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Friday, 19 October 2018

A week in Pictures Middle East & Africa October 19, 2018

The chaos of a bomb blast can best be appreciated alongside a scene of ordinary daily life, especially when it’s the same exact spot, a year earlier. Feisal Omar’s powerful before and after pictures take the viewer from the devastation of Somalia’s blasts to a street scene you can quite easily imagine walking or driving along. It makes you think, ‘that could have been me’. See the whole series here. 



A combination picture of a file photo (top) showing Somali Armed Forces evacuating an injured colleague from the scene of an explosion in KM4 street in the Hodan district of Mogadishu, Somalia October 14, 2018 and traffic flowing in the same place along KM4 street almost a year later, October 10, 2018.   REUTERS/Feisal Omar

I include two pictures from Suhaib Salem to demonstrate the importance of employing different styles to give the overall file pace and depth. The first image is ‘in your face’, fraught with passion and action. The whole visual focus sends you immediately to the woman’s screaming face. The eye line and the faces of the people in the background, hands reaching in. and the two inward looking faces of the women left and right keep you looking and looking, no escape from her distress. 


A relative of Palestinian gunman Naji al-Zaneen, who was killed in an Israeli airstrike, reacts during his funeral in the northern Gaza strip October 17, 2018.   REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

The second image from Suhaib takes longer to ‘see’ but is no less powerful. It has a strong compositional flow, driven by the eye line of the weeping child on the bottom left and moving like a wave that reaches its crest with the woman in blue and then falls away to the crying child on the right. As you take the time to look from face to face, the sadness grows like a wave gathering its height. The immediate impact of the first picture and the slow build of the second are powerful storytelling combination.   


Relatives of Palestinian gunman Naji al-Zaneen, who was killed in an Israeli airstrike, mourn during his funeral in the northern Gaza strip October 17, 2018.   REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

What is not clear from Newton Nambwaya’s picture is if this coffin is being carried by a villager who has lost a family member or a rescue worker. I suppose that doesn’t really matter as the task at hand is just as precarious. I feel real apprehension for this person carrying the awkward load of the empty coffin across a makeshift bridge. What I am also struggling to understand is why the others are just watching and not helping?


A man crosses the Sume river carrying an empty coffin on his head after a landslide rolled down the slopes of Mt. Elgon through their village of Wanjenwa in Bududa district, Uganda, October 13, 2018.  REUTERS/Newton Nambwaya


If you have read my post before you will know just how much pleasure I get when an editor’s crop changes a good picture into a great picture. A perfect example of this is Mohamed Torokman’s picture from the West Bank cropped by Suhaib Salem. Both pictures were moved to the wire, the wider version giving the action context, but the tight crop, wham! What emotion! This picture leads Reuters global ‘picture of the week’ that you can see here. 



A Palestinian man argues with an Israeli soldier during clashes over an Israeli order to shut down a Palestinian school near Nablus in the occupied west bank October 15, 2018.   REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman


I am very attracted to Omar Sanadiki’s picture from the Syria-Jordan border, not only because of the symmetry of the converging lines of perspective that race to the vanishing point in the distance but also because of the splash of a filled-in shell crater in front of the car. The pothole is a reminder of the fighting that took place in this area only weeks ago. 


A civilian car from Jordan passes into Syria at the Nasib border crossing with Jordan in Deraa, Syria October 15, 21018.   REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki

Corinna Kern’s simple detail picture raises so many questions when you first see it. First, it’s beautifully lit, you can see details of the aging skin and veins on well-manicured hands, the nails perfectly painted a deep red. The jewelry, except for the bracelet on the right hand, looks a little out of place as it’s quite heavy and dark on the delicate hands. Maybe its worn for a memory attached to it?  The watch looks expensive (but I am no expert) and maybe not worn every day as it doesn’t look like a practical timepiece. Some of the questions are answered by the caption, but then the information sets off other trains of thought. Maybe some more answers here.


