Pictures of People. Who? What? Where? When? are all facts. The Why? is open for discussion.
Friday, 31 July 2020
A Week in Pictures, Middle East and Africa, July 31, 2020
Friday, 24 July 2020
A Week in Pictures, Middle East and Africa, July 24, 2020
A nurse treats a COVID-19 patient inside a field hospital built on a soccer stadium in Machakos, as the number of confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases continues to rise in Kenya, July 23, 2020.REUTERS/Baz Ratner
What attracts me most to Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah’s image is not only the obvious passion of the woman who is shouting but the more subtle element of the hands in the picture. Take some time and look at them all, the pointed finger in the foreground and to the right of that the ‘inward facing’ gestures of the woman in red. To the right of that, the two hands from people out of frame, one pointing in and the other out. And then to the left, the finger and thumb touching gesture of the woman in blue, the incidental hand of the woman in the mask and finally, in the background, the raised hand of the figure in black.
A Sudanese woman chants slogans outside the court during the new trial against ousted President Omar al-Bashir and some of his former allies on charges of leading a military coup that brought the autocrat to power in 1989 in Khartoum, Sudan July 21, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah
Zohra Bensemra’s gentle picture has a hint of the bizarre about it, which for me is always attractive as it makes me stop and look. Carefully shot in classic thirds, with compositional horizontal lines, and the man’s head just breaking through the horizon. I also like the echo of the colours of blue in the tyre and the sea. Read on here for the story.
A man from Guediawaye je m'engage association waters a newly planted tree to reforest the coastline on the coast of Guediawaye on the outskirts of Dakar, Senegal July 16, 2020. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
Strong shapes and bold tones and dominate Thomas Mukoya’s picture that is almost a mirror image of a line drawn vertically through the centre of the masked figure. Even the hot glow of the furnace in the background is balanced, in part, by the cool light coming in from the window. I get a very strong sense of sadness, probably created by the downcast eyes and the heavy shadows of the interior.
A health worker closes the chamber during the cremation of the body of Prof. Charles Kariuki who died due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at a crematorium in Nairobi, Kenya July 20, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
No pushing, no shoving, just a gentle and quiet moment captured by Khaled Abdullah as a young girls is given a food ration voucher. She and others in the picture look as if they have been waiting patiently for quite a while. A strong diagonal leads your eye down from the red decoration on the woman’s dress along the helping outstretched arms and hands holding the vouchers down to the face of the man looking up in the bottom right of the frame. Read on here.
A girl receives a food ration voucher at a charity kitchen in Sanaa, Yemen July 19, 2020. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah
So much for social distancing in Mohamed Abd El Ghany’s wonderfully crowded and crushed picture, a narrow(ish) depth of field squashing you into the man at the focal point in the centre. What is terrific for me is the almost regular spacing of the men’s heads in a blur of activity and the fact that you have to take a minute to look carefully to see what the blurring is: cattle ready for slaughter.
A general view of a cattle market in Al Manashi village, ahead of the Muslim festival of sacrifice Eid al-Adha, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt July 23, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
I see a pattern forming in so much that sometimes I add more than one picture from the same photographer from different stories in my weekly review. This is true for Mohamed Abd El Ghany this week with his action blurred street racing picture in the heat of the Cairo night. Just sharp enough so that you can see what is going on, but not so sharp so that you are distracted by messy details of cars and vendors in the streets at night. Maybe Mohammed is having a spell of good luck and the photography Gods are smiling on him. Let’s hope they don’t turn away the following week. On the Photography Gods of luck, I was once told by an older photographer when I started my career. “Son,” he said, “Seems the harder I work, the luckier I get. You might learn from that.” That stuck with me.
Egyptian merchants are seen in action during a horse cart race showing off their horses’ strengths, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Cairo, Egypt, July 17, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
Friday, 17 July 2020
A Week in Pictures, Middle East and Africa, July 17, 2020
There is something childishly wonderful about watching people get soaked but not as wonderful as intentionally getting soaked yourself. I dare you not to smile at Mike Hutchings’ pictures. The sea foam looks almost like drifting snow but Mike has left a sliver of background at the top of the frame so we get a sense of the power and scale of the wave crashing in.
People are drenched by sea spray thrown up by huge swells as a cold front moves in over Cape Town, South Africa, July 13, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
I could not resist adding a second frame from the same scene as I love the way the wave is backlit so it looks like an alien reaching out to consume a hapless human. Move over Ridley Scott and James Cameron, there’s a new boy in town.
