Week in pictures: 22-28 October 2017

Our selection of some of the most striking news photographs taken around the world this week.

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Jane Barlow/ PA

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At the University of St Andrews, students take part in a shaving foam fight as part of traditional Raisin Monday celebrations.

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Mary Turner/ Reuters

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Two Sumatran tigers known as Achilles and Karis eat pumpkins at London Zoo in preparation for Halloween.

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HERIKA MARTINEZ/ AFP/ Getty Images

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Accompanied by her dog, a young girl watches the Not Walls demonstration by US activists. It took place in front of the wall that divides Ciudad Juarez, Mexico from Sunland Park, New Mexico.

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ABIR SULTAN/ EPA

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Police use a water cannon to disperse ultra-Orthodox Jewish demonstrators as they block the entrance to the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, during a protest against army recruitment in Jerusalem, Israel.

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Zohra Bensemra/ Reuters

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Rohingya refugees line up to get food in the Balukhali refugee camp near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

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Tony McDonough/ EPA

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While visiting Rottnest Island, off the west Australian coast, the state minister for tourism, Paul Papalia, tries to get a selfie with a quokka.

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Carlos Jasso/ Reuters

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During a Catrinas parade in Mexico City, a child is dressed up as a “Catrina”, a Mexican character also known as “The Elegant Death.”

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Thomas Peter/ Reuters

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Ushers throw their hats in the air in Tiananmen Square before the start of the closing session of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, in Beijing, China.

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MARTA PEREZ/ EPA

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In Barcelona, a Catalan pro-independence flag waves over hundreds of Catalan university and secondary students protesting against the application of the Spanish Constitution’s Article 155. In a crisis, this allows the government in Madrid to take over from the leaders in Catalonia without their permission.

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DAI KUROKAWA/ EPA

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As Kenya goes to the polls again, a supporter of the opposition coalition the National Super Alliance and its presidential candidate Raila Odinga, is covered in police tear gas during a protest in Kibera slum, Nairobi.

All photographs are copyrighted.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-41776819

Is this what real beauty looks like?

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Mihaela Noroc

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Mihaela took these photographs in Kathmandu in Nepal (left) and Reykjavik, Iceland

“Go to Google Images right now,” says photographer Mihaela Noroc, “and search ‘beautiful women’.”

I do as she tells me. Millions of results come back.

“What do you see?” she asks. “Very sexualised images, right?”

Yes. Many of the women in the top pictures are wearing high heels and revealing clothes, and most fit into the same physical mould – young, slim, blonde, perfect skin.

“So beauty all the time is like that,” Mihaela says. “Objectifying women, treating them in a very sexualised way, which is unfortunate.

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Mihaela Noroc

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L-R: Portraits taken in Germany, Italy and France

“Women are not like that. We have our stories, our struggles, our power, but we just need to be represented, because young women, they see only images like this every day, so they need to have more confidence that they can look the way they look and be considered beautiful.

“But,” she adds, “Google is us, because we are all influencing these images.”

Mihaela has just released her first photography book, Atlas of Beauty, which features 500 of her own portraits of women.

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Mihaela Noroc, India

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Pushkar, India: “I was happy to see women have joined public forces all over the world”

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Mihaela Noroc

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Mihaela took these photographs in Colombia (left) and Milan, Italy

The Romanian photographer’s definition of beauty, however, appears to be that there is no definition. The women are a variety of ages, professions and backgrounds.

“People are interested in my pictures because they portray people around us, everyday people around the street,” Mihaela explains.

“Usually when we talk about beauty and women, we have this very high, unachievable way of portraying them.

“So my pictures are very natural and simple. And this is, weirdly, a surprise. Because usually we are not seen like that.”

Each of the book’s 500 portraits has a caption with information about where it was taken, and, in many cases, the subject.

The locations are varied, to put it mildly. They include Nepal, Tibet, Ethiopia, Italy, North Korea, Germany, Mexico, India, Afghanistan, the UK, the US, and the Amazon rainforest.

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Mihaela Noroc

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Sisters Abby and Angela were photographed in New York

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Mihaela Noroc

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Captain Berenice Torres is a helicopter pilot for the Mexican Federal Police

Some locations, however, proved more problematic than others.

“I approach women I want to photograph on the street. I explain what my project is about. Sometimes I get yes as an answer, sometimes I get no, that really depends on the country I’m in,” she explains.

“When you go to a more conservative society, a woman is going to have a lot of pressure from society to be a certain way, and her day-to-day life is carefully watched by somebody else.

“So she’s not going to accept being photographed very easily, maybe she’s going to need permission from the male part of her family.

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Mihaela Noroc

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A guide at a military museum in Pyongyang, North Korea

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Mihaela Noroc

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Mihaela met Pinar, a Turkish Cypriot actress, in Istanbul

“In other parts of the world they are extremely careful because there might be issues concerning their safety, like in Colombia. Because they had Pablo Escobar and the mafia for so many years.

“So they say ‘OK, so you’re going to take my picture but I’m probably going to be kidnapped after that because you’re part of the mafia and you’re not who you’re saying you are’.”

She adds: “If somebody were to start this project just with men, it would be much easier, because they don’t have to ask permission from their wives, sisters or mothers.”

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Mihaela Noroc

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Left: Pokhara, Nepal. Right: “This is what shopping looks like for many people around the world,” Mihaela says of her portrait taken in Nampan, Myanmar

Mihaela says she occasionally puts pictures through Photoshop, but not for the reasons you might think.

“When you take a picture, it’s usually raw, and that means it’s very blank, like a painting, you don’t have the colours you had in the reality.

“So I try to make it as vibrant and colourful as it was in the original place. But I’m not making anyone skinnier or anything like that, never, because that’s very painful.

“Because I also suffered as a woman growing up from all kinds of difficulties, I wanted to be skinnier, look a certain way, and that was also related to the fake images I saw in day-to-day life.”

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Mihaela Noroc

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Idomeni Refugee Camp, Greece: This woman and her daughters fled the war in Syria

It’s safe to say Mihaela’s photography book is quite different tonally to, say, Kim Kardashian’s 2015 book of selfies.

“These days, the bloggers, the famous people of our planet have set this unachievable and fake beauty standard, and it’s very difficult for us as women to relate to that,” she says.

“Kim Kardashian has 100 million followers on her Instagram page and I have 200,000, so imagine the difference – it’s astonishing. But slowly, slowly, I think the message of natural and simple beauty will be spread around the world.”

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Mihaela Noroc

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L-R: Portraits taken at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, Omo Valley in Ethiopia and Delphi, Greece

So what’s the best piece of advice Mihaela could give to anyone keen to get into photography? Buy a good quality camera? Learn about lenses and angles?

Not exactly.

“Buy good shoes,” she laughs, “because you’re going to walk and explore a lot.”

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Mihaela Noroc

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Lisa was backpacking through Berlin when Mihaela met her


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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-41736574

Electrifying skies

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Alex Gregg

Severe storms have brought heavy rain and a spectacle of lightning to Australia’s Queensland, with lightning bolts ripping across the night skies for hours.

There were over 176,000 lightning strikes overnight – with more expected on Monday.

Queensland’s bureau of Meteorology has warned of more “severe thunderstorms”, “damaging winds and large hailstones”.

The storm damaged a number of houses and left thousands without power.

The turbulent weather had photographers and storm chasers glued to the skies, with many capturing stunning shots of the lightning strikes.

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Steph Doyle

“The sky was electric for hours, certainly more than usual storms,” Brisbane photographer Steph Doyle told the BBC.

“It would erupt in bursts, lighting up the entire sky, then calming momentarily before continuing the electric display.”

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Alex Gregg

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Alex Gregg

Local energy provider Energexx said more than 4,000 homes were left without power as a result of the storms.

