Picturing The Unimaginable: Photojournalism in Japan and Haiti

Posted by David Ozanich — 4 Apr 2011

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NPR photographer David Gilkey (which, ha, is sort of ironic because one wonders how just much photography is really required for radio) stopped by their studio this Sunday to discuss the challenges of photographing disaster zones:

Photojournalists travel the world, using their cameras to tell stories about how we live and who we are. Their tales are often of war, famine or disease; sometimes, of triumph and joy. The disasters in Haiti one year ago and now in Japan challenge even the best photojournalists to compose a shot that helps us get a sense of the horrific scale of destruction that nature has visited upon both countries.

He juxtaposes photographs from Japan and Haiti to illustrate how similar types of images recur frequently because they communicate a story, or a feeling, in a single image. Listen to the story and see the pictures here.

In somewhat related NPR news, this morning on Morning Edition they interviewed an Egyptian-American blogger named Mohamed Radwan who was arrested in Syria for photographing the uprisings in Damascus. He was later forced to falsely confess that he was an Israeli spy. Listen to that story below.

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