Tag Archives: Agence France Presse

Marco Longari: TIME Picks 2012′s Best Photographer on the Wires

Of the millions of pictures moving through the news services, or “the wires,” in 2012, an astonishing number have already proven unforgettable. Distinctive images of daily life in Pakistan from Muhammad Muheisen, an Islamabad-based chief photographer for the Associated Press; unexpected visual stories from Jerusalem-based AP staffer Oded Balilty; uniformly strong work from Reuters’ peripatetic Goran Tomasevic (who in the past 12 months shot in Congo, Afghanistan, Syria, Kenya, Somalia and Egypt); Spanish-born Manu Brabo’s searing photos from Syria — over and over again, the wires provided signature photos from unyielding conflicts, rebellions and upheavals the world over.

But even in this celebrated company, the work of Agence-France Presse photographer Marco Longari stood markedly apart. The Italian-born Longari’s pictures from across the Middle East in 2012, from Egypt and the West Bank to Gaza and Syria, were at-once unflinching and authoritative. The unspeakable anguish in the face of a Palestinian mother holding her lifeless daughter, killed in an Israeli air strike; the passion evinced by thousands of Egyptian Christians praying for their ancient homeland; a Syrian man engaged in the most quotidian of tasks — carrying groceries — and yet hunched against a sniper’s bullet that might, at any second, take his life; the deceptively idyllic scene of a boy tending to his horse in Gaza City: in quiet moments and in terrifying, violent environments, Longari made picture after picture this year that mattered.

The Jerusalem-based chief photographer for AFP in Israel and the Palestinian territories, Longari is a graduate of the Istituto Superiore di Fotografia in Rome. In the late 1990s he covered the unrest in Kosovo before moving to Africa, where he served in Nairobi, coordinating the agency’s East African coverage. He chronicled the seemingly endless crisis in Darfur and shot the 2008 Russo-Georgian war. But it was in the Middle East in 2012 that his work transitioned from powerful to indispensable. There is, simply, no way to envision the upheaval across the region in the past year without his work. It is that central to how the world sees (and will remember) this deeply unsettling year.

The 47-year-old Longari recently told TIME that, from his perspective behind the camera, 2012 was “another year of revolutions, protests, violent acts and sheer madness. [It seems] like humanity has lost its bearings, yet again.”

He spent most of his time in Cairo, arriving early in the year, on the first anniversary of the start of the 2011 revolution. There, he was greeted by street violence and chaos.

“It was a sad scene,” he told TIME. “All the energy and the expectations of the young people with whom I shared long days and nights in Tahrir Square the year before, all was being hijacked and taken away, lost in political games. It has been difficult to find images that made sense … that were not simple repetitions of what was done a year before.”

The Egyptian presidential election in May was again, he says, a time of some optimism, with Egyptians voting in large numbers — some of them for the first time in their lives — in a country finally, tentatively experiencing what a real multiparty election can be.

“The shift in the visual landscape,” he notes, “was important, a chance to tell a positive story, whatever the outcome. Fire is still burning under the ashes,” he adds. “People on the streets are still ready and willing to settle scores.”

The West Bank and Gaza, meanwhile, is a story Longari been covering for almost six years. “Crossing the border” into that part of the world, he says, “is shifting into another gear — a different tension, but still a real tension. It’s a landscape I’ve looked at for quite a long time now. I have tools to understand it.”

Incredibly, from a year of countless telling moments, Longari recalls a specific, revelatory instance of professional camaraderie in Gaza that stays with him.

“I was waiting for casualties to arrive at the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City after an air raid,” he told TIME. “Phone lines with Jerusalem [where his wife and two children live] went dead. It took me some time to compose myself and get back to the routine of doing what I do. But in the faces of the colleagues around me, I recognized what my face must look like every time a bomb or a rocket falls near their families. Photography is compassion — and that scene in Gaza was the most humbling lesson in compassion I’ve experienced in my career.”


TIME’s previous wire photographers of the year:

2010: Pete Muller of the Associated Press
2009: Mauricio Lima of Agence-France Press



Agencies and Photographers | November 2012

Agencies and Collectives

It’s not even December yet, but some Best of 2012s are out already….

VII: Best of 2012: Highlights of a Year in Pictures | ‘VII photographers present their best images, shot or released in 2012′

Best Pictures of the Year from Agence France Presse (Whittier Daily News)

European Pressphoto Agency: The Year in Images (EPA)

Reuters’ best pictures of the year is pretty cool as it includes comments by the photographers and even technical info…

Photo © Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

Photo © Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

Reuters: Best Photos of The Year 2012 (Reuters)

VII Newsletter November 2012

TerraProject Newsletter November 2012

Prime Collective: Newsletter November 2012

NOOR: Evelien Kunst becomes NOOR’s new Managing Director | news on BJP

Magnum event at Frontline Club in London : Magnum Revolution: 65 Years of Fighting for Freedom : Thursday December 13, 2012 7:00 PM

Pioneer photo agency Sipa Press files for bankruptcy protection (BJP)

Katie Orlinsky joins Reportage by Getty Images as a Featured Photographer

Tommaso Protti joins Emerging Talent at Reportage by Getty Images

Firecracker November 2012

Photographers

Trailer to the upcoming McCulling documentary…Very much looking forward to seeing the film at some point…In the mean time I’ll be reading his autobiography Unreasonable Behaviour.

Trailer to the documentary ‘McCullin’ (Guardian) ‘Watch the world exclusive trailer for David and Jacqui Morris’s documentary on British photographer Don McCullin, whose acclaimed work for the Observer and the Sunday Times in Vietnam, Biafra, Cyprus and Lebanon produced some of the defining images of war. McCullin describes the ‘moral sense of purpose and duty’ behind his work. McCullin is released in the UK on 1 January 2013′

Somewhere to Disappear with Alec Soth

Looks like Contrasto has pushed the publication of James Nachtwey’s Pietas forward until September 2013… Was supposed to come out late October… Shame. Was on my wish list for Santa…

James Nachtwey: Pietas 

Reckoning at the Frontier by Eros Hoagland (Kickstarter crowdfunding) ‘Reckoning at the Frontier is an upcoming photography book that explores the drug war in northern Mexico.’

Workshop : Photographic storytelling with Sebastian Meyer and Anastasia Taylor-Lind : 7 December, London(Guardian) ‘Two eminent, widely published and very different photojournalists give a Guardian Masterclass in telling stories with images.’

Photo © Maysun

Maysun

Jordi Ruiz Cicera

David Vintiner

Matilde Gattoni

Hiroyuki Ito

Nicola Lo Calzo

Howard Schatz

Andrew Lichtenstein

Matthew Niederhauser

Lindsay Mackenzie

Andrea Frazzetta

Narciso Contreras

Georgina Cranston

Mark Seager

Matt Carr

Michal Solarski

Laura Pannack new website

Duncan Nicol Robertson

Mark Hartman

Mark Hartman on Verve

Paul Taggart on Verve

Pavel Prokopchik on Verve

Philipp Spalek  on Verve

Daniel Hartley-Allen on Verve

Linda Dorigo on Verve

Pascal Maitre

Matteo di Giovanni

Sebastiano Tomada Piccolomini

Greta Pratt

Toufic Beyhum

Emine Ziyatdinova

Artur Conka

Pulitzer Prize for Photography 2012: Massoud Hossaini of Agence France-Presse

ashurabombing900.jpg

The 2012 Pulitizer Prize for Breaking News Photography
Massoud Hossaini of Agence France-Presse

Tarana Akbari, 12, screams in fear moments after a suicide bomber detonated a bomb in a crowd at the Abul Fazel Shrine in Kabul on December 06, 2011. ‘When I could stand up, I saw that everybody was around me on the ground, really bloody. I was really, really scared,’ said the Tarana, whose name means ‘melody’ in English. seo marketing . Out of 17 women and children from her family who went to a riverside shrine in Kabul that day to mark the Shiite holy day of Ashura, seven died including her seven-year-old brother Shoaib. Comcast Cable Florida . More than 70 people lost their lives in all, and at least nine other members of Tarana’s family were wounded. The blast has prompted fears that Afghanistan could see the sort of sectarian violence that has pitched Shiite against Sunni Muslims in Iraq and Pakistan. The attack was the deadliest strike on the capital in three years. President Hamid Karzai said this was the first time insurgents had struck on such an important religious day. The Taliban condemned the attack, which some official viewed as sectarian. On the same day, a second bomber attacked in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. Karzai said on December 11 that a total of 80 people were killed in both attacks. Published December 7, 2011.

