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Selected and motivated by our international colleagues: images from 2014

To round up the year, our photo desk places a daily series of extraordinary photos here. Today the first edition: photographs from 2014 selected and motivated by our foreign colleagues at major international newspapers. Like we do at NRC, our colleagues abroad select images for their publications on a daily basis. They, too, receive over 10.000 photos every day from around the globe, and they, too, are responsible for producing their own photo series. (Tomorrow the series here consists of photos taken and motivated by photographers who work with NRC on a regular basis). We are very grateful to our fellow photo-colleagues for taking the time to send us their favorite photographs and for sharing their stories.
Image selected by Andrey Chepakin, Chief of Photo Nevskoye Vremya newspaper, RUSSIA. This photo was taken on the Pacific Ocean near the Ngurah Rai Airport, Denpasar, Bali. Planes have to make a landing very low over the ocean surface, sometimes appearing lower than the surfers riding the waves. Making this photo was tricky.Surfers, two photographers and a skipper in a narrow boat overcoming huge waves. Passengers on the planes watched through the windows in horror.
Andrey Chepakin
Selected by Kunle Ogunfuyi, Online Photo Editor online of ThisDay Newspaper, NIGERIA. Hundreds of locals of Ajah and environment trouped out to extract vegetable oil from a broken down tank truck, November 11th. This photo is a graphic illustration of the gap between Nigeria's rich class and society's poorest. The Lekki-Epe expressway became dangerous soon after the kick-start of the multi billion dollars Lekki sea port and free trade zone on the same route, without an alternative route for tank trucks.
Kunle Ogunfuyi
Image selected by Jörg Buschmann, Chief Photo Editor for Süddeutsche Zeitung, GERMANY. Like no other photograph, the absurdity of modern living is shown here at the Spanish border October 22nd, as one part of the world still pretends nothing will change: playing golf seems an adequate answer for the tasks of a globalized world. The world is getting closer; people living in the "comfort zone" will get "visitors“. No fancy colors, drama, or dead bodies. Photographer Jose Palazon was at the right moment at the right location. And that's what a good news photo is all about.
REUTERS / Jose Palazon
Image selected by Koichi Yamashita, Photo Editor for Mainichi Newspapers, JAPAN. The death toll from the eruption of Mount Ontake in central Japan last October reached 47, making it Japan’s worst volcanic disaster in decades. Freelance photographer Yuji Tsuno took this photo close to the summit. Mainichi Newspapers posted the photo on the front page. After having photographed it, he himself became covered with volcanic ashes. It is one of the best news photos from 2014
Yuji Tsuno
Selected by Evert Hermans, Chief Photo Editor for NRC Handelsblad, THE NETHERLANDS. This picture from October 2nd keeps haunting me. Jerome Delay took it in Liberia. Nine year old Mercy Kennedy weeps for her mother, who was taken to an Ebola Treatment Centre and passed away there, the day before. It seems like Mercy can only turn to the tree for comfort, as the risk of contamination is much too high for a human embrace.
AP / Jerome Delay
Image selected by Marie Sumalla, International Photo Editor at Le Monde, FRANCE. A couple sit and talk in the neon lit cabin of a minivan in the old city of Damascus; a peaceful and common moment. An unexpected scene when you know it takes place in Damascus; war headquarter. But it's here; the sky is wrapped in dark fumes coming from neighborhood Jobar, a bloody front-line where the army is fighting the rebels. Olga Kravets, a talented Russian journalist and photographer, documented daily life in Damascus last September. Le Monde has published her work weekly to share this historical period in time.
Olga Kravets / Saltimages
Image selected by Zheng Ziyu, Editor of Visual Weekly, Southern Metropolis Daily Guangdong, CHINA. Nian Bin was accused of the murder of two children and spent six years on death row. He finally got the rescind of the death sentence. It was explained as a signal that authorities are becoming aware of the importance of eradicating wrongful convictions and the use of torture in criminal justice. This photo is one from the series titled 'Innocent Men', that stages portraits of people who were accused of non-existent crime and were imprisoned for up to18 years.
Guo Xianzhong
Image selected by Jan Desloover, Chief Image Desk for De Standaard, BELGIUM. Godforsaken – Dying must be a lonely event, but for Ebola patients the loneliness becomes tangible enough to be photographed. An image from October 31st in Monrovia, capital of Liberia. After days of waiting in vain for medical help, this girl was left on the sidewalk by her desperate aunt. What more could she do, than leaving her with a bottle of something sweet to drink? Her peaceful position is heartbreaking – the exact same way my own little daughter lies asleep in her bed after a day spent romping around.
