Correspondent / behind the news

Behind the image

A woman takes pictures in the street before the show for fashion house Fendi at the women Fall / Winter 2015/16 Milan's Fashion Week on February 26, 2015. (AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS)

(AFP Photo / Gabriel Bouys)

In the Milan street style bubble

"Shooting a catwalk show in Milan usually means packing in like sardines with a gang of grumpy photographers, and waiting passively to snap the models as they walk towards you," writes AFP's Gabriel Bouys. "In the street you’re on the hunt for images – but during fashion week you never have far to go. You can spot them all over the city like a colourful tribe. The fashionistas are everywhere. For someone like me who is no fashion expert, it is all a lot of fun. An unreal bubble."

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Above the fold

Fifty shades of DSK: from courtroom to sex club

Wednesday 4 March 2015 - Eye witness

A woman wears a mask at the Venus erotic fair in Berlin October, 2012 (AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE)

"I am sitting alone at the bar. Nervously I sip a glass of wine and pick at a bowl of peanuts, more often than I need to. I try to assume an air of confidence, but can’t help worrying how that looks to the couples entering the club, their eyes stopping to linger on the woman sitting here by herself," writes AFP's Fran Blandy. "My awkward presence at the bar of a Parisian swingers’ club is a direct consequence of my presence, the previous week, in a room with arguably less sumptuous decor, fewer animal prints and flickering candles: the court in Lille, northern France, where Dominique Strauss-Kahn is on trial."

(Photo: AFP / Johannes Eisele)

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Morning commute in New Delhi

Friday 27 February 2015 - Eye witness

Indian passengers stand and hang onto a train as it departs from a station on the outskirts of New Delhi on February 25, 2015 (AFP PHOTO/MONEY SHARMA)

"I joined AFP at the start of the month, as a photojournalist in New Delhi, and I’m looking to do something different to illustrate the big story of the week: the unveiling of the annual rail budget, " writes Money Sharma. "I have heard of a station in the Delhi suburbs where the trains travel into the city each morning with hundreds of commuters hanging on the outside. This sounds to me like a great picture."

(Photo: AFP / Money Sharma)

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Photography: telling art from fraud

Wednesday 25 February 2015 - Eye witness

An apparently doctored image issued by the North Korean agency KCNA in 2013 and rejected by AFP after analysis (AFP /KCNA)

The above image was never distributed to AFP's clients. Issued by the North Korean agency KCNA in 2013, it purports to show military manoeuvres in the east of the country. But analysis of the missile fire and smoke, using specialist software, revealed a series of anomalies indicating it had been manipulated. It is, in all likelihood, a doctored image. This is an extreme case, but fraud in photography is far from limited to North Korea, Syria or extremist propaganda movements. On February 12, an unprecedented number of entrants were disqualified from the World Press Photo awards for tampering with their images - reviving an old debate about the fine line, in photojournalism, between artistry and fraud.


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At the Hamas youth camp

Tuesday 24 February 2015 - Eye witness

A Palestinian youth crawls in a tunnel during a graduation ceremony for a training camp run by the Hamas movement on January 29, 2015 in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip (AFP PHOTO / SAID KHATIB)

"We’ve been given a meeting point at the Yarmuk stadium in Gaza. My colleagues and I are here to watch thousands of youths ‘graduate’ from a training camp run by Hamas’s armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades," writes AFP's Mai Yaghi. "Each year since taking power in Gaza in 2007, the Islamist movement has staged 'summer camps' for boys aged 14 to 21 in the Palestinian enclave, dispensing religious education and combat training with the aim of 'resisting' sworn enemy Israel. But with swathes of Gaza in ruins following last year’s 50-day war with Israel, a record 17,000 youths enrolled for a week-long camp in January, overseen for the first time by Qassam militants."

(Photo: AFP / Said Khatib)

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11 Days on Planet Cinema

Monday 23 February 2015 - Eye witness

French actress Juliette Binoche poses on the red carpet for the opening ceremony of the 65th Berlin International Film Festival Berlinale on February 5, 2015 (AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN)

"Being a Berlin correspondent these days means a hard focus on crises like Ukraine, Greece and jihadist violence in Europe. But come each February, the spotlight shifts for me as the global cinema industry descends on the German capital for the Berlin film festival. It always means a head-spinning change of gears," writes AFP's Deborah Cole. "The Berlinale, born when West Berlin was a Cold War outpost, takes pride in balancing gritty world cinema with the big star vehicles. We journalists like to see ourselves as shrewd natural sceptics, holding up our end of the bargain with readers. So it's always a little jarring going to the press conferences with movie stars that inevitably begin with an effusive round of applause."

(Photo: AFP / Odd Andersen)

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A brief game of football on Ukraine frontline

Tuesday 17 February 2015 - Eye witness

Ukrainian servicemen play football on a road at Svitlodarsk, near Debaltseve, during a ceasefire on February 15, 2015 (AFP Photo / Volodymyr Shuvayev)

"The spontaneous kickabout really felt like a moment that was truly relaxing", writes Volodymyr Shuvayev, a freelance photographer working for AFP in Eastern Ukraine, who witnessed this scene at an Ukrainian checkpoint during a ceasefire between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels on February 15. "So I started shooting. I hoped the pictures would speak for themselves and illustrate the spirit of a ceasefire. It's an iconic image-- the soldier celebrating a halt in fighting with a simple game of football."

(Photo: AFP / Volodymyr Shuvayev)

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Keeping our distance

Monday 16 February 2015 - Eye witness

US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel hold a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, February 9, 2015 (AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB)

"Photographers covering the White House have to deal with many restrictions on when and where we can snap the president," explains AFP photographer Saul Loeb. "For most events, we can only work in designated areas which provide little movement and not much choice in how we can take our photos. One of the ways we can supplement these angles and work around these restrictions is by placing remote cameras in locations where we ourselves cannot physically be - whether it be a high angle in the room, a spot behind the president's podium or somewhere alongside the stage."

(AFP Photo/ Saul Loeb)

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Eric Schwab, photographing the unspeakable

Friday 13 February 2015 - Decoding

A prisoner dying of dysentery at the Nazi concentration camp of Buchenwald upon the liberation of the camp by Allied troops on 11 April 1945 ( AFP PHOTO / ERIC SCHWAB)

"It comes down to a few dozen pictures by Eric Schwab, preserved in the Agence France-Presse archives," writes AFP's archives director Yves Gacon. "An insignificant number in a photographic fund of more than 30 million digital documents and seven million analog files. But whose value in historical terms is inestimable. One of the first photographers at the modern-day AFP, Eric Schwab was among the very first witnesses to the boundless horror that Allied forces uncovered as they advanced into Germany, liberating the death camps one after the other. Schwab formed a partnership with the American writer and journalist Meyer Levin, travelling together into the darkness on board their jeep 'Spirit of Alpena'. Both were on a painful quest, Levin to investigate the fate of Europe’s Jews in World War II, and Schwab to find his mother who was deported in 1943."

(AFP Photo / Eric Schwab)

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