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Tag Archives: The Guardian

Abandoned places: the worlds we’ve left behind – in pictures

There is a great interest in what is known as Urbex Photography. This is the discovery  and photography of abandoned buildings, usually in an urban setting, we have featured these images often as they are so popular. New photographers are entering this arena and coming with their own take on the meme.

Kieron Connolly’s new book of photographs of more than 100 once-busy and often elegant buildings gives an eerie idea of how the world might look if humankind disappeared. Here are 10 evocative, stylised images of nature reclaiming the manmade world as seen in The Guardian

Rubjerg Knude lighthouse, northern Jutland, Denmark This lighthouse was built on the top of a cliff in 1900 and ceased operating in 1968. With coastal erosion and continually shifting sands a major problem in the area, it is anticipated that by 2023 the cliff will have been eroded so far that the lighthouse will fall into the sea. Photograph: Elisabeth Coelfen/Dreamstime

Rubjerg Knude lighthouse, northern Jutland, Denmark
This lighthouse was built on the top of a cliff in 1900 and ceased operating in 1968. With coastal erosion and continually shifting sands a major problem in the area, it is anticipated that by 2023 the cliff will have been eroded so far that the lighthouse will fall into the sea.
Photograph: Elisabeth Coelfen/Dreamstime

Rotunda, Wola Gasworks, Warsaw Opened in 1888, destroyed during the second world war, then rebuilt, the Wola gasworks finally closed in the early 1970s when the city switched to using natural gas. Today, part of the gasworks is a museum, but other areas, such as the rotunda, remain dilapidated. Photograph: Fotorince/Dreamstime.com

Rotunda, Wola Gasworks, Warsaw
Opened in 1888, destroyed during the second world war, then rebuilt, the Wola gasworks finally closed in the early 1970s when the city switched to using natural gas. Today, part of the gasworks is a museum, but other areas, such as the rotunda, remain dilapidated.
Photograph: Fotorince/Dreamstime.com

City Hall station, New York City Designed as a showpiece for New York’s new subway system, City Hall station (towards the southern tip of Manhattan) opened in 1904. It’s an elegant structure in Romanesque revival style with skylights, coloured glass and brass chandeliers, but because of its tightly curved platform longer subway carriages were unable to stop there. It was always a quiet station, and passenger services were discontinued in 1945. Photograph: Michael Freeman/Alamy

City Hall station, New York City
Designed as a showpiece for New York’s new subway system, City Hall station (towards the southern tip of Manhattan) opened in 1904. It’s an elegant structure in Romanesque revival style with skylights, coloured glass and brass chandeliers, but because of its tightly curved platform longer subway carriages were unable to stop there. It was always a quiet station, and passenger services were discontinued in 1945.
Photograph: Michael Freeman/Alamy

Uyuni Train Cemetery, Bolivia In the late 19th century, the Andean town of Uyuni served as a distribution hub for trains carrying minerals to Pacific ports. After the mining industry collapsed in the 1940s, the railways fell into ruin, leaving the trains to the harsh winds blowing off the Uyuni flats, the world’s largest salt plain. Today, though, the rusting, graffiti-covered hulks have become one of Uyuni’s attractions. Photograph: Javarman/Dreamstime

Uyuni Train Cemetery, Bolivia
In the late 19th century, the Andean town of Uyuni served as a distribution hub for trains carrying minerals to Pacific ports. After the mining industry collapsed in the 1940s, the railways fell into ruin, leaving the trains to the harsh winds blowing off the Uyuni flats, the world’s largest salt plain. Today, though, the rusting, graffiti-covered hulks have become one of Uyuni’s attractions.
Photograph: Javarman/Dreamstime

see more here

More Urbex here

 

Celebrating ​James Barnor – the first photographer to shoot Ghana in colour ​

As seen in The Guardian

James Barnor helped put black women on the covers of British magazines and documented fashion in a country marching towards independence. Now, aged 87, he has taken to Instagram and a London gallery is exhibiting his work

His early works recorded Ghana as it headed towards independence and came to terms with modernity through new inventions, music and fashion. In the 1960s, Barnor moved to the UK to continue his work with South African magazine Drum, for which he shot numerous cover images throughout the decade, as well as developing his own brand of street reportage and documentary photography

