Saturday, December 10, 2005

Reuters Photographers Work Very Hard 

Israeli soldiers stand guard at Qalandiya checkpoint, the main crossing between Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Ramallah on December 9, 2005. (Ammar Awad/Reuters)
Ok, so you are a photographer, and your job for the day is to capture the cruelty of an Israeli checkpoint leading into Jerusalem. You show up, but nothing much is really happening. So do you pack it in and call your boss to tell him there wasn't any cruelty to record today?

Not if you work for Reuters.

Nope, here's what you do. You walk about 30 feet away from the two soldiers standing in the road. You step over the barbed wire lying on the ground, careful not to snag the tailored cuffs of your slacks. You think for a moment, considering angles and lighting, and then drop to your belly in the middle of the road, holding your camera and probably your face against the hot pavement. You crane your neck, and the lens, slightly upward so that you can frame the two distant soldiers between the strands of barbed wire you just stepped over, your clever composition now clarifying for your audience the cruelty of the soldiers. For they are not just standing in the middle of the road. They are standing near barbed wire.

Well done.

Added: Welcome MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy readers, you've come from a good place and thanks for stopping by. A minor point to make 100% clear is that this analysis is only the result of totally cynical sleuthing of photos, and way too much exposure to newswire photos over at Yahoo. I was not actually present when the picture was taken, so I have to say there is probably a perfectly innocent explanation of the particular choice of framing -- like the photographer dropped the camera and it snapped this shot off just by accident as it landed on the ground. What do I know? I'm not a Reuters photographer.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: