News Foto of the Year Nominee

This photo was on the front page of the New York Times today, and for our money is an immediate finalist for news photo of the year. Actually, a smaller, black and white version was in today’s Boston Globe, but we glanced at it and read on – it is a good example of how size, color and placement can completely change the impact of a photo.

As to the photo itself, pictures like this are worth a million words, but if we may waste a few – the swirling black smoke darkening the top of the frame, the swirling wind seen in the sky and reflected in the swirl of the man’s fuchia robe and the wind strewn detrius of corrugated steel, the eerie echo of the man’s elbow in the crock of the desolated tree, and the pale, shiny, plastic washbasin at the center of the shot, now used to rinse off soot, but minutes before certainly one of the containers being used to haul away the illicit gas. Fantastic shot, taken by Akintunde Akinleye.

The story behind the story, from the New York Times:

Tapping is common in Nigeria, a major oil exporter, where many of the 130 million people live in woeful poverty amid widespread graft that makes a handful of people wealthy. One pilfered can of gasoline sold on the black market can earn the equivalent of two weeks of wages for a poor Nigerian.

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4 Responses to News Foto of the Year Nominee

  1. E.S. "Rip" Van Winkle says:

    You are bang on. I have been surfing for hours now trying to find a way to get a big 8×10 glossy copy of this photo. It is extraordinary. It evokes something out of an old Art Appreciation class, but I can’t put my finger on it.

    FYI, in my web surfing travels, I have discovered some of this photographer’s–Akintunde Akinleye–other work. He never shoots a blank.

    Look forward to hear your thoughts.

  2. weird pictures says:

    Akintunde Akinleye took that photo under assignment for Reuters. Reuters’ site will have the high quality digital.

    good luck

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  4. Awesome picture! really really like this photo

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