Photos of the Week: What We Saw

Posted on October 28, 2011


My full review of images in the U.S. media this week is up at La Lettre de la Photographie. Here are a few of the images I chose:


DEATH IN THE DESERT Photo by Mahmud Turkia//AFP/Getty Images

When the end came for Muammar el-Qaddafi, it proved to be as lurid—one might even say obscene—as his life had been. As Newsweek pointed out, Qaddafi fled Tripoli promising to turn Libya into “a volcano of lava and fire.” When he was captured, hiding in a storm drain after the fall of Surt, he was pleading for his own life. Bloodied and balding, he was dragged before crowds and thrown onto a truck. When next seen, he was dead, lying in a stark room in Misrata, where the people he once ruled lined up with cameras to take pictures of his corpse—pictures that were both evidence of his death and trophies of the rebels’ final victory.


LIFE AMID THE RUINS Photo from Reuters


The death toll from the earthquake in Turkey over the weekend was already at 350 and climbing when rescue workers found a 14-month-old infant, still alive, in the wreckage of a building in Ecris, in eastern Turkey. The look on the face of the rescuer holding the child speaks of utter tenderness, turning this photo into a symbol of hope.


FIERY CLASH, PART 1 Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images

Protests in Athens over government austerity measures continued this week. They were marked by fiery clashes between police and demonstrators armed with Molotav cocktails.


FIERY CLASH, PART 2 Photo by Matt Dunham/AP

Smoke curled from barricades surrounding an Irish Travellers settlement 30 miles east of London after police moved in to evict residents from the site on October 19. The police clashed with dozens of the Travellers, who had been living illegally at the site for a decade. This soon-to-be former resident raised a cross for the benefit of the media who had come to witness the spectacle—her point, apparently, being that this was unholy smoke.


FACE BEHIND THE HYPE Photos by Gregory Harris

This face, and body, belong to Cam Newton, the quarterback of the National Football League’s Carolina Panthers. Newton is the NFL’s highest-paid rookie, and a self-described “icon” who last year led his college team, the Auburn University Tigers, to a national championship. Photographer Gregory Harris captured the human behind the hype.


THE GIRL WITH THE DIVINE SILK DRESS Photo by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

In the highly anticipated new film The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, based on Stieg Larsson’s best-selling novel, actress Rooney Mara plays the troubled, brilliant Lisbeth Salander, a victim and avenger wrapped in leather and facial piercings. For Vogue’s November issue, master beauty photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott transform the tattooed heroine into a divine creature wrapped in a Marchesa silk-tulle dress with crystal beading.


GLAMOUR GIRL, 2011 Photos by Russell James

For Esquire’s November issue, photographer Russell James photographed performer Rihanna wrapped in absolutely nothing, which was appropriate, given that the magazine had just named her the “Sexiest Woman Alive.”