jump to navigation

Heather Angel Capturing Pollination April 26, 2017

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Metaphor Online, New York Times , comments closed

Spend just a few minutes in a garden this time of year, and you will likely see a pollinator buzzing or fluttering from flower to flower. While most of us are aware of this vitally important ecosystem service, the act itself — the transfer of pollen from stamen to stigma via tiny feet, wings, antennas or mouthparts — is largely unseen.

In “Pollination Power,” Heather Angel, a photographer based in Surrey, England, exposes the process in macrophotography, which stands out not only for its range and aesthetics, but also for its scientific exactness: She was determined to show not just creatures in flowers, but the instant release of pollen itself.


Australian Photojournalist Daniel Berehulak wins Second Pulitzer April 14, 2017

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Metaphor, New York Times , comments closed

Heavy rain pours on the body of Romeo Torres Fontanilla, 37, who was killed by two unidentified gunmen riding motorcycles. Oct. 11, 2016, in Manila, the Philippines. Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

Australian freelance Photojournalist Daniel Berehulak was awarded the Pulitzer Prize – his second – for breaking news photography for his coverage in the New York Times of the brutal antidrug campaign by President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines. E. Jason Wambsgans of the Chicago Tribune received the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography for a story that chronicled the recovery of a 10-year old boy who was the victim of a shooting.

Police investigators gather evidence in the killing of Frederick Mafe, 48, and Arjay Lumbago, 23, as their bodies lay sprawled in the middle of a street. Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

Over a span of 35 days, Mr. Berehulak photographed 57 homicides at 41 crime scenes where drug users and dealers had been murdered by vigilantes emboldened by President Duterte’s mandate: “kill them all.” He worked closely with Rica Concepcion, a veteran local journalist and fixer, to interview bystanders and the relatives of victims, go to jails and rehabilitation centers and to accompany police officers in different neighborhoods. The resulting interactive piece, “They Are Slaughtering Us Like Animals,” featured both his images and the vivid text accompanying it.


Inmates watch as drug suspects are processed inside a police station. Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

The Importance of History: An amazing Investigation into Black Lives on Brooklyn Street January 28, 2017

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Metaphor Online, New York Times , comments closed

This amazing story from Annie Correal who finds an abandoned photo album on a street in Brooklyn and tracks down the family

who put it together highlights the importance of personal and local history to record what is lost on a daily basis.

Personal history is ephemeral, like people’s lives and can easily finish up on the trash heap.

Annie Correal’s personal adventure and perseverance has given us an eloquent insight into black lives

and a wonderful history lesson.


Love and Black Lives,
in Pictures Found
on a Brooklyn Street

A discarded photo album reveals a rich history of black lives, from the
segregated South to Harlem dance halls to a pretty block in Crown Heights.



One night six years ago, on a quiet side street in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, I came across a photo album that had been put out with the trash. I lived around the corner, and I was walking home when I saw it sitting beneath a streetlamp on Lincoln Place.

It looked handmade, with a wooden cover bound with a shoelace. But it had been tied up with twine, like a bunch of old newspapers, and left atop a pile of recycling.

Whitney Richardson New York Times: African Stories January 11, 2017

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Metaphor Online, New York Times, New York Times LENS , comments closed


The news is ethnocentric and parochial. Unless it has an international impact on business or economics or a countries vested interests it remains off the Western radar.  Whitney Richardson pushes an agenda for the use of local photographers and journalists to increase exposure to stories that are important internationally. When I covered the Orange Revolution as a freelancer in Ukraine in 2004 most of the working photographers for Western publications were from Western Countries. The wire agencies were not organised enough to be a threat to freelancers. That changed subsequently. As in Iraq and Afghanistan and now Syria local photographers are extensively used. Local contact and local knowledge are more than useful for quality journalism. Bohdan Warchomij Metaphor Online

Whitney Richardson NEW YORK TIMES

Akintunde Akinleye was at home one December morning in 2006 when a friend called him with urgent news. Hours earlier, a petroleum pipeline had exploded in a town outside Lagos, Nigeria, his home city, leaving more than 200 people dead. Hopping on his motorbike with his camera, Mr. Akinleye, a Reuters staff photographer based in Nigeria, swerved through miles of thick traffic and arrived on site in less than 30 minutes.

