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April 18, 2011

Photographers in peril

Readers and picture editors view the pictures of conflict in safety and comfort. But for the soldiers fighting the wars, and the civilians caught up in them, conflict is anything but safe and comfortable. We are witness to their stories and tragedies thanks to people who willingly put themselves into the same lines of fire as the protagonists - photographers. Covering conflict has always been dangerous, and many famous photojournalists have given their lives doing it. Robert Capa, Larry Burrows - the list is awful and endless. But lately several incidents have made it seem like the dangers have increased. Land mines have seriously wounded photographers in the past few years. Two photographers for the New York Times, Lynsey Addario and Tyler Hicks, were taken prisoner with their writing colleagues for several days in Libya, and were beaten and abused. Other photographers have gone missing as well, such as Khaled al-Hariri, Roberto Schmidt, Joe Raedle, and Altaf Qadri. All are safe now. The same cannot be said for Sabah al-Bazee, who was killed in in an attack on a government building in Tikrit, Iraq. The Big Picture relies on the willingness of these photographers and others to place themselves in harm's way for our benefit, and I'd like to thank them here for that. Knowing too well that there are others like them, I've assembled a few photographs of recent work (where possible) by the above-mentioned photographers. -- Lane Turner (37 photos total)

Brothers of Iraqi journalist Sabah al-Bazee grieve at his grave in a cemetery in Samarra, Iraq March 30. Bazee, a Reuters freelancer, was among more than 50 people killed when gunmen attacked a local government building in Tikrit. The 30-year-old journalist, who had contributed to Reuters in Iraq since 2004 and also worked as cameraman for several other media organizations, suffered shrapnel wounds in an explosion, said his cousin Mahmoud Salah, who confirmed his death. Bazee was married with three children. (Stringer/Reuters)

(Left to right) Reuters photographer Khaled al-Hariri, Agence France-Presse photographer Roberto Schmidt, New York Times photographers Lynsey Addario and Tyler Hicks, Getty Images photographer Joe Raedle, Reuters freelancer Sabah al-Bazee, Associated Press photographer Altaf Qadri. (Reuters, AFP/Getty Images, AP/The New York Times, Fred Conrad/AP/The New York Times, AFP/Getty Images, Reuters, AP) #

Khaled al-Hariri photograph of Syrians chanting slogans at a protest in Damascus October 24, 2005. Syrian authorities freed al-Hariri on April 3, 2011, six days after detaining him as he arrived for work in Damascus. Al-Hariri, 50, who has worked for Reuters for over 20 years in his native Syria, was one of four Reuters journalists held in Syria, where protesters have been demanding change from President Bashar al-Assad. (Khaled al-Hariri/Reuters) #

A girl throws a snowball at a couple smoking a water pipe in the al-Zabadani mountains north of Damascus March 11. Thousands of Syrians travelled to the mountains to enjoy the snow during the coldest winter spell with heavy snowfall blocking some roads and covering mountains peaks. (Khaled al-Hariri/Reuters) #

Members of the Palestinian Fatah al-Intifada run through an obstacle course during a military show as part of a graduating ceremony at Saladin camp, near Damascus July 15, 2010. (Khaled al-Hariri/Reuters) #

Female members of the Palestinian Fatah al-Intifada march during a military show as part of a graduating ceremony at Saladin camp, near Damascus July 15, 2010. (Khaled al-Hariri/Reuters) #

A Hamas supporter carries a mock Qassam rocket during a demonstration against Israel at al-Yarmouk Camp near Damascus January 18, 2008. (Khaled al-Hariri/Reuters) #

In this photograph by Roberto Schmidt, a Libyan anti-government protester demonstrates in Tobruk, Libya March 14. Schmidt, along with Joe Raedle and AFP journalist Dave Clark, were arrested by government forces March 18, and held four days. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images) #

A man who was wounded by shrapnel during clashes between rebels government forces shouts in pain as he is helped by doctors at a hospital in Ajdabiya, Libya on March 15. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images) #

A rebel fighter stands at a roundabout in the center of town in Ajdabiya, Libya on March 15. Government forces approached the city and launched air and artillery attacks on the city. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images) #

An African refugee stuck at the border crossing between Libya and Egypt watches others like him line up to receive food from the Red Crescent on March 17 near the Egyptian town of Sallum as aid agencies on Egypt's border with Libya are preparing to face a refugee exodus if government forces make good on their threat to fight their way into rebel-held eastern Libyan cities. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images) #

