Photos of the Week: What We Saw

Posted on September 8, 2011


My weekly review of photos in the media for La Lettre de la Photographie is up today. Here is a sampling:


Executing the Executioners                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Photo by Oma Faruk/Reuters

In this photo by Oma Faruk, a Somali soldier in Mogadishu is seen executing two of his former comrades, who themselves had been found guilty of murder. The execution took place on August 22.


Fighting                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Photo by Osman Orsal/Reuters

On September 1, a rally in Istanbul to mark World Peace Day became unpeaceful when pro-Kurdish demonstrators clashed with police, who took cover behind their shields.


Famine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

On August 29, photographer Jonathan Ernst photographed refugees fleeing famine in Somalia as they rushed to load their belongings onto a truck that would transport them to a newly opened camp near Nairobi, Kenya.


Flood                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Photo from AP

The tidal bore in the Qiantang River, in China’s Zhejiang province, occurs annually when an exceptionally high tide forces sea water into the river, causing large waves—very, very large, as these spectators learned. What is it that makes this picture interesting, the awesome power of nature, or the black comedy of people caught up in a mess of their own making?


Photo Op, Part One                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Photo by Dmitry Astakhov/Pool

Pool photographers take note: Even the best-planned photo ops will feature moments when the choreography breaks down into real human behavior, and those moments may be humorous, symbolic, or both. Photographer Dmitry Astakov was alert enough and lucky enough to capture such an instant when he photographed (from left) Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, Tajikistan President Emomali Rakhmon, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, who appeared together after meeting in Tajikistan. The four leaders signed a joint statement pledging to fight terrorism, drug trafficking, and organized crime, though President Zardari apparently wasn’t one-hundred-percent with the program when the picture was taken.


Photo Op, Part 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Photo by Jim Watson/AFP-Getty Images

 U.S. President Barack Obama visited Wayne, New Jersey last week to view damage from Hurricane Irene, which caused flooding when it struck the East Coast late last month. Given the number of political and economic issues the president has straddled in recent months, standing astride a mud puddle probably seemed effortless. Jim Watson caught the commander-in-chief’s decisive moment


Cover Story                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Photo by Michael Simon; Albert Ferreira/Startracks; Nick Saglimbeni

The U.S. unemployment rate is 9.1 percent, but despite that, or because of it, Kim Kardashian is now officially an object of American obsession. People magazine spent $1.5 million for the exclusive rights to photos from Kim’s wedding to pro basketball play Kris Humphries, and the investment proved wise, given the relatively weak newsstand performance of the magazine in recent months. The wedding issue, which cost a dollar more than regular People issues, sold some 1.5 million newsstand copies, a 31-percent increase over People’s 1.15-million average, according to the Hollywood Reporter, which also noted that Kardashian and Humphries sold the international rights to their wedding photos to British magazine Hello, and exclusive rights to their honeymoon photos to US Weekly for a sum rumored to be anywhere between $30,000 and $100,000.


One Bad Mother%*$#@&                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Photo by Marc Baptiste

Samuel L. Jackson has achieved a rare level of cool—the kind of cool associated with actors like De Niro, Pacino, and Nicholson, as writer David Keeps points out in a New York magazine profile. Photographer Marc Baptiste rightly kept his accompanying portrait simple—steel-gray suit, white shirt, gray tie, and a piercing gaze you don’t argue with. You look at the picture, and you can hear Jackson uttering his signature expletive: motherx*&%#*. How cool is Jackson? He’s set to portray Dr. Martin Luther King on Broadway, and, as Keeps notes, he will be the voice behind the audio-book version of the best-selling childrens’ book Go the Fuck to Sleep. Which is mother*$%#*ing great.