A Holocaust survivor waits for the beginning of the annual Holocaust survivor’s beauty pageant in Haifa, Israel October 14, 2018.   REUTERS/Corinna Kern


Friday, 12 October 2018

A Week in Pictures Middle East and Africa October 12, 2018


Ibraheem Abu Mustafa has crouched down low to create a powerful combination of flames, black smoke and figures in his picture from Gaza. It’s worth looking deeper into the image beyond its immediate impact. At first you notice the two protesters holding their catapults at full tension, aimed at different targets. Beyond them, and to the far distance, dozens of others figures start to emerge from the smoke; some running, some pointing and others just watching, but all risking their lives to protest. Read the latest details here.

Palestinians hurl stones at Israeli troops during a protest calling for lifting the Israeli blockade on Gaza demanding the right to their homeland, at the Israel-Gaza border fence in the southern Gaza strip October 12, 2018.    REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

There are ways to photograph a building and there are great ways to photograph a building and it’s not often I get excited about a picture with no people in it, but Muhammad Hamed’s picture of the Monastery in Petra is just breath-taking. Like a scene from the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, the vision created by the light is spectacular and if this picture doesn’t want to make you visit Petra, nothing will. By way of explanation the September date was when this picture was shot, but it was moved on the wire this week.   


A general view of the Monastery at night in the ancient city of Petra, south of Amman, Jordan September 27, 2018.   REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

There’s no mistaking the sadness in Ronen Zvulen’s powerful detail picture that has been carefully cropped by picture editor Nir Elias as a hand tenderly reaches out to touch the Star of David, which forms part of the shroud covering the body of Kim Yehezkel. There is no respite from the cold tones of the black cloth and the stonework, even the bare and tattooed arm looks cold to the touch.

A woman touches the cover for the body of Kim Yehezkel during her funeral at the cemetery in Rosh Ha’ain near Tel Aviv, Israel October 7, 2018.   REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

It takes more than a little while to work out what is going on in Zohra Bensemra’s picture. As you flick from white highlights to black shadows eventually your eye catches hold of the small white piece of paper suspended in the black. Then you spot the woman on the left sitting behind a lamp with her eyes sharply focused on the paper. You then get the sense of it as a ballot paper. The picture snaps into meaning – what a tough task, counting votes in a dark room, lit only with small lamps


Election workers take part in vote counting during the presidential election in Yaounde, Cameroon October 7, 2018.   REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra 


A brave decision by Amr Abdallah Dalsh to use a very wide lens to shoot Melania Trump arriving at the Great Pyramids has paid off. The stark empty landscape is populated with security as far as the eye can see. The slight V of the clouds dipping down to point to the U.S. first lady as she strides through this open space. But what I would give for another inch beneath the security guard’s foot on the right-hand side, the foot is just cut off a tiny bit, a pet hate of mine. 


U.S first lady Melania Trump walks with Egypt’s Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Enany as security personnel stand guard during her visit to the Great Pyramids in Cairo, Egypt, October 6, 2018.   REUTERS/Amt Abdallah Dalsh 


Carefully framed by silhouetted figures in the foreground we are dawn deeper and deeper into Naif Rahma’s picture by the rhythm of the school children queuing at the start of the new term. I am greatly saddened by this picture as I can’t get the notion out of my head that the silhouettes in the foreground represent the children who were killed in the air strike. This picture haunts me. Read on here 


Students perform morning exercises and drill at their school which lost pupils in an August 2018 Saudi-led air strike on a school bus in Saada province, Yemen October 6, 2018.   REUTERS/Naif Rahma


When I first saw Mohamed Abd El Ghany’s picture I am sure I heard an audible ‘click’ of the player’s neck as he stretches! The warm tones of the colours, the deep shadows of the blacks and the dash of red all strongly evoke the high temperatures this athlete is competing in. His closed eyes and this sense of warmth combine to give me a sense that this refugee has relaxed, he feels he is through the worst of his difficult life; let’s hope so. It’s a story of hope, so read on here.  It’s a story of hope that took a while to shoot so read on here

 A Sudanese refugee stretches prior to a basketball game in Cairo, Egypt September 24, 2018.  REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Two pictures by Ammar Awad, which were shot for the same story, are poles apart in terms of mood, and yet I can’t help but link them as they are very similar in shape and design. Both have a strong sense of a right to left sweep of movement, both have three main female figures and the dashes of colour that catch your eye are the pinks and pale purples. I fear that seen together the pictures may convey a sense of youthful hopes that are later dashed. You decide, read on here


