire last week and had a think about it too. Can see the scream is quite a lot stronger when its rotated 180 degrees. Rotated images makes me feel a bit nauseous though, I just find them a bit difficult to look at.. like your brain knows the perspective isnt quite right? Maybe I should take a seasickness pill and look again.

Posted by vivpix | Report as abusive
 

Great work, as usual!
Lucas
New photo blog about Chinese workers:
http://china.blog.lemonde.fr/

Posted by Photoluc | Report as abusive
 

I like three Japan base photographers made a set of CEO pictures from bored conferences, well done …

Posted by beaw | Report as abusive
 

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