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Mark Jessop

In Brisbane the storm lasted for around three hours throughout Sunday evening, but stirred again in the early hours of the morning.

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Authorities warn that the storm will likely continue to hit southeast Queensland with more damages expected.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-41799515

Footprints

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-41765592

Africa’s top shots: 20-26 October 2017

A selection of the best photos from across Africa and of Africans elsewhere in the world this week.

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AFP

Casablanca’s Mohamed VI stadium was bathed in red light on Saturday as fans of Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca beat Algeria’s USM Alger to reach the CAF Champions League final.

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AFP

Creations by Nigeria’s Amede take the floor on Wednesday at the Lagos Fashion and Design Week, which aims to support and promote the Nigerian and African fashion industry.

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Reuters

Peace in Kenya appears to be a theme for these two men take a selfie during the country’s Mashujaa Day (Heroes’ Day) celebrations in Nairobi last Friday – a public holiday…

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AFP

But confrontation and tension came ahead of the country’s repeat presidential vote – here a man holds a burning stick as opposition supporters demonstrate at a burning barricade in Nairobi’s Kibera slum on Wednesday…

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Reuters

There was more trouble on Thursday, the day of the vote: Here a man in watches from a safe distance in Kibera as protesters clash with riot police…

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AFP

While these members of Kenya’s Legio Maria Church are affected by teargas during clashes in Nairobi’s Mathare suburb on election day.

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Reuters

African migrants sit by the side of a road on Saturday as they wait for work in the Libyan city of Misrata.

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Reuters

A girl refugee from South Sudan is pictured at the Nguenyyiel refugee camp on Tuesday, during a visit by the US Ambassador to the UN to the Gambella Region of Ethiopia.

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EPA

A Mandela Walk Together event in Westminster, London, on Monday was attended by his widow Graca Machel and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan as well as other influential figures and members of the public.

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Reuters

A “magical” experience was had by British adventurer Tom Morgan above South Africa on Friday – he flew 25km (15.5 miles) strapped to a camping chair suspended from 100 helium balloons.

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EPA

And a South African surfer Mike Schlebach takes part in a surfing event off Cape Town on Monday, riding waves in excess of 5m (16ft).

Images courtesy of AFP, EPA, PA and Reuters

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-41763279

British press photo awards

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-41608761

Fleeing persecution

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Confused and scared, two-year-old Hazera holds on to her mother after reaching Bangladesh from Myanmar

Myanmar’s military has brutally evicted more than half a million Muslim Rohingya people from the country’s northern Rakhine state. The UN human rights office says their homes and villages have been burned down, and their crops and livestock destroyed to stop them coming back.

Rohingya who fled to neighbouring Bangladesh say that the security services’ “clearance operations” involved mass civilian killings, torture, and child rape.

The military denies committing genocide, insisting it has only targeted Rohingya militants. But for those who fear being homeless or worse, the semantics are immaterial.

Bangladesh’s UN ambassador says more than 600,000 people have crossed the border since late August, joining the 300,000 or so who fled earlier outbreaks of violence.

They are starving and exhausted. Many are traumatised, and most have children with them. BBC photographer Salman Saeed took these pictures near the refugee camps in Palongkhali, Kutupalong and Balukhali, in the Cox’s Bazar area of Bangladesh.

These Rohingya families have been walking for more than a week without food, but have finally arrived in Bangladesh after witnessing atrocities in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

They carry their few belongings and blankets on sticks over their shoulders.

Thirteen-year-old Mobin walked for 12 days to reach safety.

UN experts believe it is “highly likely” that Myanmar’s security forces planted landmines along the border in recent weeks, making an arduous journey yet more fraught with danger.

The owner of these weary legs waded through mud to reach a refugee camp.

International observers say some Rohingya people have walked for up to three weeks before arriving at government-run settlements like Kutupalong. The children have welts on the soles of their feet.

Rohingya people are using any available transport to escape Rakhine. Some are trekking to the Naf River, which forms the border, while others are sailing up the coast.

