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January 25, 2010 Permalink

At work, part II

Although the global economic downturn no longer appears to be heading off a cliff, signs of stability or recovery are still sporadic and tenuous. As news stories look for signs of of the direction of economic indicators, photographs fill the wires of people working from all over. Once more, I've collected some of these disparate photos over the past couple of months, composing another global portrait we humans at work around the world. [see also At Work - 02/09] (45 photos total)

A worker rotates a gas turbine during assembly at the Siemens gas turbine factory on January 8, 2010 in Berlin, Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
more photos
This page lists only comments and the first photo for the entry.
To see the entire entry, with all photographs, click here.

160 comments so far...

# 10 is a difficult work.....

Posted by KATHIRESH DEVARAJ January 25, 10 12:39 PM


Posted by felix January 25, 10 12:50 PM

thanks, thanks photogfrapher and this site to share this wonderful histories behind the images

congratulation !!

Posted by dlv January 25, 10 12:53 PM

Great pictures...

Posted by Jorge Jaramillo January 25, 10 12:55 PM


Posted by Alex January 25, 10 12:57 PM

Beautiful !

Posted by Rohit January 25, 10 01:09 PM

How many people will react with a big "AWWWWW!" to #42?

Posted by Bucajack January 25, 10 01:23 PM

awesome photographs ..

Posted by keeny January 25, 10 01:24 PM

I wish there was a picture of me, captioned, "Nick takes a 10 minute break from his boring desk job to enjoy the Big Picture Blog, Wilmington, Del."

Posted by Nick January 25, 10 01:34 PM

Bubble Wrap FTW!!!

Posted by maiqk January 25, 10 01:54 PM

@ Bucajack: I did!

Great shots!

Posted by Heinz January 25, 10 01:55 PM

Neato! Life does go on...

Posted by Baltimore Babe January 25, 10 01:59 PM

This was one of my favorite series from last year. Glad to see a sequel.

Posted by Matt January 25, 10 02:19 PM

The next time your kids acts up and complains when they aren't allowed to play on the XBox, just show them the kid in picture 8. Most of us (myself included) never had to work as hard in my entire life as that she has in her short one.

Posted by Fred January 25, 10 02:21 PM


"Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest."

-- Mohandas Gandhi, An Autobiography, pg 446

Posted by viper34j January 25, 10 02:22 PM

I thought the wool was some sort of strange sea creature at first..

Posted by Kellee January 25, 10 02:24 PM

#44 The GP7200 is for the A380, not the 777.

Posted by SovereignWaters January 25, 10 02:32 PM

#10, high risk work,how much he got the salary?

Posted by farel January 25, 10 02:44 PM

20 is my fav...RAWR!!

Posted by Golfball January 25, 10 02:48 PM

great photos as usual...

Posted by danezia January 25, 10 02:49 PM

@ Bucajack & @ Heinz so did I !!!!!! xD

Posted by Melvin January 25, 10 02:49 PM

# 17:

" . . . twelve, thirteen, fourt---Darn it, hold still! . . . one, two, three..."

Posted by JB January 25, 10 02:55 PM


Posted by Roms January 25, 10 03:10 PM

Nick, get back to work.

Posted by Nick's boss January 25, 10 03:19 PM

So good. I wish I could shoot photos this well. Love 42 and last one.

Posted by AndrewM January 25, 10 03:48 PM

Very good photos as the previous post.

Posted by Horacio January 25, 10 04:08 PM

22 and 29 for me, what a great couple of shots!!

Posted by Stu January 25, 10 04:09 PM

@Bubblejack, I DIDN'T!

Posted by Anonymous January 25, 10 04:10 PM

amazing collection.....

Posted by hiren pathak January 25, 10 04:25 PM


Posted by dip January 25, 10 05:01 PM

#37 is very cool. Wonder what the red surface layer is....

Posted by Tim January 25, 10 05:12 PM

Big picture, you really show how beautiful and varied our world is. I am really grateful for being able to view your pictures and get enlightened every time again. Thank you for widening my horizont.

Posted by MatthiasK January 25, 10 05:13 PM

All of the pictures are amazing! Very well done.

Posted by JT January 25, 10 05:14 PM

Love it! Fascinating images from around the world. It goes to show how alike we are as human beings.

Posted by Kurt Evans January 25, 10 05:19 PM

Great Photos! #24 is really a good idea.

Posted by Suri January 25, 10 06:03 PM

Classifying coal by hand? # 40 ... anybody relate or know about this process? I look to learn and be constantly amazed by this wonderful site and contents!

Posted by Fairygram January 25, 10 06:49 PM

#8 is one of the most beautiful, HEARTBREAKING photos i've EVER seen...there is something about the light against the bricks...and the little precious girl, her gaze, expression...

Posted by Jessica January 25, 10 07:13 PM

When the other 49 states besides North Carolina actually produce something, the US will have its future back. This country cannot continue to consume, borrow, consume, and borrow indefinitely. We are bankrupt.

Posted by puzzling January 25, 10 08:02 PM

What a wonderful world......

Posted by lin January 25, 10 08:34 PM

Wow those are really amazing!

Posted by Nick January 25, 10 08:49 PM

Very interesting and educational as well.

Posted by Leslie January 25, 10 09:46 PM

Hi. it was great,but there is too many jobs which is realy u make plumping in high humidity & very hot day in special cloths with direct sun light in summer ,in refinery oil & Gas company ....south iran

Posted by zahra January 25, 10 09:48 PM

wow!! beautiful pictures.

Posted by aarwen January 25, 10 10:40 PM

Stunning photos!

Posted by Ronald Menchavez January 25, 10 11:04 PM

the pot is liquid aluminium. tim, the red surface you see is when liquid aluminium comes into contact with the oxygen in atmosphere, forming aluminium oxide. i think

Posted by p0litik January 25, 10 11:11 PM

still more are they.....
working around the world to make others happy!!

so the war is between who does and who does not!!!

Posted by suni January 25, 10 11:13 PM

great pictures, 34 is innovative idea

Posted by fay January 26, 10 12:03 AM

#22 is insane........

Posted by Yiping Lim January 26, 10 12:18 AM

Great pictures- they give hope, confidence and generate respect for the hands that feed, shape and sustain this planet

Posted by Tarun Vijay January 26, 10 12:25 AM

As others have noted, #8 is heartbreaking.

Posted by Stanley Krute January 26, 10 01:18 AM

Egypt, pyramids and slaves on #25, as usual, since 5 000 years

Posted by Alizé January 26, 10 01:26 AM

hard to live!

Posted by mode January 26, 10 01:54 AM

A tribute to work, to workers everywhere, beautifully shot

Posted by Carmelita January 26, 10 03:04 AM


Awesome! Picture 29, I work in the building you can see through the window of the peak - in the middle of the picture with black roof. The view through my window is dominated by the peak and if I look down, its "Little Ben".

Posted by Christine January 26, 10 03:08 AM

Wow ! Stunning selection !

Posted by Gilderic January 26, 10 03:34 AM

A truly stunning collection of photographs. Thanks to all for sharing. Best wishes. Bren

Posted by Bren Dunn January 26, 10 04:43 AM

ý saw my job , stell ..our lifes,thanks ,great pictures...

Posted by hakan January 26, 10 05:46 AM

Excellent pictures showing the amazingly diverse work throughout the world.

Thank you!

Posted by Mark T January 26, 10 07:07 AM


Posted by VaX January 26, 10 07:59 AM

great job

Posted by harilalcp January 26, 10 08:03 AM

How many people will react with a big "AWWWWW!" to #42?

a really cute deer

Posted by amberism January 26, 10 08:06 AM

Each time it is a a feast for the eye to see those proffesional, almost art, photos to behold despite the horrible truth sometimes show.
But live can be very hard! We can't close our eyes therefor.

Posted by Leonardo, the Netherlands January 26, 10 08:08 AM

btw the workers in #25 are really well paid compared to other locals and in Egypt you need crazy connections to get a job at archeological places. they are far from slaves.

Posted by Amir January 26, 10 09:36 AM

Really amazing photos...

Posted by Poje Mario January 26, 10 09:40 AM

That is stunning!

Posted by Sam January 26, 10 09:49 AM

Sad to say China is where all our jobs are going. Small wonder they receive so many photos in this assignment.

Posted by Jeff DanLeoni January 26, 10 09:53 AM

Very cool... shows how alike we all are.


Posted by fromthepines January 26, 10 10:11 AM

An ironic collection, to be sure.

How many cubicle inhabitants across the developed world looking at folks working in the third world? Painful to contemplate...

Nick's boss's comment seems apropos.

Posted by William C January 26, 10 10:12 AM

Great pictures !!!

Posted by David January 26, 10 10:18 AM

#42 is so cute

Posted by milena January 26, 10 10:57 AM

#32: A well-trained dog is a wonderful thing, but what's the purpose of this excercise?

Posted by kevjohn January 26, 10 11:38 AM

Amazing photos

Posted by Anonymous January 26, 10 11:49 AM

That should be "us humans" not "we humans."

Posted by Doug James January 26, 10 12:44 PM

greet pictures! Am encouraged to work harder en with a passion. Am not alone.

Posted by kamukama January 26, 10 12:47 PM

# 16: I feel sorry for the ox!

Posted by Gerald January 26, 10 02:28 PM

neat photos...#14, why isn't she wearing gloves???

Posted by Chris January 26, 10 03:06 PM

Love the dog from #32. Earlier this week, I was reading about bomb sniffing dogs in Afghanistan and it made me appreciate how animals are used for helping humans. Is there any chance we might get to see working animals from around the world?

Posted by Jen January 26, 10 03:07 PM

Where are all the woman workers? There were but a few.

Posted by QQ January 26, 10 04:50 PM

pic. 1, worker asleep?

Posted by michael January 26, 10 04:58 PM


Posted by E January 26, 10 05:58 PM

Comment #68 is so funny! Thanks for the laugh! And yes I'm a cubicle worker taking a few minutes from my day to look at these most excellent pictures.

Posted by Cathy January 26, 10 06:48 PM

# 8
How can I complain about my stupid work behind the desk!

Posted by Raul January 26, 10 06:57 PM

I wonder where all these awesome pictures are from, uninterruptedly. I have bookmarked the 'big picture' for more than one year already and it allows me to have more visible impression on different parts of the world. Very good!!!

Posted by Raymond January 26, 10 08:32 PM

Why is #8 heartbreaking? To me it speaks of hope. I'm an affluent American, but my mother was a child laborer just 58 years ago - here in the US. Children have been laboring like this for thousands of years

I hope that Pakistan will come to have sensible freedom-permitting government where all women have the right to pursue an education if they wish. I hope that little girl's family will be able to build up enough wealth that she has opportunities to take advantage of such freedom, and that some day her children will not have to labor in the brick yards.

I recognize the challenges in front of her, but it does not break my heart. After looking at the picture again, it doesn't seem to be breaking hers either.

Posted by Joshua January 26, 10 09:25 PM

awesome... I love my studies "mechanical engineering"

Posted by David January 26, 10 09:52 PM

#43. The years look a little fishy. The earth is estimated to be about 4 billion years old. It looks like someone didn't think 50 thousand was awesome enough so they stuck in the million.

Posted by Bill January 26, 10 10:28 PM

"I'm an affluent American, but my mother was a child laborer just 58 years ago - here in the US. Children have been laboring like this for thousands of years"

WOW! Really.. just wow.

Posted by Tom / LA January 26, 10 10:32 PM

What excellent jigsaw puzzles could be made with 1, 3, 8, 13 and 28!

Posted by Trevor January 26, 10 11:08 PM

Six pics on China, five on India, three on Russia (same for Pakistan)... where is the fourth BRIC?
Very nice series anyway

Posted by Thomas January 26, 10 11:43 PM

great collection....

Posted by anks January 27, 10 12:41 AM

Comment # 84 "Why is #8 heartbreaking? To me it speaks of hope. I'm an affluent American, but my mother was a child laborer just 58 years ago - here in the US. Children have been laboring like this for thousands of years"

Wow! You saw that picture and seen hope? What hope is there when a child is made to work at such a young age just to make a living? Since she works, I doubt she goes to school. What HOPE are you talking about? You must have been living an "Affluent" life for a very long time that you can't see children in places like these have little chance of a better life. How about giving some of your "Affluent" means to that child so that she can have HOPE for a better future.
You might be "Affluent" but clearly you lack social sensibility and sensitivity!

Posted by J. Adams January 27, 10 03:06 AM

great collection

Posted by hamad January 27, 10 03:08 AM

south america doesn't work?

Posted by mardoqueo January 27, 10 06:04 AM

baskog \m/

Posted by Anonymous January 27, 10 07:13 AM

All in a days work !!