His early works recorded Ghana as it headed towards independence and came to terms with modernity through new inventions, music and fashion. In the 1960s, Barnor moved to the UK to continue his work with South African magazine Drum, for which he shot numerous cover images throughout the decade, as well as developing his own brand of street reportage and documentary photography

Barnor returned to Ghana in the early 1970s to open the first colour processing studio in the country. During this period, he was the first person to shoot outdoors and process images in full colour

Barnor returned to Ghana in the early 1970s to open the first colour processing studio in the country. During this period, he was the first person to shoot outdoors and process images in full colour

Embracing contemporary photography, Barnor recently set up an Instagram account aged 87. A collaborative exhibition between Barnor and the award-winning Italian photographer Daniele Tamagni is on show at the October Gallery in central London until 30 September

Embracing contemporary photography, Barnor recently set up an Instagram account aged 87. A collaborative exhibition between Barnor and the award-winning Italian photographer Daniele Tamagni is on show at the October Gallery in central London until 30 September

see more here

 

Shortlist announced for Taylor Wessing portrait prize

The Taylor Wessing portrait prize is one of this country’s premier photography awards. It is always controversial with those outside the art firmament. If your idea of a portrait is something that flatters the subject then the annual winners of this award will disappoint you. Long ago I gave up trying to understand or justify the shortlist and winners and so now like just to alert you to what is coming in Taylor Wessing world.

Three photographers have been shortlisted for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. The prize winners and the winner of the John Kobal New Work Award will be announced at an award ceremony at the National Portrait Gallery on Tuesday 15 November 2016.

The Guardian is one of the outlets that regularly features TW and so this article and images come from there

Sternbach’s #1 Thea+Maxwell was created using early photographic processes. Photograph: Joni Sternbach/PA

Sternbach’s #1 Thea+Maxwell was created using early photographic processes.
Photograph: Joni Sternbach/PA

Tilly and Itty, Beitar Illit, one of two images shortlisted from Kovi Konowiecki’s series Bei Mir Bistu Shein. Photograph: Kovi Konowiecki/PA

Tilly and Itty, Beitar Illit, one of two images shortlisted from Kovi Konowiecki’s series Bei Mir Bistu Shein.
Photograph: Kovi Konowiecki/PA

Matsenen 2016 by Claudio Rasano, from a series focused on uniforms. Photograph: Claudio Rasano/PA

Matsenen 2016 by Claudio Rasano, from a series focused on uniforms.
Photograph: Claudio Rasano/PA

The shortlisted photographs were chosen from 4,303 submissions entered by 1,842 photographers from 61 countries.

The annual prize, which began in 1993, is considered one of the most prestigious photography awards in the world and is judged anonymously. It is open to professional and amateur photographers.

After the winner of the £15,000 prize is announced on 15 November, the shortlisted works will form part of a wider prize show at the National Portrait Gallery between 17 November and 26 February.

Nicholas Cullinan, the director of the gallery, said: “In an exhibition remarkable for its range of subjects and styles, the quality of this year’s shortlisted works reflects the outstanding level at which photographers across the world are working today.”

You can read the Guardian article herehere is a link to the NPG and exhibition details

here are some links to previous Taylor Wessing Awards

https://oxfordschoolofphotography.wordpress.com/2015/11/11/taylor-wessing-photographic-portrait-prize-2015-david-stewart-wins/

https://oxfordschoolofphotography.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/taylor-wessing-photographic-portrait-prize-2014/

https://oxfordschoolofphotography.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/taylor-wessing-photographic-portrait-prize-2013-shortlist-announced/

 

Weather Photographer of the Year 2016 – in pictures

The Guardian has a good tradition of showing photography, it comes in many guises and not all of it is good in the traditional terms, these pictures of weather are that, pictures of weather. I know the British are endlessly interested in the weather but it is just rain and clouds and colours, anyway here are some pictures and links

Clash of the storms, New Mexico, US: Camelia Czuchnicki A clash between two storm cells in New Mexico, US, each with its own rotating updraft. The curved striations of the oldest noticeable against the new bubbling convection of the newer. It was a fantastic sight to watch and it’s the rarity of such scenes that keep drawing me back to the US Plains each year.

Clash of the storms, New Mexico, US: Camelia Czuchnicki
A clash between two storm cells in New Mexico, US, each with its own rotating updraft. The curved striations of the oldest noticeable against the new bubbling convection of the newer. It was a fantastic sight to watch and it’s the rarity of such scenes that keep drawing me back to the US Plains each year.

Polar stratospheric clouds: Alan Tough In late January, early February 2016, unusually cold Arctic stratospheric air reached down as far as the UK. This triggered sightings of rare and beautiful Polar Stratospheric (Nacreous) Clouds (PSCs). I had to go down to Alloa for a course and took an old compact digital camera with me, just in case any displays were visible from that part of the country. PSCs have a sinister side, though: chemical reactions on the surface of the clouds destroy ozone.

Polar stratospheric clouds: Alan Tough
In late January, early February 2016, unusually cold Arctic stratospheric air reached down as far as the UK. This triggered sightings of rare and beautiful Polar Stratospheric (Nacreous) Clouds (PSCs). I had to go down to Alloa for a course and took an old compact digital camera with me, just in case any displays were visible from that part of the country. PSCs have a sinister side, though: chemical reactions on the surface of the clouds destroy ozone.

Overall winner: Tornado on show, Colorado: Tim Moxon A classic severe weather setup in the high plains of Colorado near the town of Wray yielded one of the most photogenic tornadoes of the year. We were just ahead of the storm as the tornado started and tracked with it as it grew from a fine funnel to a sizeable cone tornado. At this moment, the twister was at its most photogenic. We were among a number of people, including those you see in the shot, nervously enjoying the epic display nature put on for us.

Overall winner: Tornado on show, Colorado: Tim Moxon
A classic severe weather setup in the high plains of Colorado near the town of Wray yielded one of the most photogenic tornadoes of the year. We were just ahead of the storm as the tornado started and tracked with it as it grew from a fine funnel to a sizeable cone tornado. At this moment, the twister was at its most photogenic. We were among a number of people, including those you see in the shot, nervously enjoying the epic display nature put on for us.

Hail shower over Jodrell Bank: Mark Boardman This picture was taken in April from the edge of Macclesfield Forest looking west across Macclesfield towards the radio telescope at Jodrell Bank and beyond. The weather was cold and a north-westerly wind blew this shower of hail to engulf the telescope. The setting sun gives a warm glow to the end of a cold day.

Hail shower over Jodrell Bank: Mark Boardman
This picture was taken in April from the edge of Macclesfield Forest looking west across Macclesfield towards the radio telescope at Jodrell Bank and beyond. The weather was cold and a north-westerly wind blew this shower of hail to engulf the telescope. The setting sun gives a warm glow to the end of a cold day.

see more here

Pictures of the week 2016-03-19

Just a few of the utterly remarkable images in the Guardian Pictures of the week

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I knew it was difficult – Animal magic: how to photograph wildlife

So you may have gathered if you are a regular here that I am not bothered about wild life photography. You know they are animals, get over it. But I also understand the pleasure so many people get from taking pictures of animals, I just don’t get it. As for owning animals, just that phrase makes me wonder, why would someone want to own another living being, anyway beyond all that I do admire great animal photography if only for the sheer doggedness of the perpetrators. So when I found this article in the Guardian by  I knew I was on to something, that is something most people would benefit from, how to photograph wildlife by Andrew Forsyth a Wildlife Photographer of the year 2014 finalist. Someone who knows what it takes.

“I want to see you crawling. Get down lower. Crawl!” I am crawling – my elbows hooking uselessly into the large, loose pebbles of Brighton beach, dragging my body another inch forward, while my hands and wrists wobble beneath the weight of a hefty Canon 5D MK III camera. It might look impressive if I wasn’t so embarrassed. Through the unsteady lens, my target bounces about: a flock of seagulls, squatting 10 metres away.

Along the shore people duck and dodge the gulls, which swoop with menacing confidence towards chips, children and ice-cream. Yet, I’m having the opposite problem – every time I get within striking distance of a bird, it soars off into the distance.

I am in Brighton with Andrew Forsyth for a crash course in wildlife photography. In 2014, Andrew was a finalist for the ultra-competitive Wildlife Photographer of the Year for the second time, with an atmospheric photo of Brighton’s starlings swarming above the sea.

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The first lesson I learn, when Andrew places his huge, heavy, long-lens camera in my hands, is that wildlife photography is tough. When he tells me to take a clean, well-composed portrait of a seagull I think “easy!” but it seems to require the same stealth and effort as photographing a lion in the Sahara. Once you’ve scrambled silently towards your subject, there’s a three-way struggle to focus, compose and shoot before it scarpers.

To improve my chances, he says, I need to know my subject. It took four months for Andrew to take his winning starlings photo, which was one of 25,000 shots. For the first few weeks, he stalked the prom and pier, watching where the birds roosted, how they flew, what time they woke up and went to bed.

“At first the photos were quite conventional, and after a few days of shooting I was sick and tired of it. But I pushed through, and that’s when something interesting happened. I became wildly experimental, trying out whacky things with aperture and shutter speed, more in hope than expectation, but my photographs were more original and exciting.”

For whatever reason, Andrew tells me, it is impossible to jump straight to this wild, creative phase – you always have to push through the slow, methodical bit first.

If you would like to read more of this and get further insights into wildlife photography go to The Guardian here Andrew Forsyth holds one-to-one sessions throughout the year. For details visitthewildlifephotographer.com/workshops

You might also like to see some truly spectacular wildlife photography by Marina Cano go here

Take a View landscape photographer of the year 2015

Another Landscape Photographer of The Year Award. This is the prestigious Take A View award this article in the Guardian shows 20 of the winning entries

The winners of this year’s Take a View landscape photographer of the year awards have been announced. Founded in 2006, the awards celebrate the British landscape

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ZSL animal photography prize 2015

ZSL ANIMAL PHOTOGRAPHY PRIZE – WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION AT ZSL LONDON ZOO

Friday, September 18 to 28 February 2016 

The tigers, snakes and penguins won’t be the only thing entrancing visitors this autumn at ZSL London Zoo, as the winning images from the 2015 ZSL Animal Photography Prize have been unveiled to the public.

Until 28 February 2016 visitors to ZSL London Zoo will be able to admire the stunning shots entered into the Zoological Society of London’s fourth annual photography competition, displayed in a striking exhibition.

Combining mesmerising imagery with the enthralling sights, and sounds of the creatures at the Zoo, the exhibition is on show within squawking distance of the flamboyant flamingos and picturesque pelicans.

The exhibition’s top wildlife photographs were chosen by a panel of judges including ZSL Honorary Conservation Fellow and television presenter Kate Humble, and renowned ornithologist Bill Oddie.

The ZSL Animal Photography Prize Exhibition is free with every standard admission ticket to ZSL London Zoo. With more than 17,000 incredible animals to see and a packed schedule of brilliant talks and demonstrations, ZSL London Zoo makes the perfect autumn day out.

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The Strongest Bond by Tom Way The Perfect Moment category  Adult runner up

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Timeless by Andy Skillen Judges’ Choice Size Matters category  Adult winner

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Sleeping Beauty by Tianha Williams Last Chance to See category  Runner up

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Bright Eyes by Carolyn Collins Weird and Wonderful category  Adult winner

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You can see more images on The Guardian website

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015

For a little while now I have written about the refugee crisis and the impact photography has had on the publics’ awareness, so serious and important stuff. However never wishing to be too intense I now have the chance to bring you news of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015. This is a very serious (sorry) portrait award and usually is won by a picture involving an animal, see last years winner and the winner from 2011 As I say it is a serious prize to win, the trouble is usually the majority of people, photographers and ordinary people alike just don’t get it. As with many areas of contemporary art the choices confuse those outside the world of contemporary art, like so many things you need to be in the club. Anyway now there is this years prize.  The Guardian article lists all the shortlist contenders, here is what they say about the images and the photographers

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Ivor Prickett’s photograph, Amira and her Children, taken at the Baharka refugee camp. Photograph: Ivor Prickett/PA

A photograph of a displaced Iraqi family who fled their village after the area fell under Isis control is on the shortlist for the 2015 Taylor Wessing prize, theNational Portrait Gallery has announced.

Ivor Prickett, a London-based documentary photographer, took the image, Amira and her Children, in northern Iraq in September 2014 while working on an assignment for the UN refugee agency.

Prickett met Amira and her family in their tent at the Baharka camp near Erbil. They had fled their village near Mosul after Isis took control of the area.

“I spent some time speaking with Amira about what her family had gone through,” said Prickett. “As they became more comfortable with me being there, they really started to express their closeness and became very tactile. It was a beautiful moment to witness in the midst of such a difficult situation.”

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Nyaueth  2015  © Peter Zelewski

Peter Zelewski is a London-based portrait and documentary photographer. Born in Detroit, USA, he moved to London in the late 80s and studied Graphic Design at North London Polytechnic. Through his fascination and love of the city, he was drawn to the streets of London to take photographs of its citizens. Zelewski now divides his time between graphic design, commercial photography and his personal street portraiture projects. Zelewski’s portrait Nyaueth was taken near Oxford Street as part of his series Beautiful Strangers. Zelewski explains: ‘The aim of Beautiful Strangers is to challenge the concept of traditional beauty with a series of spontaneous and powerful street portraits of everyday citizens who show character, uniqueness and a special inner quality, which I try to interpret in my photographs.’

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David Stewart’s portrait of his daughter and her friends. Photograph: David Stewart/PA

The fourth shortlisted work is Five Girls 2014, by David Stewart, a photographer born in Lancaster and based in London. The five girls of the title are his daughter and her friends, a group he first photographed seven years ago when they were about to start their GCSEs.

“I have always had a fascination with the way people interact, or in this case fail to interact, which inspired the photograph of this group of girls,” he said. “While the girls are physically very close and their style and clothing highlight their membership of the same peer group, there is an element of distance between them.”

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Anoush Abrar photo of a young boy, inspired by Caravaggio’s painting Sleeping Cupid. Photograph: Anoush Abrar/PA

Anoush Abrar, a photographer born in Iran who now lives and teaches in Lausanne, Switzerland, is shortlisted for Hector, a photograph of a young boy inspired by his fascination with Caravaggio, and particularly the artist’s 1608 painting Sleeping Cupid.

“Somehow I needed to make my own Sleeping Cupid,” he said. “I found my portrait of Hector so powerful and iconic that it inspired me to continue this project as a series called Cherubs.”

This is what TW say about themselves…The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015 is the leading international competition which celebrates and promotes the very best in contemporary portrait photography from around the world. The selected images, many of which will be on display for the first time, explore both traditional and contemporary approaches to the photographic portrait whilst capturing a range of characters, moods and locations.

With over 2,200 entries, this year’s Prize continues to uphold its reputation for a diversity of photographic styles submitted by a range of photographers, from gifted amateurs to photography professionals, all competing to win one of the four prestigious prizes including the £12,000 first prize.

All four photographs will be included in an exhibition of the best of this year’s entries. The winning photographer, to be announced on 10 November, will receive £4,000 and a commission. The four photographs were chosen from 4,929 submissions entered by 2,201 photographers from 70 countries.

Nicholas Cullinan, the director of the National Portrait Gallery, who chaired the judging panel, said: “The strength of the four shortlisted works reflects the outstanding level that photographers across the world are working at today.

“The exhibition will be especially exciting this year as we will be displaying a number of photographs that were submitted as a series of portraits, as well as new and unseen work by acclaimed photographer Pieter Hugo.”

The exhibition of the prize winners and other entrants is at The National Portrait Gallery, London from November 12 to February 21

There are also events going on in support of the award, here is one but you can find the full list here

Weekend Workshop: Classic Photographic Portraits

28 November – 29 November 2015, 11:00-17:00
Please check signage on the day for details
Tickets: £150 (£125 concessions and Gallery Supporters) Book online, or visit the Gallery in person.

Taking inspiration from the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015, hone your skills in this two day practical workshop.