Dozens have already died trying to cross into Bangladesh in small, rickety fishing boats.

The Dhaka Tribune reports that 28 boats have capsized since 24 August, killing 184 people – mostly women and children.

The boats are often overcrowded, and the risk of disaster considerable. Some of those on board are unable to swim.

This man, Abu Tabel, arrived in Bangladesh with his few salvaged belongings gathered in sacks and a basket.

The caged chicken below was his only companion on the long journey to find a new home.

When they reach the camps, the displaced people find – and build – makeshift accommodation along the roads and hillsides around the border town of Cox’s Bazaar.

The settlements are muddy, wet and overcrowded, with a shortage of clean water and poor sanitation. There are very few toilets. Torrential rain has increased the hardships – and the risk of diseases like cholera.

Many of those crossing the border already have relatives in Cox’s Bazar, whom they are desperate to find.

On 16 October, the Red Cross opened a 60-bed field hospital in Cox’s Bazar the size of two football fields.

It has three wards, an operating theatre, a maternity ward, and a psychosocial support unit.

This young Rohingya boy is comparatively lucky – he has received some medical treatment.

Bangladesh has announced plans to build a refugee camp that could ultimately accommodate about 800,000 Rohingya.

It would be the largest such settlement in the world.

This family was photographed resting and having their first meal in several days.

Survivors say starvation had helped drive them from their villages, as food markets in Rakhine state have been shut and aid restricted.

Rasida, who is nine months pregnant, is one of thousands of mothers-to-be who have fled – knowing they could give birth any day.

The United Nations Population Fund estimates that of the nearly 150,000 Rohingya women of reproductive age (15-49 years), some 24,000 are pregnant and lactating.

Some have had no choice but to give birth by the roadside.

On 17 October, the United Nations warned that thousands of Rohingya were still stranded near the Myanmar-Bangladesh border.

It urged Bangladesh to speed up the vetting of up to 15,000 affected people, and move them inland to safety.

Andrej Mahecic, a UN refugee agency spokesman, said it wanted Bangladesh to “urgently admit these refugees fleeing violence and increasingly difficult conditions back home”.

He added: “Every minute counts, given the fragile conditions they’re arriving in.”

For now, the influx continues. Thousands on thousands, caught in the world’s fastest-growing humanitarian crisis.

All pictures were shot by Salman Saeed in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-41585864

Wildlife photo of the year

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Brent Stirton/WPY

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Brent Stirton says the things he’s seen have dented his faith in humanity

A shocking image of environmental crime has been declared the top entry in this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year (WPY) competition.

Taken by South African Brent Stirton, the picture shows the slumped form of a black rhino in Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve.

Poachers killed the animal at night, with a silencer, and then dehorned it.

Stirton took the photo as part of an investigation into the illegal trade in rhino products.

The photographer visited more than 30 such crime scenes in the course of his probe – experiences he said he found depressing.

“My first child is going to be born in February; I’m 48. And I think I left it such a long time because I kind of lost faith in a lot of the work we see as photojournalists. You lose faith in humanity to some extent.”

Stirton, who collected his award at a gala dinner at London’s Natural History Museum, believes this particular piece of butchery was probably carried out by local people, but working to order.

The usual practice is to sell the animal’s two horns to a middleman. This individual then smuggles the merchandise out of South Africa, most probably through Mozambique, to China or Vietnam.

In those Asian countries rhino horn has a street value higher than gold or cocaine.

The trade is driven by the misguided belief that horn – the same material as toenails – can cure everything from cancer to kidney stones.

Brent Stirton told BBC News: “For me to win this, for the jury to acknowledge this kind of picture – it’s illustrative that we are living in a different time now, that this is a real issue. The sixth age of extinction is a reality and rhinos are just one of many species that we are losing at a hugely accelerated rate and I am grateful that the jury would choose this image because it gives this issue another platform.”