Pacing through flaming rubble, he spotted an older adult man carrying a bright blue bucket of water. Mr. Akinleye lifted his camera and took several shots of him rinsing his face as dark smoke stained the sky. His final frame was circulated to news media globally, and even made the front page of The New York Times. It also earned him a World Press Photo award for spot news single in 2007, making him the first Nigerian to receive the prestigious award.

Mr. Akinleye’s sudden thrust into news media prominence is rare for even the most experienced photojournalists, but it’s an even rarer occurrence for an African one. Of the most covered news events in sub-Saharan Africa over the past several years — including antigovernment protests in South Africa and Ethiopia, the Boko Haram kidnapping in northern Nigeria and West Africa’s Ebola crisis — only a handful of stories were assigned to African photographers by major international publications.

The absence of local coverage in international markets has also been reflected in the top awards. According to World Press Photo’s State of Photography 2015 report, only 2 percent of their contest submissions annually come from African photographers.

Since World Press Photo released its initial report in 2015, Lars Boering, the organization’s managing director, said accessing data about their contest applicants as well as surveying the photojournalism industry were critical first steps in closing this gap. The organization recently held its first Joop Swart Master Class in Kenya, working with photographers across East Africa, and plans to host another one, in Accra, Ghana, this March. Other organizations, including the Magnum Foundation and the Prince Claus fund, have also invested in supporting photojournalists on the continent.

“We needed to flip it open. It will make us vulnerable, but it was important to start talking about it,” said Mr. Boering, who is based in Amsterdam. “There are a billion people living in Africa. We should make sure the visuals we get reflect our worldview.”

Mr. Akinleye, who has spent the past decade covering West Africa for Reuters, said as digital cameras have become more accessible, he has seen a surge in the number of local photographers in the field. But better equipment hasn’t necessarily equated to more opportunities for aspiring photojournalists, he said. With the absence of formal photojournalism programs at universities, young photographers are not learning the fundamentals of storytelling and editing, Mr. Akinleye said. Independent newspapers in his country have also struggled to navigate hostile relations with government leaders known for threatening the local news media, he said.

“Young people are asking, how do we get work,” said Mr. Akinleye, who noted that the majority of working photographers he knew in Africa were stringers for wire services.

“I have told them to look for opportunities abroad to gain exposure and to learn the ethical standards of the industry,” he said. “If I wasn’t working with Reuters, I probably would just be part of the crowd.”

International news agencies, including The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse, have long been entry points for local photojournalists, especially during times of extreme conflict. During the United States-led war in Iraq, news organizations heavily depended on local news photographers, out of concern for safety and financial pressures, to document the scene. Within months of training alongside other wire photographers, Iraqi photojournalists began dominating international coverage of the war — producing award-winning images of the political transformation in their home country.

“We had taxi drivers and former studio photographers and we gave them cameras,” said two-time Pulitzer prize winning photojournalist, Muhammed Muheisen, who is currently the chief photographer for the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan for the AP. “The region was getting a lot of attention, so it became a place where Iraqi photographers could develop and show their talent.”

Khalid Mohammed, AP’s chief photographer in Iraq, was one of those emerging talents. Mr. Mohammed, who worked for an Iraqi newspaper before the war, gained the reputation of beating foreign photojournalists to deadly scenes and was one of six Iraqis on the AP team that won the Pulitzer Prize for photography in 2005. Many of his most striking images, including one showing the charred bodies of U.S. contractors hanging from a bridge in Fallujah in 2004, appeared in publications around the world.

“I choose to cover the war to expose the crimes and violations against my people,” Mr. Mohammed, who is currently in Mosul, wrote in an email interview. “You had to be ready to accept the sacrifice and know that this picture may be the last image,” he said.


Daniel Berehulak in the Philippines for the New York Times December 12, 2016

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Daniel Berehulak, Metaphor Online, New York Times , comments closed

Photo Daniel Berehulak for the New York Times

New York Times photographer Daniel Berehulak photographed 41 murder scenes — and 57 bodies — in 35 days in Manila.

This amazing story elevates investment in journalism and Daniel Berehulak, Pulitzer Prize winner for his coverage of the ebola crisis in Africa, is the right photographer to analyse what is happening to the country.

When  Rodrigo Duterte became President of the Philippines  he said he would be happy to kill millions of people to rid his country of drugs. Already, President Duterte’s war has claimed thousands of lives, including nearly 2,000 reportedly killed by Philippine police.


Photo Daniel Berehulak for the New York Times

Photo Daniel Berehulak for the New York Times

Photo Daniel Berehulak for the New York Times

Photo Daniel Berehulak for the New York Times

Photo Daniel Berehulak for the New York Times

The Savagery of Isis: Retaking Falluja; Photos and Text by Bryan Denton for the New York Times August 4, 2016

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Bryan Denton, New York Times , comments closed

Bryan Denton

I accompanied Iraq’s elite counterterrorism force and other units from the Iraqi military and the federal police into Falluja at the end of June, during the final days of their long battle to wrest back control of the city from the Islamic State.

Falluja was the first Iraqi city to fall to the Islamic State, more than two years ago, and the militant group had all that time to learn the city, sowing traps everywhere. It was only after a long siege that the Iraqi forces moved to take the center.

In the last stages of the battle, members of the counterterrorism force, in coordination with other Iraqi units, fought their way into the neighborhood of Al Jolan in Falluja, where Islamic State fighters were making their last stand. As we moved through the bombed-out streets, gun battles raged, and the insurgents’ improvised mortars exploded among the narrow alleyways and rubble in a last-ditch effort to halt the advance of Iraq’s security forces.

What, exactly, the Islamic State fighters were holding out for was lost on me. The city had been surrounded for months. Nearly all the civilians were gone, either driven out by their rulers’ brutality in the early days, or escaping during breaks in the fighting as the Iraqi forces approached.

The Iraqi Army, special forces and the federal police relied on heavy artillery, close air support from United States aircraft and a patient advance through the city.

Bryan Denton

The remaining Islamic State fighters were forced to be opportunistic. During one visit with the Iraqi special forces, I saw a soldier who had been shot through his right calf, either by a sniper’s round or random gunfire.

Gruesome markers of the battle dotted the roads leading into Falluja.

A charred body of an Islamic State fighter had been left on the side of a road that the Iraqi forces had bulldozed through a small field south of the city as they began the assault. A metal cable was tied tight around one of the body’s legs, and the head had been lopped off.

A police commander chastised two Shiite militiamen who were taking cellphone pictures of each other stomping on the corpse triumphantly.

Bryan Denton

One officer, who spoke openly only on the condition of anonymity, citing military protocol, told me that the Islamic State was different from the insurgents he was used to fighting. You can negotiate with insurgents, he said in English laced with military jargon he picked up from years of working with United States Special Forces, but the Islamic State fighters seemed to have embraced unbridled and inflexible savagery.

Bryan Denton

Another officer, Lt. Hassan Almosawi, from Iraq’s Emergency Response Brigade, took me to an Islamic State prison his unit had discovered in a once upscale neighborhood in central Falluja.


Tyler Hicks discusses his and the NYT’s fellow photographers Pulitzer Prize for capturing the resolve of refugees on the shore of Lesbos and in Europe May 2, 2016

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Metaphor Online, New York Times , comments closed

Tyler Hicks, a staff photographer for The New York Times, joined “PBS NewsHour” to discuss his recent Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography for capturing the resolve of refugees, the perils of their journeys and the struggle of host countries to take them in:

Photo Tyler Hicks

“This was a really interesting story because there’s a small amount of space for all these refugees arriving along the shores of Lesbos. You had tens of thousands of people flooding into this space that’s just a couple of miles long. … This [photo] was unusual because it was just before dark and there were no other boats coming. This one last boat came in and there was no one there to receive them, no help for them. … I really felt it was important to capture that moment.”

Daniel Berehulak reporting from Nepal for the New York Times May 21, 2015

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : New York Times , comments closed

Foot Soldiers: Christopher Griffith New York Times May 3, 2015

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Christopher Griffith, New York Times , comments closed

Foot Soldiers



Using a wooden box fitted with a lens on one side and a silver-plated sheet of copper on the other, Louis Daguerre set out, in 1838, to capture the image of a Paris street. The technique required a long exposure, too long to catch anything that was moving. So the shoppers and flâneurs who were bustling about that day are lost memories in the now-famous image “Boulevard du Temple.” All that remain are the trees and houses — and two motionless figures in the lower left-hand corner: a shoe shiner and his customer. They are the first two people ever to be photographed, in a strange moment of urban intimacy — one that slows the rush to a halt, suspending time.