Palestinian school children take part in a lesson at a school run by UNRWA (United Nations Relief and works Agency) in the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem October 10, 2018. REUTERS/Ammar Awad


Palestinian women walk on a street in the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem October 10, 2018. REUTERS/Ammar Awad





Saturday, 6 October 2018

A Week in Pictures Middle East and Africa October 5, 2018


Eat your heart our New Orleans! This is Malawi and we’re going to party while we wait for Melania Trump. So says this wonderfully affectionate picture by Carlo Allegri, who is travelling in the region with FLOTUS. Take the time to look at their faces, the first thing you’ll see is that gap in the teeth. Then enjoy the style, suits, shoes, canes and hats, feel the warmth and hear that rhythm. This picture makes me feel good, and I hope it does you too. See more pictures of Melania in Africa here.



Malawians hold flags and dance as the U.S first lady arrives in Lilongwe, Malawi, October 4, 2018.    REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Taking pictures of food to make it look appetising is never easy. Taking pictures of food being prepared by displaced people cooking over a fire is harder still. Zohra Bensemra’s picture is a complex, detailed image that evokes different emotions at the same time and I am not sure why. The grey goo being pounded in the wooden bowl does not look so tasty but I feel a great sense of anticipation that what is going to be cooked is going to taste nice. What gives me this feeling I am not sure. Is it the warm tones of the earth and woman’s legs countered by the cold, metallic but much treasured pots? Or is it the child’s green dish waiting to be filled? Or maybe just the calm generated by the soft light and the sense that there is now time to cook after finding a safe place after fleeing from violence? Read on here


Honre Waba, 40, who has fled the northwestern village of Njinikom because of violence cooks in the courtyard of the house where she is staying in Yaounde, Cameroon, October 3, 2018.   REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra



I’ve looked at many images of demonstrations but Mohammed Salem’s picture took me a little by surprise. I didn’t at first understand why these Jihadists were completely wrapped in white cloth, their arms trapped. We’d had other images from the same military show of force, masked men armed to the teeth, missile-shaped metal constructions on back of trucks, and alert eyes peering from black masks that all made obvious sense to me. I now understand that these worn white cloths are death shrouds, the message being ‘we are prepared to die’. 


Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants participate in a military show in Gaza City October 4, 2018.   Mohammed Salem


It takes a little while to make sense of Faisal Al-Nasser’s picture. It’s the use of only a tiny fragment of this almost totally abstract picture, the simple line of eyes, that make this picture stand out. Once you focus on the eyes the intensity of their look is quite unmistakable. Maybe also I like this because the reds, purples and blacks put me in mind of the shifting edges and colours of a Rothko painting. 


Saudi job seekers talk to a company representative at Glowork Woman’s Career Fair in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia October 2, 2018.   REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser


One thing is for sure, everyone who looks at Khaled Abdullah’s picture will hear the piercing scream of the baby as the needle, that is just about dead centre in the picture, is pushed into the tiny arm. A visual spiral of almost solid blocks of blue, black and orange colours bear down, as do three enormous hands, holding the child’s arm all forcing you to look at that needle and face screwed up in pain. The only respite from the agony of the pain of cholera and of the needle is the delicate touch of mum’s thumb trying to soothe away the pain. 


A boy cries as he is being treated at a cholera treatment centre at the al-Sabeen hospital in Sanaa, Yemen October 3, 2018.   REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah


A dash of colour of a red umbrella with child-like teddy bears printed on it breaks up the greys, greens, browns and rust of the war scorched landscape of Zohra’s Bensemra’s picture. I feel nervous as my eye moves around this picture; I dare not look too long at the bright red as I feel danger lurks nearby and I should be alert, not distracted so I continue to look around. It’s only then I notice the soldier, half hidden in the burned street scene, coming towards me. 


A Cameroonian elite Rapid Intervention Battalion (RIR) member walks past a burnt our car while patrolling in the city of Buea in the Anglophone southwest region, Cameroon, October 4, 2018.   REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

Siphiwe Sibeko’s image is a picture of two opposing halves, bottom left you get the timeless quiet of a man asleep, in the cool of blues, only his red cap possibly disturbing the visual slumber. Top right, it appears that the train, warmed by dark reds and browns, although stationary, is rushing forward to the tick of light that is top left. The solid grey of the platform separates these two worlds. When this man wakes up he going to have a stiff neck, but he looks comfortable. If you want to see more on this gruelling sleeper train journey across Zimbabwe, click here I promise you it’s well worth it. 


