Every week our Photo Editor, Megan Tidd, sifts through catalogues of imagery, selecting the most striking or poignant photojournalistic work produced that week, based on some of the world’s most important news stories. Here are the reasons behind the Week in Pictures, and what the images mean to MSN, the world, and hopefully to you…
Week In Pictures 070407-130407: Alone and Surrounded
This weekend the weather finally turned, and many of you – along with most of the UK – probably threw open your arms to bid a mild sunburn welcome. Easter holidays and the surrounding celebrations were upon us: rejoice, rejoice, hallelujah, may I please have another chocolate egg, etc.
In the world of pictures, the week took a predictably spiritual turn, unveiling a number of rather gothic images and combining the celebratory nature of Easter Sunday with a feeling of isolation. Even aside from the world’s faithful worshipers, this week’s most stunning images tended to be that of man alone, yet surrounded: a sumo wrestler’s gaze in the midst of a fight; lone portraits of Tamils stacked in front of their devoted relatives; a bullfighter awaiting the charge of his intimidating opponent; a cricket player after the crack of the bat; and a bustling bridge falling into a sea of fog. Photographers this week captured a world of busy seclusion.
Quite interesting were Armando Franca’s pictures of the El Santo Entierro brotherhood, in Seville, Spain. Franca used their white pointed hoods to show a sense of anonymity, as they went about their holy week rituals. Enveloped in white robes and surrounded by dark cathedrals, Franca’s depiction of the brotherhood is creepily Da Vinci Code. Along similar lines are the frightening pictures of self battery, captured by Tonino Sgro. While we generally tend to steer clear of photographs with blood as a courtesy to our readers, I felt this picture showed a gruesome religious practice pertinent to the week’s events – especially as it was self-inflicted as penitence “for sins”. What do you think?
Check out more of Franca’s El Santo Entierro outtakes in the gallery to your right.
Dita Alangkara also had some nice work this week, photographing the happenings surrounding the East Timor elections. Her time in a refugee camp, plus coverage of after the election, does well in depicting people’s – namely children’s – sense of unease in a country dealing with political turmoil. There are some more outtakes from that story to your right.
In a somewhat cheerier vein, there are great graphic elements to Lucy Nicholson’s photographs of the US Sumo Open. Dealing with half-ton men in nappies doesn’t sound like a photographic fun-for-all, but she does well in capturing the feeling that these wrestlers are isolated by their sheer size. Holding babies, clutching each other in battle, and giggled at by spectators, they seem almost resigned to it. See what you think in the outtakes gallery.
Lastly, Jon Nazca’s textural images of Malaga’s Easter bullfights. As quite a regular and popular photographic occurrence (people can’t seem to get enough of the orange arena and sparkly costumes), Nazca’s images show a rich subtlety often forgone for the excitement in such events. The red tights and evenly spaced formation of the bullfighters; the man’s calloused, taped fingers as he readies for a fight – all show a deeper element of bullfighting that goes beyond the red cape and over-dramatic machismo. Nazca makes the bullfighters seem almost alone, as if the stands were empty.
While you might have been munching on another mini-egg or grumpily heading back to the office, this week’s featured photographers were busy at work. Perhaps it’s a sense of intimacy on such a large holiday, or a lurking moment of quiet in the hustle of a hectic weekend, but I can’t help but noticing that for such a bustling, over-indulgent season the imagery this week is subtle, quiet, and strong. That, to me as a photo editor, is the most powerful kind of imagery.
Let us know what you think of this week’s imagery! Leave your comments, below…