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Another year in pictures
December 15, 2009 4:17 AM   Subscribe

The year 2009 in photographs (boston.com, parts 2 & 3 coming tomorrow and the next day) prev
posted by allkindsoftime (42 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Last year when I posted the 2008 link, we got some cool interaction in the post from MeFi's own kokogiak.
posted by allkindsoftime at 4:18 AM on December 15, 2009


The Big Picture might be the best blog on the Web. And it's a "traditional" media outfit.
posted by CRM114 at 4:51 AM on December 15, 2009


Note to self: if/when in Afghanistan, wear camo pyjamas.
posted by jimmythefish at 4:53 AM on December 15, 2009


#39 brought tears to my eyes. I don't think I would expose a child that young to an open casket.
posted by diogenes at 4:54 AM on December 15, 2009


It takes serious photojournalism balls to continue snapping shots even as you are carried on a stretcher after your foot is blasted off by a bomb (No. 20.)
posted by Rhomboid at 4:55 AM on December 15, 2009


#32 (soldiers marching) is so perfectly executed that I'd like to shake the photographer's hand. How is it possible that the soldiers on the end of the rows are shaded? Post processing?
posted by diogenes at 4:57 AM on December 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


It takes serious photojournalism balls to continue snapping shots even as you are carried on a stretcher after your foot is blasted off by a bomb (No. 20.)

I'm wondering if he had been in the trauma center for a while, or if that's like the same day. Either way, he should get a plaque or something that says "Photojournalist." He's the real deal.
posted by diogenes at 5:00 AM on December 15, 2009


How is it possible that the soldiers on the end of the rows are shaded? Post processing?

Looks almost certainly like a dodge (lightening) on the other soldiers and a burn (darkening) on the front one. Pretty dodgy (no pun intended) as far as journalistic integrity goes, but there's a little art to a shot like that as well. That we're noticing it means he went too far.
posted by jimmythefish at 5:04 AM on December 15, 2009


That we're noticing it means he went too far.

Agreed. Now I can't look at it without thinking that it looks unrealistic.
posted by diogenes at 5:17 AM on December 15, 2009


I don't think I would expose a child that young to an open casket.

I just want to clarify that this isn't a criticism of the mother's decision. It's just me thinking about how I would handle that situation. I've got a daughter about that age, and she would be repeating "Daddy back, Daddy back" over and over. I couldn't take that.
posted by diogenes at 5:20 AM on December 15, 2009


Love the prefocused baseball. Great use of bokeh.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:23 AM on December 15, 2009


How is it possible that the soldiers on the end of the rows are shaded? Post processing?

It looks like the light is hitting them to the front and left, which would mean the fronts would be white and the sides would be in shadow. That's consistent with the photos.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:24 AM on December 15, 2009


It looks like the light is hitting them to the front and left, which would mean the fronts would be white and the sides would be in shadow. That's consistent with the photos.

I don't think so. Look at the bottom left of the shot, at the legs. Or, even more so the gloves of teh first vs. the second. The shadow profile is exactly the same for all the soldiers, but the front one is noticeably darker. For that effect to be possible without post-processing, you'd need to have an overhead object shading the first soldiers. Furthermore, the legs of the soldiers further to the left are almost washed-out - not something you normally see on the shady side of a white leg on a bright day.

I'm not saying doing this is as terrible as killing babies, but photographers have been admonished in the past for heavy burning. This one doesn't obscure anything, really, so I don't see the harm - it's just maybe a bit overdone.
posted by jimmythefish at 5:37 AM on December 15, 2009


These are really amazing - more amazing than your typical amazing internet pictures.

I was going to comment that they overdid the orange filter on the one of Sydney, then I read the caption, and I realized it's true color - the dust storm actually made it that bizarre eerie shade of orange.

Fantastic collection.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 5:43 AM on December 15, 2009


The shadow profile is exactly the same for all the soldiers, but the front one is noticeably darker.

Yup.
posted by diogenes at 5:43 AM on December 15, 2009


the dust storm actually made it that bizarre eerie shade of orange.

Some more cool shots of that on Flickr.
posted by jimmythefish at 5:49 AM on December 15, 2009


Yay, Big Picture! It's one of the few "best of..." collections on the internet that's really good.
posted by rtha at 5:52 AM on December 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Surprised this (pomf) wasn't in there.

Best photo I have seen in ages.

Innovative, engaging and awe inspiring.
posted by Don't_deceive_with_belief at 6:04 AM on December 15, 2009


Thanks all.

I really think the soldiers (#32) lighting is true, I have no reason to doubt it - my thought is that it's the reflected light from the crisp clean uniforms - every soldier has a reflector to his right, except the ones on the end.

@Don't_deceive_with_belief - I'd have loved to put that one in - but don't have easy access or rights :)
posted by kokogiak at 7:12 AM on December 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Getting ready to post #2 This year I gathered nearly 450 'best of' photos, and am still in the 'edit down to 120' phase. Tough but fun.
posted by kokogiak at 7:13 AM on December 15, 2009


I really want to see Parts 2 and 3 now.

And Big Picture should print a yearly roundup in book form. When this internet fad passes, it would be nice to show these to our grandkids.
posted by oinopaponton at 7:21 AM on December 15, 2009


@oinopaponton - I'd dearly love to compile a print version, but wrangling the rights clearances for so many photos from multiple agencies is a much harder task than you'd expect. Still working on it though.
posted by kokogiak at 7:25 AM on December 15, 2009


my thought is that it's the reflected light from the crisp clean uniforms

Maybe, but look at the heel of the right shoes of the last two soldiers in the third row. It's hard to believe that the heel of the second guy is picking up that much reflected light. Their faces don't seem to jive with the reflection theory either. The second guy's face doesn't look lit from below like a reflection would do.

It doesn't matter though :) This is a wonderful collection and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Looking forward to #2.
posted by diogenes at 7:25 AM on December 15, 2009


Love the prefocused baseball. Great use of bokeh.

I don't know what bokeh is but I liked this.
posted by jefficator at 7:30 AM on December 15, 2009


Bokeh is the area of soft focus. Great use of jargon.
posted by Saddo at 7:33 AM on December 15, 2009


I wasn't going to say anything, but... technically, that isn't bokeh.

*ducks*
posted by diogenes at 7:50 AM on December 15, 2009


Part 2 is already posted...
posted by HumanComplex at 8:24 AM on December 15, 2009


Don't forget that you can navigate with the j & k keys.
posted by djb at 8:27 AM on December 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh, gored matadors, how you make my day.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:57 AM on December 15, 2009


The pictures from the Big Picture are wonderful, I just wish they were BIGGAR so I could use them for desktop backgrounds without having to stretch them.
posted by cimbrog at 10:23 AM on December 15, 2009


Well that looks dangerous.
posted by delmoi at 10:58 AM on December 15, 2009


The world is a scary place.
posted by swift at 11:53 AM on December 15, 2009


#27. Best of the bunch for me. What are those? Rockets of some sort from helicopters?
posted by well_balanced at 12:42 PM on December 15, 2009


Regarding the soldiers:

The light situation is absolutely consistent with reality. You'd be surprised at how well a solid white can reflect light. I keep white posterboard in the trunk of my car for shoots. There's nothing about this photo that looks off to me. At all.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: it's pretty disheartening that a handful of hacks have damaged the public's trust to the degree that when they see a picture that they can't immediately parse, they call foul (photoshop).

Regarding the baseball shot:

Chris Detrick did it better 4 years ago- when it was a fresh idea. I'm not really sure how that picture can be considered representative of the year in any way.
posted by TheGoldenOne at 1:40 PM on December 15, 2009


I've done a fair bit of photography myself, too. There are other shots of his on the web where it looks like he's done the same thing to bring out people in the foreground. Another example:

China's 60th.

Again, looks selective. Might not be, but I think it is.
posted by jimmythefish at 2:39 PM on December 15, 2009


I was going to comment that they overdid the orange filter on the one of Sydney, then I read the caption

Well, they fucked up the caption. Observatory hill is no more "near" Sydney than the Empire State Building is near NYC.

Here, for example, is a shot of the Harbour Bridge from Observatory Hill.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:45 PM on December 15, 2009


Bokeh is the area of soft focus.

As distinct from bukkake, which is an area of hard focus.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:48 PM on December 15, 2009


part 1, #13 --- what's happening to that man on the left falling backwards while making a Dizzy Gillespie face?
posted by d. z. wang at 3:51 PM on December 15, 2009


Wow - awesome (literally)

part 1, #13 --- what's happening to that man on the left falling backwards while making a Dizzy Gillespie face?

I wondered that too - projectile vomit or a sneeze?
posted by Will_Tuna at 4:35 AM on December 16, 2009


That is an incredible collection of photos. Awe-inspiring, to be sure. Can't wait to see the rest.
#39 brought tears to my eyes immediately, too, diogenes. Heart breaking.
Morenatti definitely gets the hardcore photo-J award.
posted by phogirl at 7:23 AM on December 16, 2009


forgot to add I thought the soldiers marching looks fine to me. Makes sense that the guys on the ends are darker b/c they don't have white fabric next to them reflecting light. If it was dodged/burned, it's nothing that makes it any less photojournalism.
posted by phogirl at 9:21 AM on December 16, 2009


Vladimir Putin's man-boobs (part 2, #36) are officially the most frightening thing I've seen this year.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:11 AM on December 16, 2009


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