A train mechanic sleeps at a platform after an overnight train journey from Harare, in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe August 6, 2018.    REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

The clever use of three layers by Ibraheem Abu Mustafa makes for an image that you have to look at again and again, each time getting a little more from it. A first you see the face of the man shouting and the flames; then you notice the second pair of arms coming from behind him. You try to work out where the other man is standing but you can’t as it’s confused. Your eyes then drift into the dense black smoke and suddenly, woah! you spot the profile of the man standing right next to you. He’s just coldly staring. 


A Palestinian reacts during a protest calling for the lifting of the Israeli blockade on Gaza demanding the right to return to their homeland, at the Israel-Gaza border fence in the southern Gaza strip October 5, 2018.   REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa 

Friday, 28 September 2018

A Week in Pictures, Middle East and Africa, September 28, 2018

It's not often I get to add a fighting picture that is from a sports event to my weekly roundup from the region so adding this terrific boxing picture by Andrew Couldridge. A great action picture as both boxers seem to have the upper hand at the same moment, it's full of power, strength and determination. You can see both boxers faces, the landed punches and the spray of sweat from the blows to the heads all perfectly framed in an X composition. 


George Groves and Callum Smith exchange punches during their World Boxing Super Series Super-Middleweight Title fight at the King Abdullah Sports City, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia September 28, 2018.   Action Images via REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge

On the face of it there is nothing to see on the Israeli-Egyptian border: it’s a militarized zone in the desert, after all. Amir Cohen thought differently and produced not one but two terrific images. In the first, the border fence winds its way to the horizon like a giant snake moving dangerously in the sand. Your eye is led from the bottom right corner, through the barren valleys and hills up to the top and centre of the picture, and freedom from the menace.      



A general view shows the border fence between Israel and Egypt in southern Israel September 26, 2018.    REUTERS/Amir Cohen

In Amir’s second picture, a hint of humour created by the smiles on the faces of the soldiers eases the tension in his series of images from the border. I can’t help smiling too when I imagine the look on the soldiers’ faces when the day’s duties are assigned. Not too much to distract you from this empty position in the desert. And are those hand grenades on the concrete block or water bottles? You can see the whole series of pictures here  



Israeli soldiers stand guard in an area at the Israeli side of the Israel-Egypt border in southern Israel September 26, 2018.     REUTERS/Amir Cohen


I am a sucker for bold shapes, colours and strong lines that are broken with a focal point that draws the eye, and Omar Sanadiki’s picture delivers on all these fronts. I like the irregular pattern of the windows, pushing back against compositional instinct that might demand that you centre it, leaving equal shapes left and right. I like too, the red of the flag that matches exactly the colour of the train and the fact that it leads you to the smiling faces in the window. Would I straighten up the red line that tilts slightly? Well yes, I would, but now I am nit-picking. You can see the whole story here.



Boys wave as they look out of a train window at a railway station in Damascus, Syria September 7, 2018.   REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki

Alaa al-Marjani has produced a picture that makes you want to count off, one, two, three, next! as the boys line up to dive into the water. The soft warm light on the rusting platform and the boys’ bodies counter the oily appearance of the water. It’s only as you read on that you discover that you are right to think there is something not quite right about that water, and it is indeed badly polluted. Read on here.



Iraqi boys take turned to dive in the Shatt al-Arab river in Basra, Iraq September 9, 2018. Some Basra residents claim that salt water seeping into the water supply has made it undrinkable and made hundreds sick.   REUTERS/Alaa al-Marjani


A simple but well-observed picture by Ammar Awad is very pleasing to the eye. We are gently led into the picture by the shapes in the foreground toward the figure by the Western Wall. The cool, crisp lines and texture of the shawls contrast with the warmth of the stones, adding to the calm feel of this image.  



