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

No comments:

Post a Comment