People watch spray thrown up by huge swells as a cold front moves in over Cape Town, South Africa, July 13, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
A captured moment by Mohamed Abd El Ghany as a young woman adjusts her veil in a mirror, or is she looking at herself? It’s a shy look with a catch light in her eye that draws us to that glance as her hands gently adjust the garment. Once you ease away from that look you are enveloped in the richness and depth of the gold, blue, red and green colours all warmed up under artificial lighting.
Sudanese refugee, Hamida Abdallah, fixes her veil in front of a mirror at her apartment in Ain Shams district, amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19, in Cairo, Egypt, July 7, 2020. Picture taken July 7, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
Ammar Awad’s picture is crammed full of faces, hands and reds and is more than a little claustrophobic to look at. Pirates, clowns, gloves and masks all fill the space, vying for attention, and the longer you look the hotter the temperature seems to get in this busy, crowded picture.
Israelis protest against the government's response to the financial fallout of the coronavirus disease (COVID- 19) crisis at Rabin square in Tel Aviv, Israel July 11, 2020. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
With an initial glance, Baz Ratner has produced a semi-formal environmental portrait of proud, traditionally dressed people looking directly at us through the lens, set against a clean background. But look again, peering around a corner is the smiling face of another, watching the scene unfold, breaking the formality of the moment with an almost cheeky glance. And look even deeper, a backward glance of a strikingly dressed passerby also catches our eye. Read on here.
A family from the Turkana tribe pose for a picture in the village of Lorengippi near the town of Lodwar, Turkana county, Kenya July 2, 2020. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
A very nicely seen picture by Temilade Adelaja as we get an insight into the records department through the open doorway. Soft light and warm colours leave us with the feeling that this is a pleasant place to work. Maybe it’s not the light and colours that leave us with that impression but a sense of a bygone age, no computer on the desk, calm worker with pen on paper, neatly stacked files on the bookshelf at the rear and the sign above the door that states very clearly that this is the RECORD DEPARTMENT. Read on here.
A woman wearing a protective mask works at the record department of the Primary Healthcare Centre, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Lagos, Nigeria May 7, 2020. REUTERS/Temilade Adelaja
Hang on, something’s missing in Mike Hutchings’ picture. The shoulders look right and the hands are well placed to support the weight of the head. The pattern of the stonework replaces the eyes and the curve of the arch replaces the imaginary top line of the head as the mind’s eye struggles to recreate what is missing: the head of the statue. Read on here.
A damaged bust of Cecil John Rhodes, a controversial figure in the history of South Africa, is seen after the statue had been vandalised and had the head removed in Cape Town, South Africa, July 14, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
Essam Al-Sudani has produced one of the most moving and sad set of images I have seen for quite some time: a child cancer ward impacted by coronavirus disease COVID-19. Many of the images appear without hope at all as parents sit with gravely ill children. This single image really jumped out at me as there is no escaping the faraway look in this mother’s eye as she looks out of the window. We can only imagine what she is thinking, her thoughts uninterrupted by her child, who is bound tightly in swaddling and silent. Read on here.
An Iraqi woman wearing a protective mask carries her baby, who is suffering from cancer, at the Children's Hospital for Cancer Diseases, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Basra, Iraq July 9, 2020. REUTERS/Essam Al-Sudani
Raneen Sawafta shoots wide and exposes for the highlights so all the shadows fall into darkness, leaving us with the masked face and hand of the dancer surrounded by solid black, with just the tiniest hint of torso. Even the mask doesn’t detract too much from the intensity seen in her face, a feeling created by the downcast eyes.
A Palestinian girl wearing a mask rehearses for a performance at the Freedom Theatre amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis in Jenin in the Israeli-occupied West Bank July 16, 2020. REUTERS/Raneen Sawafta
Friday, 10 July 2020
A Week in Pictures, Middle East and Africa, July 10, 2020
Just how much do you want to swim in that pool? Ahmed Jadallah’s picture is pleasing on so many levels: the colours, the shapes, the teasing shadows of the trees and the tantalising ripples on the water and that small figure, arms stretched out luxuriating in the warm water. Dive in and have some fun, I wish.