Posted by Sameer Prabhakar January 27, 10 07:16 AM

#4...mmmm Chocolate...

Posted by Jim January 27, 10 08:16 AM

Comment @73 - Doug James.
The correct English grammar is "we humans", NOT "us humans".
(Sorry to be pedantic, but, as an English scholar, I am required to correct you! :) )

Posted by Trevor January 27, 10 03:24 PM

so work consists mainly out of lots of paterns.
Doing the same over and over again.
Might be true?!

Posted by Arjo Kortleve January 27, 10 05:01 PM

Great pictures.. Congrats..

Posted by CPinedo January 27, 10 05:35 PM

Loved the pics!! :)

Posted by Nathara January 27, 10 07:32 PM

love #35 the best!

Posted by DD January 27, 10 10:28 PM

Beautiful.Very connecting.Very calm pictures.

Posted by Mayank Kishore January 28, 10 02:50 AM

really amazing

Posted by hari January 28, 10 09:53 PM

la variedad de labores y diversidad de vocaciones se muestra en esta galería, cada foto enseña que hay para todos los gustos.

Posted by esmilodonte January 28, 10 11:14 PM

After viewing two picture series now I'm your fan!!! :)

Posted by Nida (Bangkok, ThailandX January 29, 10 07:35 AM

that is some OMG work i cant even fix a iPod i realy wish i caould do all dat dat goes hard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by maribel ramos January 29, 10 11:04 AM

Wow!!! Simply amazing and beautiful photography. What an amazing and diverse world we live in.

Posted by Damien January 30, 10 06:28 AM

In #37 I think the red glow is the CCD in the camera picking up the infrared of the Molten Aluminium (660degC). If it is dark, your eyes will see this glow too.
In #31, the steel is not molten - just red hot and soft (about 1000degC).
Great pictures as usual.

Posted by JupiterIsBig January 31, 10 06:02 AM

@84: If you think that photo speaks of HOPE you're seriously very naive.

That girl is basically a slave, doomed to work in that factory for the rest of her life to pay for her parents debts to the owners of the factory. In order to buy food to support their families the workers are forced to take loans from the factory owners and due to extremely high interest rates they have to put their kids at work in the factories without any chance of ever paying back the loan. They don't have any choice and their lives will never get better. That's how you create modern slavery.

Read this and then look at the photo again. If you see any hope in there you'd better get your eyes checked.

Posted by Daniel January 31, 10 02:38 PM

great post

Posted by Anonymous February 2, 10 03:05 AM

When not backbreaking, these jobs for the most part seem utterly boring to me , and most are low pay, I don't find the industrial activity glamorous, although it is of course necessary.

Posted by lionel February 2, 10 07:14 AM

How interesting, all these people performing REAL work. Thought it was going out of fashion, because now we all make money and create wealth by manipulating symbols, by means of endless policy meetings, enduring "slide(into-a-snooze)" presentations, long term planning that is useless the next day, synergizing with other departments to get on the same page, attending quality training sessions, adding value propositions, administering our databases, keeping our computers virus free, texting messages to our boss, improving our communication skills, creating smart goals, continually improving our process, updating our agendas, creating vision statements, all with so much passion for our work.

Posted by Valkenwold February 2, 10 09:44 PM

#5- nice to see guns getting destroyed, if only they weren't manufactured in the first place...

Posted by T. Ender February 4, 10 12:34 AM

Great collection of pictures.

However, working in the industry, I believe that for #44, the GP7200 jet engine (manufactured by engine alliance) is normally for the Airbus A380 aircraft, not for the Boeing 777.

Posted by Knoxibus February 4, 10 03:08 AM

My father, who is as anglo is the day is long, was picking crops full-time in an Arizona field as recently as 1947 when he was 10 years old. He did this for two years. He ended his career as an claims adjuster for an insurance company, making around 50-60K year in today's dollars when he retired 15 years ago. I graduated with a master's degree from MIT. I cannot speak to other countries, but upward mobility does exist in the world, and working as a child laborer in itself does not prevent it.

Posted by Anonymous February 7, 10 02:53 PM

great pictures

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pressing the head of a pin till it hurt her dainty finger, was

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Picture 44:

A GP7200 engine is NOT fitted to a Boeing 777.
A GP7200 engine IS fitted to an Airbus A380 and is the preferred engine on the Airbus A380.

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