A Jewish worshipper holds up his mobile phone as others, covered in prayer shawls, take part in a priestly blessing during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot at the western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City September 26, 2018.    REUTERS/Ammar Awad

It’s the determined look in the eye of the cadet that gives Mohammed Salem’s image its strength. The picture captures the frantic flurry of arms, elbows and feet kicking up sand, but all you can look at is that fixed and focused eye. So much so that it takes a while before you get around to noticing the open mouth and silent scream of the cadet on the left.



Palestinian cadets crawl as they demonstrate their skills at a police college run by the Hamas-led interior ministry, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza strip, September 26, 2018.   REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

I can’t help thinking of the sophisticated composition techniques used in spaghetti western films by Sergio Leone when looking at this picture by Jackson Niehia. The use of  a very bold tightly cropped figure or shape in the foreground and the action, small in the background, has allowed Jackson to hint at the number of deaths without actually showing bodies. You can see the full and tragic story here.



Tanzanian police and rescuers transport bodies of passengers retrieved after a ferry MV Nyerere overturned off the shores of Ukara Island in Lake Victoria, Tanzania September 22, 2018.   REUTERS/Jackson Niehia

Mohammed Salem’s demonstration picture is a classic news picture, full of powerful action. A single figure gesturing and holding the flag of her cause, surrounded by smoke and flames. In pure commercial terms, it can be used as a horizontal or cropped to a vertical. It looks easy to take but it is not. 




A woman waves a Palestinian flag during a protest calling for lifting the Israeli blockade on Gaza and demanding the right to return to their homeland, at the Israel-Gaza border fence east of Gaza City September 28, 2018.   REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Beautiful light and the X-shaped composition in Thaier al-Sudani’s landscape picture make this a town I want to pack my bags and travel to immediately. Who can resist the warmth of the evening light, the sounds of the call to prayer from the mosque, the clear air and blue skies of Akra. To shoot a landscape picture that arouses this need for travel is truly an art.  


A general view of the Kurdish town of Akra, Iraq September 26, 2018.   REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani 

Friday, 21 September 2018

A Week in Pictures Middle East & Africa September 21, 2018


Stark and bleached of almost all colour, Siphiwe Sibeko’s picture of a decomposing elephant is a depressing image. It takes a while to work out what you are looking at, but once you see the dead beast there is no splash or colour or visual distraction to enable you to look away. Maybe not being able to look away is what makes this picture so powerful. Read on here.


An aerial photograph shows the carcass of a dead elephant, one of 87 that have been discovered by conservationists, in the Mababe area in Botswana, September 19, 2018.   REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

In this week’s edit I include a picture by Newton Nambwaya that makes me fear for the safety of the demonstrator. I suppose it takes courage, or maybe naivety, to make a pretend gun and take it to a protest against a government whose police and soldiers are only too well armed. The more I think about it the more I worry about it: at a glance, or even a longer look, it still looks like a real gun. 


Supporters of Ugandan musician turned politician Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, chant slogans outside his home after he arrived from the U.S in Kampala, Uganda September 20, 2018. REUTERS/Newton Namwaya

Ashura can allow photographers to shoot gratuitous pictures of blood-letting. Ali Hashisho has managed in his picture to strike a balance between showing what happens during the religious ceremony - people observing it cut and beat themselves - while not falling into the trap of looking for the most blood or the biggest knife. What interests me is that you first notice the highlight of the man’s eye within the red of the picture before you see the fine spray of blood against a dark background as he beats his forehead.    


A Lebanese Shi’ite Muslim man beats his head after he was cut on his forehead with a razor during a religious procession to mark Ashura in Nabatiyeh town, southern Lebanon September 20, 2018.   REUTERS/Ali Hashisho

A very clever composition by Ronen Zvulun (and a lucky reflection) turns what could be a very dull picture of a leader sitting in a train into a striking portrait. Ronen uses the red reverse L-shaped space to crush all the action of the picture into a busy third of the image. In that third we are rewarded with the glare of white lights, a reversed clock and deep shadows that allow us to settle on Netanyahu’s face. Does it matter that we really can’t see Katz’s face? I don’t think so. What we get is a strong sense of speed.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sits next to Israel’s Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz during a test-run of the new high-speed train between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, at the Yitzhak Navon Railway Station in Jerusalem September 20, 2018.   REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Okay I give in. I tried to resist Ammar Awad’s silhouette picture, but it’s so beautiful in its sweeping curved composition with the almost touching shapes of the hats that I have to include it. It needs no extra explanation, so just enjoy.