A very busy but at the same time simple half-length environmental portrait by Muhammad Hamed works so well that you just want to meet this doctor. The direct eye contact draws you straight into his gentle, concerned but reassuring face past all the visual noise, his clean white jacket helping you make that journey. Once you have looked him in the eye then you can enjoy the rest of the room. I love the echo of his fingers in the brochure dispenser on the left of the image
I feel in Thomas Mukoya’s picture as if this train is bearing down on me. I am the proverbial rabbit in the headlights as others scatter left and right away from its path. An effect created by careful exposure to allow the highlight of the train’s light to burn out. A quick look at the track and you see the kink in the line so we know it’s not travelling all that fast, time enough for me to scuttle away too.
Saturday, 4 July 2020
The shop fronts of Wanstead High Street as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown is eased
Friday, 3 July 2020
A Week in Pictures, Middle East and Africa, July 3, 2020
Mohamed Torokman’s picture is just crammed full of action and so perfectly timed that I don’t think it can be any better. The background is solid with black smoke, the soldier’s rifle barrel glints against it as flames roar with reds, oranges and yellows. We are given enough highlight detail of the soldier at the height of his jump, so he stands out from the heavy smoke. The dust trailing from his back foot gives us a clue to the speed at which he is running. Read on here.
The light of the motorcycle beams through what at first appears as to be heavy rain being displaced by the speeding bike in Baz Ratner’s terrific picture. But what we see against the shadows and dark tones of the bush are in fact thousands of locusts being scattered from the road. The hills in the background give us a sense of the size of the locust swarms that are devastating the pastoral lands of Turkana. Video explaining the issue here.
I can’t help feeling a little sad as I look at Alaa Al-Marjani’s picture although I know maybe I am possibly misinterpreting the body language. Even though the man at the window wants to get in closer to his relative, the only thing stopping him is the glass but the patient is keeping away, he is sitting on the edge of the bed, his body turned away. Alaa has used the space between these men and the red blanket to drive home a real sense of uneasy distance.
An Iraqi man infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) talks with his relative through a quarantine window at Al-Hakim Hospital in the holy city of Najaf, Iraq June 16, 2020. Picture taken June 16, 2020. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani
There is such a feel-good factor in Mohamed Abd El Ghany picture it makes you want to go straight away to Egypt and pay over the odds to ride on this camel. A big smile, bright colours, blue sky and mirrored glasses to welcome tourists as the guide struggles to keep control of the camel. Its almost reptilian in appearance head and neck breaks the skyline filling the space in the sky left by the pyramid, the restraining chain continuing the line of the compositional triangle.
A man with a camel is seen in front of the Great Pyramids of Giza after reopening for tourist visits, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Cairo, Egypt July 1, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
Dust, heat, tension and potential chaos all crammed into one frame by Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah. The picture seems to go from icy blue of the soldiers to the dusty yellow/orange heat of the protesters in the background. I love the small details of the outstretched fingers reaching into the murk.
Riot police officers hold position against protesters near the Parliament buildings, as members of Sudanese pro-democracy protest on the anniversary of a major anti-military protest, while groups loyal to toppled leader Omar al-Bashir plan rival demonstrations, in Omdurman, Khartoum, Sudan June 30, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah
What a beautifully composed picture by Njeri Mwangi as the red gloved action takes places against a backdrop of lines, shapes and shadows that cut across the frame like giant brushstrokes as a cubist painter sets out their canvass. What I especially like is how the edge of the shadow cuts down dra you eye to the highlight of the boxer’s face.
A child hits a punching bag as she attends a boxing training session at the Mathare North Boxing Club, after the government ordered closure of all schools due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Nairobi Kenya June 17, 2020. Picture taken June 17, 2020. REUTERS/Njeri Mwangi
The lifted arms of the solitary figure in Khaled Abdullah picture says it all ‘Oh no what now?’ We are left in no doubt that his livelihood is destroyed as he walks on the smoldering rubble. The bright orange shirt, really the only colour in the frame, and his position at the bottom of the wide compositional V of the twisted metal snaps our attention straight to his despair.
A worker reacts as he stands on the wreckage of a vehicle oil and tires store hit by Saudi-led air strikes in Sanaa, Yemen July 2, 2020. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah
To make a cleaner image one might be tempted to crop out the car in the rear of Mussa Qawasma’s picture to highlight even more the joy of the boy’s face as he plays in the smoke; but try it with your thumb. Suddenly something is lost. I think what makes this such fun is the fact that this strange opportunist game is taking place in the street and it’s the context of the ordinary that highlights the joy.
A Palestinian boy plays as disinfectants are sprayed by workers to sanitize cars and shops amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Hebron in the Israeli-occupied West Bank June 28, 2020. REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma