April 4th, 2014

AP Photographer Anja Niedringhaus Killed in Afghanistan

Anja Niedringhaus in 2005. ©Associated Press/Peter Dejong

Anja Niedringhaus in 2005. ©Associated Press/Peter Dejong

Associated Press staff photographer Anja Niedringhaus was shot and  killed while covering the run-up to elections in Afghanistan, the Associated Press announced this morning. Regional correspondent Kathy Gannon was injured in the same attack and is undergoing treatment at a hospital, the wire service said.

“[I]t appears they were targeted and attacked,” AP president and CEO Gary Pruitt said a statement.

AP says Niedringhaus and Gannon were shot by an Afghan police officer while traveling with a convoy of election workers who were delivering ballots in the town of Khost, near the border with Pakistan. The convoy was protected by Afghan soldiers and police, according to AP. Gannon and Niedringhaus were in their own car with a driver and another unidentified freelance journalist who witnessed the attack.

“As they were sitting in the car waiting for the convoy to move, a unit commander named Naqibullah walked up to the car, yelled ‘Allahu Akbar’ — God is Great — and opened fire on them in the back seat with his AK-47. He then surrendered to the other police and was arrested,” AP says in its report of the incident.

“Those of you who worked with Anja know what a life force she was: spirited, intrepid and fearless, with a raucous laugh that we will always remember,” Pruitt says in his statement about the attack.

Niedringhaus, who was 48, was based in Geneva. She joined AP in 2002, and had worked throughout the Middle East, as well as in Afghanistan and Pakistan. She was among the team of eleven AP photographers who shared 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography for coverage of Iraq.

November 30th, 2011

PDN Video Pick: Marco Grob’s Afghanistan Portraits

If you’ve read PDN‘s story on Marco Grob’s techniques for lighting and shooting portraits fast (see “How I Got That Shot: The 3-Minute Portrait” in our December issue) you may be curious to see Grob in action. This video shows Grob using his portable lighting set up and handheld Hassie to photograph survivors of landmines in Afghanistan.

Grob traveled to Afghanistan in February to document the work of the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and the Mine Action Coordination Centre of Afghanistan (MACCA). More than one million people in Afghanistan have been injured or affected by landmines and other unexploded ordinances left from decades of conflict. Grob documented the work MACCA and UNMAS are doing to clear the Afghan countryside of landmines and to educate the public about the risks these devices pose. Grob talked about his portraits with the UN News Center.

December 29th, 2010

TIME Mag Calls Mauricio Lima Wire Photog of the Year

Last week TIME magazine called Brazilian photographer Mauricio Lima “Wire Photographer of the Year.” This is the first year TIME has singled out a wire photographer for recognition.

A former sports photographer, the Sao Paulo-based Lima joined AFP ten years ago and has worked in Latin America and the Middle East, among other places.

According to TIME, Lima’s photos from Afghanistan stood out among “the millions of images” coming through the wires this year. It was Lima’s first trip to Afghanistan, during which time he spent a month embedded with Marines in Helmand Province, and another month working on his own while based in Kabul.

Lima told TIME that his goal in Afghanistan was “to document the lives of ordinary people in this extraordinary situation,” which he accomplished by creating “parallel stories, the ones behind the headlines.”

In a gallery of Lima’s images posted on TIME.com, TIME photo editor Phil Bicker commended Lima on his pastel color palette, which Bicker said was perfect for the “dry, dusty landscape and ancient culture” of Afghanistan. Lima noted that “capturing real colors and lights” in his images and using “very little post production” were keys to his work.

To read more about Lima’s work and see a gallery of his images visit:

http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,2039390,00.html

December 9th, 2010

Emilio Morenatti Visits Joao Silva in Hospital

Joao Silva, The New York Times photographer who lost his legs to a land mine in Afghanistan, got a hospital visit on Sunday from a photojournalist who was also injured by an explosive device 17 months ago. AP photographer Emilio Morenatti, who lost his left foot and part of his left leg in Afghanistan in August 2009, visited Silva at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Sunday, the Times Lens Blog reports.

Morenatti, who is based in Spain, had just completed a month-long assignment in Haiti, his first time covering an international crisis since his injury.

After his visit with Silva, Morenatti told the Times, “Joao is stronger even than I was,” he said. “He will be — for sure — an example for all of us.”

Like Silva, Morenatti was treated at Walter Reed. According to Lens Blog, he and Santiago Lyon, the director of photography at AP, convinced the Times that the hospital, which regularly treats veterans wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, was the best facility for Silva.

Morenatti said that, like Silva, he found the volume of supportive and encouraging emails encouraging. The message he took from Silva: “Try not to send mail right now, because I can’t read and answer all the mail I’m receiving.”

Related stories:

After Injury, AP’s Emilio Morenatti Is Again Covering Disaster

November 4th, 2010

Joao Silva Being Treated at Washington Army Hospital

Photo courtesy of Michael Kamber for The New York Times

Joao Silva, the New York Times contract photographer who was severely wounded when he stepped on a land mine in Afghanistan on October 23, has undergone “repeated operations” at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC , according to his long-time friend and former collaborator Greg Marinovich. Marinovich has reported that the South Africa-based Silva “lost the lower part of both legs” while embedded with a US infantry unit in Kandahar Province.  Silva, accompanied by his wife, Viv, was flown to Walter Reed on October 29 from the US military hospital at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

Michele McNally, assistant managing editor for photography at The New York Times and David Furst, the paper’s international picture editor, visited Silva after he arrived at Walter Reed.  “He’s a very strong man,” McNally says of Silva. She tells PDN his spirits were good during the visit. When she offered him a drink of water, Silva said he would prefer a beer.

The fund that Marinovich established to collect donations for Silva and his family through the Web site www.storytaxi.com has so far raised over 4,000 Euros.  (The site is run by Hekaya Digital Storytelling, a non-profit organization.) Marinovich says he is also organizing a fundraising dinner and auction, and adds that Photoshelter has offered a dedicated web site for licensing Silva’s images which will be live soon can now be seen at joaosilva.photoshelter.com

Related Stories:
PDNOnline: Photographer Joao Silva Wounded in Afghanistan

PDNPulse: Fund Established for Injured Photog Joao Silva and Family