A huge anti-gay-marriage protest in Paris turned violent yesterday, leading to hundreds of arrests and tens of injuries. Among those attacked by rioters were photojournalists documenting the scene. An attack on two photographers was captured in the video above. It’s interesting to see that although nearby photographers come to the aid of their colleague, they first stop to snap some photos of the scuffle prior to doing so.
Apparently robbers in Northern California are starting to learn that photojournalists typically shoot with pretty expensive gear. The New York Times reports that robbers have been targeting news photographers in recent months, sometimes at gunpoint:
Last August, Laura Oda, chief photographer for The Oakland Tribune, was photographing people painting the mural when she spotted someone in her peripheral vision. “Within seconds they were on me,” she said, “one in front and one in back.” Armed, they pulled cameras off her neck and grabbed her bag of cameras and a laptop from her car.
Three months later, Ms. Oda was photographing cars at a busy intersection when she was again robbed of her camera, at gunpoint once more. For a while, she avoided the streets of Oakland. She has since returned but has established a new rule: she does not stay in one place for more than five minutes.
One veteran photojournalist has already lost five cameras to robbery. Each successful theft nets the robbers between $3,000 to $50,000 in gear — gear that hasn’t been turning up on the secondary market (e.g. craigslist).
Officials over in the Canadian city of Winnipeg want to reduce gun violence and the number of firearms floating around, so they’re turning to… photography? The police department has partnered up with camera store Henry’s Photo and camera company Panasonic for a program called “Pixels for Pistols”. Through the end of this month, anyone can trade in their gun for a digital camera. Read more…
There’s a huge wave of anti-Japanese sentiment sweeping across China, with violent protests popping up all over the country in response to the ongoing dispute over islands in the East China Sea. Amidst the public anger, Japanese brands are taking a hit… literally. Read more…
Reuters photographer Murad Sezer was shooting at an uber-important soccer final in Turkey last Saturday when he found himself in the midst of a massive clash between frenzied fans and police officers. In the chaos, fans started picking up everything they could get their hands on to use as projectiles, including camera lenses. Sezer writes,
While waiting for the trophy ceremony, the work room was packed with photographers – with evidence they had covered a riot. Broken cameras, lenses and laptops were scattered around as photographers tried to assess the damage while others tried to figure out if they were missing equipment. [...] While we were editing and sending our pictures to the Singapore desk my colleague Umit Bektas showed me a picture he took during the clashes. It was hard to believe but a fan was throwing a Canon 400mm 2.8 telephoto lens with monopod, (worth some $10,000 USD) onto the field. In that moment of truth, I knew it was a good idea to lock my 400mm in a hardcase.
Results of the Saturday night soccer violence: 3 cameras broken, 10 lenses (including a 400mm tele) damaged or missing, a laptop broken, 10 photographers directly exposed to violence.
Lesson learned: shooting a soccer match in some places can be the same thing as shooting in a war zone.
Afghan photographer Massoud Hossaini won the Putlizer Prize yesterday for his Breaking News photo showing a 12-year-old girl screaming after a suicide bombing in Kabul. His images of the mosque attack were so powerful that the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal all published them on their front pages on December 7, 2011. However, each one ran a different image captured at the scene, and only the New York Times ran the Pulitzer Prize-winning shot that showed the full extent of the carnage. Shortly afterward, The Washington Post interviewed the photo editors at each paper to discuss why they chose the images (and the crops) they did.
A Venezuelan court ordered newspaper El Nacional not to print violent images after the paper published a controversial image of dead bodies piled up in a Caracas morgue.
The photo, taken by an El Nacional photographer in December, ran with a story last Friday about security problems in the country. On Monday, the image was picked up by another newspaper, Tal Cual.
The Venezuelan government deemed the decision to run the photo as a part of a campaign criticizing current president Hugo Chavez, in light of the upcoming September elections.
The court ordered El Nacional and Tal Cual to not publish violent photos, saying the ruling is to protect children:
“(The print media) should abstain from publishing violent, bloody or grotesque images, whether of crime or not, that in one way or another threaten the moral and psychological state of children.”
El Nacional responded to the ruling on Wednesday by running a front-page story about what they call censorship, along with large blank spaces with “Censored” stamped across where photos usually run. Read more…