The photographers' story: Part five

The photographers' story: Part five


In part five of a six-part series, Reuters photographers tell the story behind some of the most iconic pictures of 2014 from Afghanistan to Germany and the United Kingdom.

Above, demonstrators use a slingshot against the National Guard during a protest in San Cristobal, Venezuela.

Reuters photographer Carlos Garcia Rawlins: “I was told of clashes between anti-government protesters and the National Guard, but barricades blocking almost every street made it extremely difficult to move from one place to another, even by motorbike.

When I finally arrived at the scene, there was debris everywhere. A group of youths with giant slingshots, helped by their neighbours who hurled objects from the top floors of buildings, had driven the National Guard back to the end of the street.”

. Bangui, Central African Republic. REUTERS/Siegfried Modola

A Central African Army (FACA) soldier stabs the corpse of a man, who was killed as he was accused of joining the ousted Seleka fighters.

Reuters photographer Siegfried Modola: “I was heading back to the hotel to file after a ceremony in Bangui, where the interim president had promised to reinstate the country’s armed forces, urging for national unity. I was in the taxi for just a few minutes when my fixer asked me to come back as people were attacking and killing a man.

The crowd was in a violent frenzy and I tried to stay alert; an angry crowd can be dangerous, unpredictable and very scary. The lifeless body of the victim, suspected of having joined the former Seleka rebel group, was being dragged, kicked, stabbed and pelted with rocks by Central African Republic soldiers.

I don’t believe that photographers should ever get used to witnessing such violence and the event definitely affected me. Still, during these situations, I try to protect myself by not allowing certain memories to linger in my mind too long. I believe this picture is a strong reminder of how difficult it will be for any internal or external force to stabilise and bring long lasting peace in the Central African Republic.”

. JERUSALEM, Israel. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Florida teenager Tariq Khdeir is greeted by his mother after being released from jail.

Reuters Photographer Ronen Zvulun: “The picture was taken outside the courthouse following the release of Khdeir, a 15-year-old American of Palestinian descent, after Israeli police detained him during protests against the abduction and killing of his cousin Mohammed Abu Khudair in Jerusalem, in a suspected revenge attack for the kidnap and slayings of three Israeli teens.

Sixteen-year-old Mohammed’s abduction and killing in Jerusalem had sparked violent protests and calls from Palestinians for a new uprising against Israel, while Tariq’s apparent beating by Israeli police in East Jerusalem had drawn U.S. concern.

. KABUL, Afghanistan. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

An Afghan resident points his weapon at the dead body of an unidentified militant, as a way of showing his hatred for insurgents, after an attack on Kabul airport.

Reuters photographer Omar Sobhani: “Militants armed with rocket-propelled grenades attacked Kabul International Airport from the roof of a building just to its north. Such attacks are not uncommon in Kabul and I have photographed quite a number of these incidents.

After four or five hours of fighting between Taliban and Afghan security forces, all insurgents were killed and curious locals and media were allowed to enter the site.

A group of unidentified men armed with guns were looking around the bodies of the dead Taliban, some of them were kicking the bodies, some cursing. One of them pointed his gun at the body of the Taliban fighter who was lying at the scene.

I shot the frames quickly and moved back thinking he might fire and the impact could get to me. He did not fire.”

. LONDON, United Kingdom. REUTERS/Toby Melville

A male red deer with antlers covered in bracken walks through undergrowth in Richmond Park.

Reuters photographer Toby Melville: “Although Richmond Park is only 3.69 square miles (9.56 square kilometres) and 650 deer graze there during the autumn deer rutting season, I spent nine hours on foot with my 500mm lens as well as shorter optics following the haunting and spine-tingling barking of the male deer, trying to find strong images of animal behaviour combined with attractive light and backgrounds.

The mist had long gone and the sun was dipping lower to the horizon when I found the male in the photograph in the undergrowth.

I had followed him for roughly an hour before this frame, and an hour afterwards, hoping he would either get an even more impressive head-dress, pick a battle with another male or chase some potential mating partners.

I think the bracken stuck amongst the deer antlers gives the picture a certain appeal by adding a little humour to a natural history photograph, with a hat-like appearance, plus the tongue out looks a little as if the deer is licking his lips!”


Mahindra Moto3 rider Bryan Schouten of the Netherlands fights with compatriot Kalex KTM Moto3 rider Scott Deroue (R) after they crashed during the German Grand Prix.

Reuters photographer Thomas Peter: “During lap 26 towards the end of the race, I was standing behind the tire barrier in the first bend waiting for the pack of riders. I decided to make this lap the last one before changing position to shoot the winner crossing the finishing line further up the track.  

When the pack approached, two riders came skidding out of the pack, losing contact with their bikes and coming to a halt in the gravel traps a mere two metres away from each other.

It was impossible to make out what had actually happened as the incident that led to the crash was obscured by the other riders.

But Schouten seemed to be sure who was to blame. He jumped to his feet and started to lay into his compatriot, Scott Deroue, kicking and punching his helmet. After initially blocking the attack, Deroue became equally furious and responded in kind. The two had to be separated by several medics and race attendants who struggled to end the brawl.”


Photographer Thomas Peter talks about shooting the Moto3 riders’ crash.