Monday, 16 October 2017
Monday, 9 October 2017
A fighter of Syrian Democratic Forces takes up a position inside a house in Raqqa, Syria, October 1, 2017. REUTERS/Erik de Castro
We often read reports of troops massing prior to a battle but rarely do we get to see a great picture to match them. Armoured vehicles with brightly coloured flags fluttering in bright sunshine give the initial feel of a vintage car rally, a feeling that quickly dissipates as the compositional line between the smoke and the sky, mirrored by the line of telegraph poles on the left, race us to the vanishing point on the horizon where smoke rises from the battle.
The clash of El Nabout canes, traditional clothing, strong shadows and an inconvenient lamp post combine to make a picture that intrigues. Mohamed Abd El Gheny’s affectionate picture of men taking part in an ancient martial art that is now a dance form provided one of the visual surprises of the week. The slight tilt to the image and the shadows leading to the lamp post enables its warm brown colour and harsh line to contribute to the shape of the picture instead of destroying it.
Abdu El Kholy and Hamdey El Hamed dance with their El Nabout canes as they perform Tahteeb, an ancient form of martial arts and dance, in the evening light in Sohag, Egypt, September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
A picture’s beauty can be doubled when someone is smiling. When that person is Archbishop Desmond Tutu, I think the effect is fourfold. Mike Hutchings captures Tutu celebrating his birthday in one of the warmest and most affectionate pictures I have seen in weeks. The laugher is infectious, as the figure behind Tutu seems to have a wide grin too.
A uniform of a member of Islamic State militants is pictures as it was displayed by the Syrian Democratic Forces at their positions inside a building at the frontline in Raqqa, Syria, October 6, 2017. REUTERS/Erik de Castro
When it ‘rains on your parade’ the day is often spoiled, but quite the opposite happened here for Thierry Gouegnon, who turned a downpour at a campaign rally to his advantage. First, keeping dry, Thierry has used his shelter and those people close to him to frame his picture of women dancing in the torrential rain. What I also like is that I am unsure if it’s taken at night with strong stage lights illuminating the scene, or the light has been created by the sun bursting through the storm clouds.
Sunday, 1 October 2017
Sunday, 27 August 2017
A personal selection of what has caught my eye and why from the file this week
Shi’ite Popular Mobilization forces (PMF) gather with the Iraqi army on the outskirts of Tal Afar, Iraq, August 22, 2017. REUTERS
Dust consumes the whole of Omar Sanadiki’s picture, flattening it to a monochromatic relief after a Hezbollah tank fires, giving the landscape a space-like appearance. I can’t help thinking about the storm scene in the film The Martian, the figures battling against the dust cloud. What adds to this impression for me is the almost clumsy slow motion steps of the soldiers and the lumbering alien look and feel of the armoured vehicle; we can’t quite make out the classic ‘tank’ shape through the dust and backlight, but we know it’s there.
Monday, 21 August 2017
A quiet moment in a city under siege in Bassam Khabieh’s picture from Douma in Syria. The body language of the boy is as sad and somber as the grays of the wall behind him, the bricks on the ground left and right of the image keeping the rhythm of the composition that is built up by the position of the figures and the pillars in the wall. The only warm colour in the picture is the headdress of the man looking down at his grandson, the affection and warmth on his face slowly coming to the fore of the image.
A child sits next to his grandfather in Douma, near Damascus, Syria, August 14, 2017. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh
The Egyptian Cup Final between Al Masry and Al Ahly in Alexandria, was a quiet affair, not that the sport was not competitive, the winner scored in extra time, but because no fans were allowed to attended due to violence at previous fixtures. You can almost hear the ref’s whistle pierce the near silence in Amr Dalsh’s eerie picture of the floodlit pitch surrounded by empty seats.
A woman walks with kitchen tools made of recycled sheet metal in a recycling area in Anoumambo, Abidjan, Ivory Coast August 17, 2017. REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon