Panos Licenses Photos Shot Inside the Chile Mine (Update)

Panos Pictures, the UK-based photo agency, has posted images that miner Edison Pena took while he was trapped underground in the San Jose mine in Chile for  69 days. His photos show the refuge area where he and the other miners slept on cots and bed rolls, and the pile of fallen stone that cut off their escape. Pena also took several self portraits as he  exercised in the mine’s tunnels by jogging, lifting heavy bars and trying to pull machinery as he ran.  The story can be seen on the Panos.co.uk web site.

In text accompanying the photos, Panos states that the agency is acting as Pena’s agent.  No explanation is given of whether the sale of the photos breaks the agreement the miners made to share all proceeds from deals with the media. The text says that photographer Adam Patterson who, with a writer, had been working on a story about Pena’s girlfriend, lowered a camera to Pena in the mine.  The text doesn’t explain how he lit his shots in the dark tunnels.

Panos has packaged Pena’s images with photos that Patterson took  of Pena’s girlfriend and her home during the weeks she was awaiting his rescue.

( * Update: Oct. 28:  David Arnott of Panos Pictures got in touch with PDN with  information about the photos.)

Arnott tells PDN that Panos has made “a number of exclusive deals with news magazines across Europe, including Paris Match and Stern.”  The first publication rights in the US are still being negotiated, and a number of potential clients are involved, he says.

As to the agreement made between the miners, Arnott said it’s up to Pena what he does with the money earned from image licensing. “All I can say is that we won’t be getting involved in that decision.”

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3 Responses to “Panos Licenses Photos Shot Inside the Chile Mine (Update)”

  1. Pete Says:

    Well, there is this:

    “Writer Dan McDougall and photographer Adam Patterson spent weeks with Edison’s family before he was rescued and began corresponding with Edison by letter…so they sent him a pair of Nike running shoes and a camera through the narrow tube connecting the miners to the surface.”

    Though I would love to know more about these images…

  2. Panos Licenses Photos Shot Inside the Chile Mine « 3 Penguins Photography Says:

    [...] Panos Pictures, the UK-based photo agency, has posted images that miner Edison Pena took while he was trapped underground in the San Jose mine in Chile for  69 days. His photos show the refuge area where he and the other miners slept on cots and bed rolls, and the pile of fallen stone that cut off their escape. Pena also took several self portraits as he  exercised in the mine’s tunnels by jogging, lifting heavy bars and trying to pull machinery as he ran.  The story can be seen on the Panos.co.uk web site. Photo District News [...]

  3. To Hell & Back - Chile Miner Photos Says:

    [...] To Hell and Back – Adam Patterson Source: Panos Pictures Edison Pena has been to hell and back and he has the photographs to prove it. These world exclusive pictures taken inside the San Jose mine give us a unique glimpse of the horrific conditions Los 33 had to endure. Edison Peña has been to hell and back and he has the photographs to prove it. Edison, an Elvis fan and fanatical runner, was one of 33 miners trapped 700 metres underground at the San Jose mine in Chile. He ran down pitch-black tunnels on every one of his 69 days of incarceration to beat what he saw as a malevolent mountain trying to crush his spirit. Writer Dan McDougall and photographer Adam Patterson spent weeks with Edison’s family before he was rescued and began corresponding with Edison by letter. He had been jogging in his heavy leather mining boots, so they sent him a pair of Nike running shoes and a camera through the narrow tube connecting the miners to the surface. The pictures Edison took inside the mine give us a unique glimpse of the horrific conditions the miners had to endure. ‘I ran because I had fury in my chest,’ Peña said. ‘I ran with a wind-up battery torch on my head, but it kept cutting out and I would be in darkness. That was the worst time.’ Peña’s obsession with ‘beating the mountain’ began to worry officials and relatives on the surface. Angelica Alvarez, his girlfriend, became concerned for his mental health when he started pulling heavy machinery behind him as he ran. The miner said he believed the mountain was ‘holding us prisoner’ and that his only hope of survival was to make himself stronger. ‘In the early days the mountain was telling us, “You will die and die slowly and there’s nothing you can do”,’ he said. ‘Do you know what it is like to cry with terrible hunger? Do you understand the pain?’ Finally, on October 13th, the rescue operation was complete. Edison was the 12th miner to be freed and, thanks to his exercise regime, the first to return home from hospital. Since being freed he has been invited to run in the New York City marathon, which takes place on November 7th. View all photos via PDN [...]