Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Photos of the week

     One of the things I love about working in other places is seeing how people work with their environment, do whatever they have to do to make a living and to survive. They always make for great moments of real life in other cultures...

     In Brazil, I came across the bike repair shop where the owner was performing his duties in front of his home on the sidewalk, fixing flats and making other, more in-depth repairs.

     In Cambodia it was the roadside barber, trimming a little boy's hair as traffic rushed by.
It's the wooden bike, or the soccer ball made out of discarded plastic bags and string, making due with whatever they have for work and for play. Its the rich spice of international work when you get off the beaten path and get a glimpse of how others handle life.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Photo of the week, Faces of Rwanda

     Dipping into my black and white past, to a profound moment in my career that solidified my pursuit of documenting the work of humanitarians, I'm not sure the last time I showed these images of the Rwandese I'd met while working at the AmeriCares clinic in Buranga, Rwanda in 1994.
     We would only later learn the true depth of the horrors that transpired during the three months that began in April of that year, but I might imagine I could see it to some degree in the faces of the people who received treatment at the clinic and the children who played nearby or called the compound home, temporarily.
     Just before this trip, a long-retired veteran of photojournalism reminded me to "photograph the eyes" and I that advice reverberated in my head as I met these folks and made pictures that have, so far, withstood the test of time.
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday's Photo(s)

It's Tuesday, lets head to Armenia today. So, officially this is photo, singular, of the week, but hey, it's my blog so I get to make the rules, right?

So, multiple photos it is!

In 2006 I spent some time in Armenia working for Save the Children where they were helping local organizations relaunch kindergarten programs across the country and, looking after mother and child health and wellness. I spent the week working around the Capital, Yerevan as well as making my way around the country with crew from the Yerevan office (Narine and Asik), past the famous Mt. Arrarat, five-foot snow drifts and a sculpted Armenian alphabet in the middle of nowhere, to document programs in action, the caring people devoted to making the programs happen and the children they serve.

The coolest kinder teacher, Gayane Djomardyan delights her charges with her energy and playfulness in Vanadzor.

Checking on children's progress while other patients wait their turn in Yenokovan.

a moment between friends in kindergarten in Yerevan. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tuesday's Photo of the Week

Another blast from the past as I documented the work of doctors at a clinic in Rwanda in 1994 after the genocide. I knew I needed a dramatic overall image of the clinic compound formed by tents that appear as alien craft, and shot a couple of evenings as insurance to be sure I had it. It didn't hurt that it rained for a but almost every day, producing sometimes interesting skies, and that some of the taller mountains in Africa resided to the north on the border with Congo (then Zaire) to make it a little more interesting. It was the place that inspired me to pursue NGO work as an integral part of my photographic diet.

It seems, these days Rwanda is more peaceful but the Democratic Republic of Congo continued to be fractured by numerous regional conflicts within the vast country. Rwanda was a profound turning point for my career and as a result, later work to me to the same spot on earth in a village known as Buranga, 13 years later in 2007. The kids are actually standing about where I stood, but the landscape is growing back and obscuring the house, just above the children's heads.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Photo of the week, Thursday Bonus

Mariah Lopez welcomes her dad, Specialist Steven Lopez home from serving in Iraq with the Arizona Army National Guard 855th Military Police unit who arrived home at the Air National Guard base at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. The 114 returning reservists  were on their second tour which began December 2009 and completed over 600 missions throughout Ninewa Province which included training Iraqi police and humanitarian missions. The unit's previous deployment was in 2003 as a part of the original invasion force for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

It's been a while since I photographed troops arriving or departing for theaters of combat, but always find the homecomings delightful to cover.