In a city now lousy with canvas uppers and flip-flops, the bootblack has lost some of his cachet. But he was once a highly romanticized fixture of urban mythology — in popular imagination, often a street-savvy scamp or a jolly older fellow, laboring to assist and delight. (For example, take the lyrics to Red Foley’s 1950 hit “Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy”: “Have you ever passed the corner of Fourth and Grand?/Where a little ball o’ rhythm has a shoe shine stand/People gather ’round and they clap their hand/He’s a great big bundle o’ joy.”) In reality, the people who shine shoes in New York today are mostly immigrants from Latin America — mainly Ecuador — and they labor for the same prosaic reason we all do.

Jessica Muy shines shoes up to six days a week, 11 hours a day, at the Leather Spa in the lower concourse of Grand Central Terminal. She told The Times that a good day brings $80 or $90 and a slow one brings as little as $40. What extra she has, she sends back home to her young daughter in Ecuador. Alex Valente, who works at the East 55th Street branch of Leather Spa, has had better luck. “I made my dreams come true in shoe shining,” he said. “I raised my son here, put him through college, helped with his wedding, and now I’m retiring and moving back to my farm in Brazil.”

Nearly two centuries after Daguerre immortalized that Parisian bootblack, Christopher Griffith photographed the hands of 52 Manhattan shoe shiners. The images are difficult to place. Flesh bound in cloth: They suggest fashion photography or classical statuary or even religious imagery, shroud-wrapped bodies in deathly repose. Inspired by one of the Irving Penn photographs of Miles Davis’s hand — leathery skin, natural light — Griffith said he tried to use “the texture of the skin, the crevices and the lines” to convey a sense of physical and personal history. The project started with Leonard Johnson, who worked at Drago Shoe Repair at the Port Authority until recently, when he retired after a 50-year career as a shoe shiner. His hands, Griffith said, “have this etching of year to year to year to year doing something physical.”

Philip Toledano: Forever Young April 10, 2015

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Metaphor Online, New York Times, Philip Toledano , comments closed


Looking Ahead to Photos of Old Age

By James Estrin  Apr. 9, 2015

For most of his 46 years, Phil Toledano lived what he considered to be a fortunate life with loving parents, a successful photographic career, and a wife and a daughter whom he adored. But when his mother died unexpectedly in 2006, and he found himself the caretaker for his 95-year-old father, Mr. Toledano’s rosy outlook changed.

This week Lens is featuring a selection of the photographers who were chosen to attend the New York Portfolio Review on April 11 and 12. The blog will update this list each day with featured picks.“When you’re privileged and lucky the way I have been, you expect your whole life will be like that,” he said. “When my mother died, it made me realize that you don’t have any control over your destiny at all. It’s delusional to think you do. I became quite fearful of what sharp turns life had in store for me and what other terrible unforeseen things might happen.”

Mr. Toledano chronicled his father’s slow decline and death in “Days With My Father” — but he could not shake off his existential angst. He realized that he either had to confront his fears for his future or be consumed by them.

The result is the book “Maybe,” to be published by Dewi Lewis in June. A short film by Joshua Seftel, “The Many Sad Fates of Mr. Toledano,” which documents the creation of the photographs, premieres next week at the Tribeca Film Festival.


Mr. Toledano started with a DNA test that informed him that despite his slim physique he had a high risk of obesity and heart disease. When he asked fortune tellers, psychics and numerologists what the darkest possible outcomes might be, he was told he could become an alcoholic or commit suicide. To round out the picture, he turned to insurance actuarial tables, which showed that, at some point … he would die.

After listing his fears in order of the things he least wanted to happen, Mr. Toledano was fully prepared and started photographing. There was only one problem: How do you photograph what has not yet happened?

The answer is: with great difficulty. And prosthetics.

Mr. Toledano took the information — from scientific to anecdotal — and created scenarios that illustrated possible “Future Phils.” He enlisted Adam Morrow, who specializes in makeup and prosthetics for movies, to create masks that transformed Mr. Toledano into an aging hipster, a 90-year-old man in a wheelchair, an overweight office worker and a stroke victim. The elaborate photo shoots included a stylist, assistants and actors.

It took four or five hours to put on the prosthetics, and it was challenging to supervise the shoots while being the subject as well as the photographer. But the real difficulties were emotional, not physical.

“It was really exhausting because I was confronting the darkest possible experiences,” Mr. Toledano said. “I was making tangible the worst possible things I could imagine. It’s not enjoyable to see yourself like that.”

Phil Toledano during the process of transforming into a 90-year-old man.

Phil Toledano during the process of transforming into a 90-year-old man.Credit Stephen Maing