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Archive for February 2012

February 28, 2012 Permalink

Reflections

They can appear in a mirror, water, or glass. Capturing a reflection in a photograph is a simple process but it takes skill to be compelling. Here are some that caught my attention based on both creativity and context, and others for simply their aesthetic appeal. -- Lloyd Young (45 photos total)

Veronica Price, of Jacksonville, is reflected in a window as she gets a "thumbs up" from a passing parade float as she holds up her hand made tribute sign to Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade through downtown Jacksonville, Fl. on Jan. 16. ( Kelly Jordan/Associated Press/The Florida Times-Union)
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February 27, 2012 Permalink

Gerd Ludwig's 'Long Shadow of Chernobyl' project

Internationally-renowned photojournalist Gerd Ludwig has spent years documenting the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. In 1986, errors at the plant in Ukraine led to an explosion that ultimately caused over a quarter of a million people to permanently evacuate their homes to escape the radiation and radioactive fallout. Over the course of several trips to the site and the region for National Geographic Magazine in 1993, 2005, and 2011, Ludwig has amassed a documentary record of a people and a place irreparably altered by a tragic accident. His 2011 trip was partially funded by a Kickstarter campaign. Now Ludwig has released an iPad app with over 150 photographs, video, and interactive panoramas. Gathered here is a small selection of the work Ludwig has produced over the years of the still-unfolding tragedy. -- Lane Turner (23 photos total)

On April 26, 1986, operators in this control room of reactor No. 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant committed a fatal series of errors during a safety test, triggering a reactor meltdown that resulted in the world's largest nuclear accident to date. Today, the control room sits abandoned and deadly radioactive. Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine, 2005 (Gerd Ludwig/INSTITUTE)
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February 24, 2012 Permalink

One billion slum dwellers

One billion people worldwide live in slums, a number that will likely double by 2030. The characteristics of slum life vary greatly between geographic regions, but they are generally inhabited by the very poor or socially disadvantaged. Slum buildings can be simple shacks or permanent and well-maintained structures but lack clean water, electricity, sanitation and other basic services. In this post, I've included images from several slums including Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, the second largest slum in Africa (and the third largest in the world); New Building slum in central Malabo, Equatorial Guinea; Pinheirinho slum - where residents recently resisted police efforts to forcibly evict them; and slum dwellers from Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi, India. India has about 93 million slum dwellers and as much as 50% of New Delhi's population is thought to live in slums, 60% of Mumbai. -- Paula Nelson (55 photos total)

Cambodian lawmaker Mu Sochuo, from the opposition Sam Rainsy party, pleads with riot policemen to stop a forced eviction of villagers at a slum village in the centre of Phnom Penh, Jan. 4, 2012. Cambodian lawmakers from the opposition Sam Rainsy party visited the village after authorities forcefully evicted villagers from the Borei Keila community in the capital. (Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP/Getty Images)
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February 22, 2012 Permalink

Carnival 2012

A last blast before the observance of Lent, Carnival has evolved in many parts of the world with Christian traditions to be the biggest party of the year. Traditions vary from country to country, and even from region to region, but most places celebrate with a parade filled with masks, music, and ecstatic revelers. The world's biggest party happens in Rio de Janeiro, where millions fill the streets as the parade enters the Sambadrome. Collected here are pictures of Carnival in many forms as celebrated in various parts of Europe, Latin America, and North America. -- Lane Turner (41 photos total)

A performer from the Beija Flor samba school parades during Carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro on Feb. 20, 2012. Millions watched the sequin-clad samba dancers at Rio de Janeiro's iconic Carnival parade. (Silvia Izquierdo/Associated Press)
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February 17, 2012 Permalink

A glimpse of fashion week 2012

The models descended on the city, along with photographers, stylists, makeup artists, celebrities, editors and of course, fashion groupies during New York fashion week. During the week, more than 300 designers presented their fall 2012 collections to journalists, buyers and the occasional celebrity at Lincoln Center, Milk Studios and other venues. In this post, we take a look behind the scenes, get a glimpse of the runway and end it with a bit of whimsy. -- Paula Nelson (EDITOR'S NOTE: There will not be a Big Picture post on Monday, February 20 due to the President's Day holiday.)(42 photos total)

Makeup is applied backstage before the Rebecca Taylor Fall/Winter 2012 show during New York Fashion Week, Feb. 10, 2012. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)
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February 14, 2012 Permalink

Seeing red: Valentine’s Day 2012

People around the world once again expressed their affection for one another in many ways with balloons, cards, flowers, chocolates, gifts, and kisses to name just a few. The National Retail Federation said Americans alone will spend some $17.6 billion on the day that traces its origins to Roman rituals and the legend of Saint Valentine from the Catholic Church. -- Lloyd Young (34 photos total)

A man is silhouetted as he fills heart shaped balloons with helium while waiting for customers on Valentine's Day in Islamabad. (Faisal Mahmood/Reuters)
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February 13, 2012 Permalink

Skating

It's time to celebrate the simple joys of ice skating. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, winter has provided frozen playgrounds for all to enjoy. Ice skating takes many forms, from speed skating to professional hockey to figure skating to sliding around on a pond. In the Netherlands, hope was high that the Elfstedentocht, or Eleven Cities Tour, could take place on frozen canals for the first time since 1997, but ice thickness was thus far insufficient to support the estimated 16,000 skaters who would take part in the 124 mile event. Techendorf, Austria hosted an alternative event for 6,000. Gathered here are images of people enjoying the combination of smooth ice and steel blades. -- Lane Turner (33 photos total)

A family skates across Mendenhall Lake in Juneau, Alaska on January 16, 2012. (Michael Penn/The Juneau Empire/Associated Press)
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February 10, 2012 Permalink

2012 World Press Photo Contest Winners

By the numbers: 5, 247 Photographers, 124 Nationalities, 101, 254 pictures. Three hundred and fifty images by 57 photographers of 24 nationalities were awarded prizes in nine categories. To view the entire collection of winning images from the 55th World Press Photo Contest: 2012 World Press Photo. -- Paula Nelson (16 photos total)

2012 World Press Photo of the Year: A woman holds a wounded relative during protests against President Saleh in Sanaa, Yemen, Oct. 15, 2011. (Samuel Aranda/The New York Times)
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February 8, 2012 Permalink

Syria fighting continues

A European Union official said today harsher sanctions may be imposed on Syria as the 11-month-old uprising against the country’s regime led by President Bashar al-Assad continues even as Russia now tries to promote talks between the two sides. The United Nations has reported that more than 5,000 people have been killed since the conflict began. Hundreds have been reported killed since this past weekend in the city of Homs alone. Collected here are images from the last few days from inside the country. -- Lloyd Young (Editor’s note: Due to the exclusion of news organizations, which limits images coming from Syria, many of the images available to the public are handout images provided to the wire service agencies.) (24 photos total)

A Syrian rebel fighter aims during an exchange of fire with army troops, unseen. in Idlib, Syria on Feb. 8. The European Union will impose harsher sanctions on Syria, a senior EU official said Wednesday, as Russia tried to broker talks between the vice president and the opposition to calm violence. Activists reported at least 50 killed in the regime's siege of the restive city of Homs. (Associated Press)
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February 6, 2012 Permalink

Egypt: protests over Port Said soccer deaths

Violence at a soccer match triggered intensified political protests in Egypt raging now into their fifth day. A match on February 1, 2012 in Port Said, Egypt between rival clubs Al-Masry of Port Said and visiting Al-Ahly of Cairo ended with home supporters charging onto the pitch and chasing visiting fans. That confrontation turned bloody when the visiting fans were unable to get out of the stadium, and 74 died from attacks and from injuries sustained in a panicked stampede. Al-Ahly's fans had played a prominent role in defending protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square that eventually toppled leader Hosni Mubarak, and for this reason opponents of Egypt's military rulers assert that police at the stadium allowed the violence to happen, or even encouraged it. Protests continue to grow over the lack of police protection for the fans after three official days of mourning for the victims. Gathered here are photographs of the initial confrontation between fans and the resulting protests from the past several days. -- Lane Turner (25 photos total)

Protests near Egypt's Interior Ministry continued on February 3, 2012 in Cairo, Egypt with at least four people killed amid anger over the deaths of 74 football fans that were killed in clashes between rival fans in Port Said, Egypt. Three-days of mourning were announced and marches were scheduled to protest at the lack of protection provided by police who were at the stadium when the violence occurred. (Carsten Koall/Getty Images)
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February 3, 2012 Permalink

Extreme cold weather hits Europe

Frigid temperatures have gripped Europe in the last week, with the mercury reaching as low as 35 degrees Celsius below zero. After what had been a relatively mild winter, the sudden cold caught many unprepared. Eastern Europe is hardest hit, with over 100 deaths in Ukraine, and with over 11,000 people in remote villages cut off by snow in Serbia. Most of the fatalities recorded have been homeless people found frozen to death outside, and emergency tents with hot meals have been set up to help them in several affected countries. Russia and Poland are mobilizing help for the homeless. Travel in Romania has been chaos as a blizzard hampered efforts to clear both rails and roads. Recorded temperatures in Italy were the lowest in 27 years. -- Lane Turner (45 photos total)

A woman looks out a bus in Bucharest on February 2, 2012. (Vadim Ghirda/Associated Press)
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February 1, 2012 Permalink

Afghanistan, January 2012

The New Year began violently in Afghanistan, with three bombings killing 13 people in one day in Kandahar. In addition, the French Defense minister told soldiers he backed US efforts to open peace talks with the Taliban, and President Obama was in talks about defense priorites as the US military readied for challenges from China and Iran while downplaying any future counterinsurgency efforts like the ones in Afghanistan or Iraq. Meanwhile, the foreign troop withdrawal process continued, as more responsibility was transferred to Afghan security forces. The goal is a complete withdrawal by the end of 2014. -- Lloyd Young (41 photos total)

Afghan policemen march during the transfer of authority from NATO troops to Afghan security forces in Chaghcharan, Ghor province, west of Kabul, Afghanistan on Jan. 4. The security responsibilities of Chaghcharan, the provincial capital of Ghor province is handed over from the NATO forces to Afghan security forces. The process of taking over security from over 130,000-strong NATO-led ISAF forces by Afghan troops would be completed by the end of 2014 when Afghanistan will take over the full leadership of its own security duties from US and NATO forces. (Hoshang Hashimi/Associated Press)
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