We also have a Portrait Photography Course where you will learn how to take portraits of your family, friends but generally not small animals, nor will we inspire you with images from……

Here is a link to our post about the 2014 TW prize

and here, the 2013 TW prize   and the 2012….oh and the 2011 and finally our post about the 2010  We are thorough

…….and six other shots that shook the world

From The Guardian

While stories of people drowning at sea as they flee to Europe has been a staple of news reporting this summer, it is this heartbreaking picture that has shocked the country into action. Charities have seen donations soar, petitions have been signed and marches planned since it was published – while, in the face of mounting pressure, David Cameron has finally agreed to taking more Syrian refugees. But this is not the first time a photograph has changed the course of world events.

much of what follows is difficult to look at

Phan Thi Kim Phúc

Nick Ut's shot of Kim Phúc, 1972
If the horrors of war can be distilled into one image, it might be the 1972 picture of nine-year-old Kim Phúc, screaming as she flees the napalm explosion that has burnt the clothes from her body. Nick Ut’s black-and-white photograph swayed US public opinion against the war, and helped to bring it to an end within six months of publication. After taking the shot, Ut threw a raincoat over Phúc and drove her to hospital, saving her life.

Vulture stalking child

Kevin Carter's shot of a vulture watching a starving child, 1 March 1993 in Sudan
Kevin Carter’s 1993 photograph of a starving Sudanese child being stalked by a vulture caused mass uproar. The macabre picture highlighted the despair and severity of the famine, but criticism centred on Carter. He was vilified for not going to the child’s aid – despite the fact that journalists were told not to touch famine victims for fear of spreading disease. Carter won a Pulitzer prize for the image, but killed himself just months later.

Little Rock

Elizabeth Eckford in Little Rock
Elizabeth Eckford was 15 and painfully shy when she became one of nine black schoolchildren in Arkansas to be enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957 following a ruling that ended the segregation of schools in the US. On the first day of school, Eckford arrived to find the doors barred to her by soldiers of the National Guard, and a mob of classmates and parents screaming at her. The teenagers were eventually accompanied inside the school by the soldiers, but not before they had endured physical attacks and even death threats. This was the image that made sure desegregation went ahead.

Tank Man

Jeff Widener's shot of Tiananmen Square, 5 June 1989
No one knows what happened to the solitary man who stood before the tanks of Tiananmen Square, but his image, taken by Jeff Widener, broadcasted the brutal massacre by the Chinese army. Around a million protesters were said to have joined the call for economic and political reform in China in 1989, with student demonstrators occupying Beijing’s famous square. But on 3 June, the military opened fire on those who had gathered, rolling over others with their tanks. The government branded the demonstrators rioters and banned this image. But outside China, it has endured, ensuring that the courage of the unarmed protestors will not be forgotten.

Abu Ghraib

Abu Ghraib torture
Unlike other world-changing pictures, these are not beautifully composed, arresting photographs taken by professionals, but grainy spur-of-the-moment snaps. Capturing the degrading torture and humiliation of Iraqis by the American soldiers who took the pictures as “trophies”, their publication severely damaged the credibility of US troops. The abuse uncovered after they were published fuelled anti-US anger and undermined Washington’s claims to be bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East.

 

Migrant Mother

Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, 1933, by Dorothea Lange
In 1936, Florence Thompson was 32, a widow and worked as a farm labourer. Her husband had died of tuberculosis, and she was the sole provider for her seven children. When her car broke down, she ended up out of work with other labourers on a pea-picking farm, selling her tyres to buy food. Her children were killing birds to survive, and eating frozen vegetables dug from the nearby field. Photographer Dorothea Lange asked to take her picture to illustrate the plight of the pea-pickers. The picture became a symbol of the human suffering in the Great Depression, and the federal government sent 20,000lb of food to California migrant workers.
A paramilitary police officer carries the lifeless body of Aylan Kurdi after the boat carrying his family to the Greek island of Kos capsized near the Turkish resort of Bodrum on Wednesday 2 September.
Looking at this picture, it’s impossible not to imagine your own child – or any child you love … a paramilitary police officer carries Aylan Kurdi near the Turkish resort of Bodrum on Wednesday 2 September. Photograph: AP