2010 / 2011: A Year of great Photojournalism at Boston.com

To commemorate the year I was born, my parents bought the “Das war 1983” photography book by “Stern”, a big German weekly magazine famous for its photo spreads.

When my siblings came in 1985, 1991 and 1992, three more photography books were added to our living-room shelf – and I remember browsing these books lots of times.

I didn’t like them very much, though… mostly because they seemed to be obsessed with sad, ironic twists.

There were before-and-after pictures of destroyed woodlands.

A wedding-party from ‘Dynasty’ with the whole cast lying around in bloody cocktail dresses after a terrorist attack right inside the church.

And lots of scary third-world dictators and militia – some of them alive, handling machine guns, some of them killed, their brains shot out.

‘Stern’ seemed to be obsessed with sudden, ironic swifts of fate… hubris… and the idea that every moment of grace, triumph and ambition could end in disaster.

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Since 2008, Boston.com, website of The Boston Globe, has been collecting beautiful high-resolution photographs for specific international news stories and events: It’s the old “Stern” concept, but with 25 to 40 pictures devoted to any single topic, and with less of a mean streak.

More thoughtful, arty and cerebral than grainy newscasts, these photo essays tremendously helped my understanding of lots of current events in the last couple of years: It’s a more complete and more complex world than the one presented by the 80ies “Stern” books… and it’s the best site for photojournalism that I know.

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From 2010 and 2011, here are my three favourite “The Big Picture” single photos:

1) A young boy saying goodbye to his uncle, one year after the Haiti earthquake.

2) An archive picture of the families of the Challenger astronauts, reacting to news that the space shuttle is in trouble.

3) And a dog watching over its owner after the landslides in Brazil in January of 2011.

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Here are my 9 favourite “x years later” galleries:

Russia in Color100 years ago (August 2010)

Pearl Harbor69 years later. (December 2010)

Remembering D-Day66 years ago. (June 2010)

Challenger Disaster: Remembered25 years ago (January 2011)

Chernobyl Disaster25 years later (April 2011)

Ratko Mladic captured16 years after the Srebenica massacre. (June 2011)

Remembering KatrinaNew Orleans, 5 years ago (August 2010)

Haiti Earthquake1 year later (January 2011)

Gulf Oil Spill1 year later (April 2011)

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and here are 8 current-day news stories, beautifully told in pictures:

Poverty within white South Africa: Photos (July 2010)

Oktoberfest 2010: Photos (September 2010)

Scenes from China: Photos (September 2010)

“Diving in”: Photos of Divers around the World (September 2010)

Human Landscapes in South-West Florida: Overhead Photos (September 2010)

Christmas 2010: International Photos (December 2010)

Japan’s Crisis: 1 month later (April 2011) [the first picture is espec. haunting.]

Pakistan, May 2nd, 2011: Osama Bin Laden Killed (May 2011)

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