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Daniel Nelson/WPY

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Daniël Nelson is named Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year for this gorilla scene

Lewis Blackwell, the chair of judges for WPY, said the rhino image had had a searing impact on his panel: “People may be disgusted, they may be horrified – but it draws you in and you want to know more, you want to know the story behind it. And you can’t escape it; it confronts you with what’s going on in the world.”

The rather more peaceful image of a young western lowland gorilla feeding on breadfruit is the subject of the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year winning entry.

This was taken by Daniël Nelson from the Netherlands, who entered the picture in the 15-17-years-old category.

The gorilla is about nine years old and is called Caco by the trackers who took the young Dutchman to see the ape in Odzala National Park in the Republic of Congo.

Western lowland gorillas are critically endangered. Their numbers are being denuded by illegal hunting for bushmeat, disease (notably the Ebola virus), and habitat loss (to mines and oil‑palm plantations).

Daniël, who is now 18, said he first became aware of WPY when he was six. “It inspired me immediately, and since then my passions in life have revolved around wildlife, photography and conservation.”

Some of the other WPY category winners

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Peter Delaney/WPY

This image is called Contemplation, taken by Peter Delaney (Ireland/South Africa). It wins the Animal Portraits category. It shows a resting chimpanzee on the forest floor in Uganda’s Kibale National Park. Peter is from County Wicklow but WPY inspired him to move to Africa to pursue his photography career.

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Justin Gilligan/WPY

Crab surprise is the title of this picture from Justin Gilligan (Australia). It claimed the Invertebrates category. It shows an octopus choosing a meal in a field of giant spider crabs in Mercury Passage off the east coast of Tasmania.

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Tony Wu/WPY

Tony Wu (US) calls this The giant gathering. It is the Behaviour: Mammals winner. Tony is a specialist in photographing sperm whales. This huge gathering was captured off Sri Lanka’s northeast coast. Very rarely have such scenes been witnessed by cameras.

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Laurent Ballesta/WPY

This unusual photo is titled The ice monster. Laurent Ballesta (France) captured the scene in waters off East Antarctica, close to the French Dumont d’Urville scientific base. It shows the underside of an iceberg. It’s actually a mosaic of many images stitched together. It won the Earth’s Environments category.

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Feelsion

Palm-oil survivors is the work of Bertie Gekoski (UK/USA) – the winner of the Wildlife Photojournalist: Single image award. It is taken in eastern Sabah, on the island of Borneo. Three generations of Bornean elephants are seen moving across an oil-palm plantation being cleared for replanting. The palm oil industry has reduced and fragmented the animals’ habitat. When the animals stray into plantations they often get shot or poisoned, says Bertie.

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Ekaterina Bee/WPY

The grip of the gulls, taken by Ekaterina Bee from Italy. Ekaterina is the winner in the 10 years and under category. She got these herring gulls to play for her camera by throwing some bread for them. Ekaterina is just five-and-a-half years old.

WPY is one of the most prestigious competitions of its type in world photography.

Started in 1964 by what has since become BBC Wildlife Magazine, it has grown in scale and this year accepted 48,000 entries from 92 countries. The current competition is organised by London’s Natural History Museum.

An exhibition of the best images opens at the South Kensington institution on Friday. Next year’s competition starts taking entries from Monday.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-41656188

Wim Wenders’ Polaroids

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Wim Wenders

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Wim Wenders chose himself as a subject for some of his photos

Wim Wenders became a major film-maker when, in the 1970s, German cinema became cool around the world. His hits included The American Friend and Paris, Texas. But Wenders was privately experimenting with one of the most straightforward of visual technologies – the Polaroid stills camera. Thousands of those shots were thrown away – but now a selection of surviving images has gone on display in London.

Wenders says when he started taking Polaroid pictures in the mid-1960s it had nothing to do with art.

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Getty

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Wim Wenders says taking snaps was useful to his film-making and it was fun

“It was just part of my life. I would photograph things to do with movies I was making, or when I travelled. It was useful and fun – which I think is what Polaroids were for most people.”