Jewish worshippers take part in the Tashlich ritual on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, ahead of Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of Atonement in Herzliya, Israel, September 17, 2018.   REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Luc Gnago’s picture is a quiet picture. Admittedly, looking at the colour and beauty of the woman’s dress in the foreground you might disagree. But take some time and look at the number of people with brooms and think about the position of their legs and feet. They are all positioned in the classic V and so well placed around the picture that you will find yourself quite deep in the image, led around it by the angle of their brooms and the position of their legs.       


Volunteers clean a street of Treichville during the world clean-up day in Abidjan, Ivory Coast September 15, 2018.   REUTERS/Luc Gnago



Friday, 31 August 2018

A Week in Pictures, Middle East and Africa, August 31, 2018

It’s not often a government leader turns up in a country and disembarks from the aircraft
alone, but Afolabi Sotunde took full advantage of Theresa May’s arrival to Nigeria to
make this wonderfully graphic picture. The horizontal and diagonal lines, triangles and
curves lead us all over this picture until we settle on the warm tones of May’s mustard-
coloured jacket among the cool and calm of the greys and blues. Really quite wonderful.



Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May arrives in Abuja, Nigeria August 29, 2018.   REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde


I am drawn to Mohamad Torokman’s picture because it makes me want to know exactly what happens next. The sound grenade is just far enough in the air so that it’s clearly visible yet close enough to the policeman that it’s obvious it’s being thrown. The man in white has raised his stick, but we are not sure if it will be brought down on the policeman or, as we are told in the caption, used to gesticulate towards him. What is also very striking is that both protagonists in the image are dressed in complete tonal opposites, one all dark, one all light. 
     

A Palestinian demonstrator gestures as an Israeli border police officer throws a sound grenade during a protest against Israeli settlement, in the village of Ras Karker, near Ramallah in the occupied West bank August 31, 2018.   REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman


A simple detail picture from Ronen Zvulun of people’s notes and prayers that have been cleared from the Western Wall somewhat saddens me and puts me in mind of the W.B Yeats poem ‘The Cloths of Heaven' . Notes of hope and prayers that would have been written and tucked so carefully by the authors are now scattered under the feet of man cleaning them out.



A worker removes notes from cracks at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City, as customary ahead of the Jewish New Year, August 28, 2018.   REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun


As confusing in terms of focal point as any image can be, Naif Rahma’s picture works and I am not sure why because it should not. The first half of the image is empty dusty space of nondescript colour, and the slope of the hills gives an uneasy tilt to the image. Your eye wants to settle on the face of the man with the dark blue headdress, but the bright turquoise headdress in the foreground gets in the way as you try to study his features. Your eye then wanders off into the distance, looking for a focal point; unrewarded it returns to the foreground, and there it is, the focal sense of the picture, a battered black rifle being held aloft that serves to unsettle the viewer more. 



Followers of the Shi’ite Houthi movement take part in a ceremony marking the al-Ghadeer day in Sanaa, Yemen August 29, 2018.   REUTERS/Naif Rahma


On seeing this picture by James Oatway you just have to find out what is happening. That to me is a key element of a great news picture – you need to know more and by looking at it longer, often with text, you find out. The action is set against the clean steel background and slowly the pale blue word ELECTRICAL comes into sight. But you have to work hard against the visual pull of the red and yellow cap. Is it an accident? Is someone trapped? Read the caption.  



Police detain a school pupil for looting, where foreign shop owners were attacked and at least two killed, in the South Africa township of Soweto, South Africa August 29, 2018.   REUTERS/James Oatway 

Against a backdrop of bright cartoon pictures, children line up on the first day of term at a school in Gaza. The graduation from light tones to dark, from top to bottom, past the nervous faces of the schoolgirls, gives this picture strength and a feeling of trepidation. Their solemn faces invite the question: what does the future hold for these children? 



Palestinian schoolgirls queue at an UNRWA-run school on the first day of a new school year in Gaza City, August 29, 2018.   REUTERS/Mohammed Salem