HH / Daniel Berehulak / The New York Times
Image selected by Caroline Hunter, Deputy Picture Editor of The Guardian Weekend, UK. The riots in Ferguson, Missouri dominated the news on two occasions this year: first when an unarmed black teenager was shot by a white police officer in August, and more recently when the police officer involved was cleared of any wrong doing. This image of a man being doused with milk after being hit by an eye irritant stands out. Perhaps it's the whiteness of the milk sliding off the brownness of his skin that is the most symbolic aspect of this shot. Adrees Latif created a poetic image from a disturbing, violent scene of events
REUTERS / Adrees Latif
Image selected by Gilles Steinmann, Photo Editor, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, SWITZERLAND. Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the ISIS in Sinjar town, walk towards the Syrian border. For the viewer, this picture was photographed in a very iconic way with some symbolic connotation. The scarf is a typical occidental symbol referring to Mary. Furthermore, the blow of fate, the drought and the pain written in their faces, reminds me to the image of Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother (1936) during the great depression in the United States
REUTERS / Rodi Said
Image selected by Levent Kulu Hürriyet Photographer and Picture Editor for Hürriyet, TURKEY. In the fire that broke out around noon, 301 miners lost their lives on May 13th in Soma, in Western Turkey. Working conditions and law in our country are the reasons why this could happen. This photo was taken the first morning after the accident. Outside the mine the families were waiting for their relatives; inside the mine were their fathers, sons, brothers, husbands... nobody came out alive. I’ve seen pictures like this too often in Soma. Maybe this accident will change the regulations in our country, but 301 miners will still be in their graves.
Levent Kulu
Image selected by Thomas Borberg, Head of Photo Desk Politiken, DENMARK. A good photo should feel like a punch in the gut. I can still feel the story of Rose. Before she was born, her parents learned she had only half a heart and they asked Politiken's photographer Martin Lehmann to photograph the birth as they did not know how long Rose would survive. Initially Rose's prognosis for a normal life was good, but at the age of three she suffered severe brain damage during a heart operation. Martin Lehmann focused his lens on the family's everyday life. Then suddenly Rose died on a spring day earlier this year. Looking at the photo of Lara lifting her sister's eyelid reminds us of important things - such as life and death.
Martin Lehmann
Image selected by Hossam Diab, Photo Editor at Al-Masry Al-Youm, EGYPT. One of the owners of a print house located in the village of Arab Sharkas in the Qalyubia Governorate north of Cairo. The print house was the target of a terrorist bombing that led to losses valued at 2 million Egyptian pounds. Why I choose this photo? Recently, in Egypt, several terrorist operations impacted negatively on the citizens in terms of security and economic. This was a terrorist incident in the Arab Sharkas, an area in the city of Qalyoubia. The use of light in this photo summarizes the tragic humanitarian situation.
Ossama Mohamed
Selected by Alexandre Sassaki, Photo Editor for Oglobo newspapers, BRAZIL. For over six months, the streets of Brazil were shaken by demonstrations against the increase in bus fares and the expenses for the World Cup. This photograph by Domingos Peixoto, taken 6 February 2014, of protests downtown Rio de Janeiro, shows the moment camera man Santiago Andrade is mortally hit by a rocket fired by protesters. It was a remarkable image in the coverage of the events and received major journalism awards in Brazil.
Domingos Peixoto / Agência O Globo
Image selected by Maciej Jaźwiecki, Photo Editor at Gazeta Wyborcza, POLAND. The horrific Ukrainian conflict has definitely dominated last year in the main international and Polish media. Since the beginning I have seen hundreds of great photos from Ukraine. I choose this picture because it makes me think of something more than just a violent act. To me, it is an iconic image depicting the current tension between different values and visions of Europe. Jerome Sessini’s picture of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17’s crash is one of the most poetic and powerful images I have seen in the past few years.
Jerome Sessini
Image selected by Paul Botes, Picture Editor, Mail & Guardian, SOUTH_AFRICA. Lindokuhle Sobukwe, a 19 year old student, captured this sensitive portrait of Bhuti, a young Nyaope addict in the process of injecting himself with the drug. Lindokuhle spent months with these addicts, until they were almost unaware of his presence. Nyaope is a drug with devastating consequences for our youth. It is a mixture of cannabis and heroin.
Lindokuhle Sobukwe
Image selected by MaryAnne Golon, Director of Photography, Washington Post, USA. The story of the Ebola virus and its impact on Western Africa emerged in 2014. Photographer Michel du Cille traveled through Liberia to find the people who suffered, their caretakers and the ones who were left behind. He came across 15 children who had survived the illness and were being released from a hospital. Among them was Esther Tokpah, an 11-year-old girl who had survived her parents. Tears streamed down her face as she mourned the loss of life as she knew it. In one painful moment, Michel captured the heart of the story of an epidemic: that each person’s loss is a loss for all of us.
Michel du Cille / Washington Post