Instant photography – doing away with a separate and lengthy process of developing film outside the camera – arrived commercially in 1948. It was the creation of Polaroid’s founder Edwin Land. In the early years the images were black and white.

The big step forward was the arrival of the Polaroid sx-70 camera in the early 1970s.

“It was science fiction and nobody had seen anything like it. You pointed the camera and took the picture and then it came out – an empty, blank bit of white paper.

“And before your eyes it slowly turned into the image you had shot a few moments before. It was exhilarating in its colours and brightness.

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Wim Wenders

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New York is given the Wim Wenders treatment

“You have to remember that at this time people didn’t have even VHS tape – we were in a simpler, analogue world. So to be able to create and record a visual image almost immediately seemed extraordinary.”

Now some 200 of the images are on display in London, under the title Instant Stories. Some of them show well-known people the director worked with such as the actor Dennis Hopper. Others are landscapes or pictures of odd corners in places Wenders visited such as New York or Sydney.

There are also close-up images of a TV set showing the 1956 film The Girl Can’t Help It, with appearances from Eddie Cochrane and Gene Vincent.

“It’s still my favourite rock and roll movie. And suddenly with a Polaroid you could photograph something you enjoyed and you had it in front of you to hold, almost at once. At the time it was extraordinary.

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Wim Wenders

“The other great thing is that if friends were in the image you could give it to them – and that’s what happened to many of the pictures I took.

“I’d had traditional cameras since I was six or so and I enjoyed using them. But there was a whole new spontaneity with the Polaroid which I think some people are now starting to rediscover the way they’ve rediscovered music on vinyl.

“Everyone says, ‘oh the kids aren’t interested in physical objects any more: they don’t want a book or a newspaper or a CD.’

“But the kids will regret it when they’re older: if you’re 25 you have to realise that the phone which seems so great now will one day be yesterday’s technology and lots of the digital images we all have will be hard or even impossible to look at.”

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Wim Wenders

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Dennis Hopper invented the selfie in the Wenders movie The American Friend, says the director

But doesn’t a modern smartphone produce images far more sophisticated than any Polaroid camera did 40 years ago? Wenders says the basic character of the technology was part of the appeal.

“I think people who look at the images will find a sort of beauty here. The colours the process produced are great, though the monochrome images are attractive too.”

The director points out a particular black and white picture. “It’s the Hoboken Terminal in New York and I was shooting a film 30 years ago there called Lightning Over Water. These places are mainly gone.”

For a long time the pictures just went up on Wenders’ refrigerator and then were stored away in cigar boxes.

“But they remain unique: they only existed once and there’s no negative and you can’t duplicate it. Forty years later they seem quite precious.”

Wenders remembers that at the time a new Polaroid model or a big technical development was the equivalent of an Apple launch today.

“So when the sx-70 came out we were delighted to get hold of it early to use in the film Alice in the Cities (1974).”

The new show in London plays on a loop the scene from The American Friend in which, says Wenders, “Dennis Hopper invents the selfie with a Polaroid camera.”

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Wim Wenders

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There was something “sacred” about the instantaneity of the Polaroid, says Wenders

There was also a use behind the camera. “So at this time there’s no video playout and you only see your rushes three days later. The Polaroid camera can be a real help setting up a shot.”

But in the 1980s Wenders abandoned Polaroids entirely. “I was starting to take stills photography more seriously and I started to use large-size cameras”.

But he retained one of his old Polaroid cameras and only recently gave it to Patti Smith to replace one she was having problems with.

Wenders thinks digital photography is now so problem-free and so cheap that a lot of the creativity has gone.

“It’s so easy for a professional photographer to take hundreds or even thousands of pictures of a particular face or of a scene and of course a few of them will be good and the rest are wiped. It can be an impersonal, industrial process.

“The Polaroid was instant but it was still connected to the original idea of photography. There was always something sacred about the act of stealing an image from the world.”

Instant Stories: Wim Wenders’ Polaroids is at the Photographers’ Gallery in London until 11 February 2018.

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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-41686678