The 2012 Pulitzer Prize Winner: Massoud Hossaini

Columbia University has announced the 2012 Pulitzer Prize winners — and they include Afghan photographer Massoud Hossaini, whose picture of a girl reacting to a suicide bombing took the title in the category of breaking news photography.

The explosion of which the young girl, Tarana Akbari, is a survivor killed more than 70 people. Among the dead were seven of Akbari’s family members, who had traveled to Kabul in honor of the holiday Ashura; nine other relatives were wounded. The Pulitzer announcement calls the photograph, featured here, “heartbreaking.” Hossaini, who works with Agence France-Presse, is a native of Kabul and was raised in Iran. He was a political activist prior to taking up a camera, and got his start photographing Afghan refugees living in his adopted country. He returned to his home country in 2002 and is still based there.

The Pulitzer for feature photography went to Craig F. Walker of the Denver Post for his story about an Iraq war veteran.

A full list of winners can be found on the Pulitzer Prize website.

The Aesthetics of a Dictatorship: North Korea’s Photoshopped Funeral

The authenticity of government-released photographs from North Korea has been questioned for years but not until this week, during the funeral of Kim Jong Il, was the issue as widely discussed and analyzed.

Early Wednesday morning, Reuters, Agence France-Presse and the European Pressphoto Agency transmitted a photograph from Kim Jong Il’s funeral procession sent to them by the KCNA, North Korea’s state news agency. The image was widely published, and was part of the January 9, 2011 issue of TIME magazine.

But shortly after TIME’s deadline, around 6:00pm Wednesday, the European Pressphoto Agency sent out a “kill” alert on the photo, advising media outlets not to run the image. Earlier in the day, a nearly identical photograph was sent out by the Associated Press, via Kyodo News, an independent Japanese news agency. The two photographs show crowds lining a Pyongyang street as the dictator’s body was driven past, led by a 1976 Lincoln hearse bearing an enormous portrait of the “Dear Leader.” However, in the KCNA version, a camera crew and their power cords on the left side of the frame, as well as a couple of stragglers near them, were removed, a patch of blurry snow in their place. Snow was also cloned to cover two other spots in the photograph.

Associated Press photo editors working in Tokyo saw the discrepancy and alerted Santiago Lyon, the Director of Photography for the AP in New York, who then contacted editors at the New York Times. Lyon told TIME that the AP, which recently opened a bureau in Pyongyang, has had a long-standing photo sharing relationship with Kyodo. Eventually, all of the news agencies that transmitted the photo sent out “kills”. But by then, our issue had already shipped and several other websites had been using the altered image for hours.

The big question is why did the North Koreans alter the image?

Aesthetically, the doctored photograph is tad bit cleaner, lines straightened, but hardly improved. Psychologically speaking though, the clone job adds order to an already tidy scene. In the undoctored version, the people on the left are drifting from the crowd, their attention elsewhere. The snow is less white. Both of those problems were easily solved by Photoshop. I’ve been examining photographs released by the KCNA for years and many are strikingly beautiful—enormous, perfectly-positioned crowds, immaculate and intricately composed. Now we may know why.

Postscript: On Thursday, a zealous Reddit user added to the frenzy by making note of a photo of an extremely tall man watching the funeral procession. The image, taken by a photographer with Kyodo News and distributed by the AP, spread across the internet quickly, with theories ranging from the man being a North Korean basketball star to another bizarre Photoshop slip-up. However, looking at two separate photographs of the same scene taken at slightly different times, I think the man is legit. The background and surroundings differ but the towering Korean remains in the image, so the likelihood he was cloned into two different photographs is slim.

Patrick Witty is the international picture editor at TIME. You can find him on Twitter @patrickwitty. For more photographs from North Korea, click here.