Chadian nationals stuck at the border between Libya and Egypt wave their hands as they wait for permission to cross over into Egypt on March 17 near the Egyptian town of Sallum. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images) #

In this photograph by Lynsey Addario, opposition troops prepare tea at dusk at the main checkpoint near the refinery outside of Ras Lanuf as fighting between government troops and the opposition continues in Libya March 8. Addario and three Times colleagues went missing March 16, and endured a trying captivity for several days. See the links below for their story. (Lynsey Addario for The New York Times) #

Opposition troops rally and chant slogans as government troops shell and carry out airstrikes at the main checkpoint near the refinery in Ras Lanuf, Libya, March 11. (Lynsey Addario for The New York Times) #

Opposition troops walk through burning tires they are using for cover from airstrikes near the refinery in Ras Lanuf as government troops shell the area in Ras Lanuf, Libya, March 11. (Lynsey Addario for The New York Times) #

Relatives of Emad al Giryani weep over his body during his funeral the day after he was killed in fighting on the frontline in Ras Lanuf, Libya, March 12. (Lynsey Addario for The New York Times) #

Opposition troops take positions as they push west outside of Ras Lanuf after taking the city back from government troops in Ras Lanuf, Libya, March 5. (Lynsey Addario for The New York Times) #

In this photograph by Tyler Hicks, opposition fighters pushed west of Ras Lanuf and fought in heavy battles against government soldiers March 9. A natural gas facility was hit, and burned during the battle. Fighters were fired on with barrages of mortars and PK machine gun fire as they advanced west. See the links below to read Hicks' story of his captivity. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

With the oil refinery behind them, fighters fire a rocket propelled grenade as a Libyan jet makes a pass overhead March 10. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

Rebel lines appeared to crumble near the oil town of Ras Lanuf as government forces pressed an offensive with tanks and artillery east towards strategic oil towns March 11. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

Fighters board a bus to be carried east away from approaching government forces in Brega, Libya March 12. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

Libyan men smoke at a cafe in Ajdabiya, Libya March 14. As the front line of fighting between rebels and government forces inched closer to Ajdabiya, the city remained relatively calm. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

In this photo by Joe Raedle, Shery Adel (left) and Merna Adel arrive by car as their family enters Egypt at the Libya-Egypt border crossing in Sallum, Egypt, after leaving their home near Benghazi, Libya because of the fighting nearing that area on March 17. Raedle went missing with Roberto Schmidt and AFP journalist Dave Clark March 18. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #

People sit on a bus for a ride to Cairo after clearing customs and entering Egypt at the Libya-Egypt border crossing on March 17 in Sallum, Egypt. T he family left their home in Toburk, Libya because of the fighting. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #

Stranded refugees from Chad stand in a line to receive food at the Libya-Egypt border crossing after leaving Libya three weeks earlier because of the on-going civil war on March 17 in Sallum, Egypt. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #

Rebel supporters cheer in Tobruk, Libya, during a celebratory rally after the United Nations approved a no-fly zone over the country on March 18. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #

A young girl flashes the victory sign during a celebratory rally in Tobruk, Libya, after the United Nations approved a no-fly zone over the country on March 18. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #

In this photograph by Sabah al-Bazee, a policeman blindfolds a suspected militant after arresting him in a raid operation south of Tikrit, Iraq, November 4, 2010. (Sabah al-Bazee/Reuters) #

Members of a U.S. backed neighborhood patrol demonstrate their skills after finishing their one-month training in Samarra, Iraq June 15, 2008. (Sabah al-Bazee/Reuters) #

A resident pours water on a charred boat near a burning oil pipeline in Baiji, Iraq, December 7, 2007. A fire erupted in an internal crude pipeline carrying oil to the Baiji refinery in northern Iraq, a source at the state-run Northern Oil Company said. (Sabah al-Bazee/Reuters) #

Iraqi security personnel stand next to a burning oil pipeline fire in Baiji, Iraq, January 30, 2008. (Sabah al-Bazee/Reuters) #

An injured Iraqi man is brought to a hospital in Tikrit, Iraq, August 6, 2006. A suicide bomber blew himself up at a mourning ceremony in the northern Iraqi town, killing at least 10 people and wounding 20, police said. (Sabah al-Bazee/Reuters) #

In this photo by Altaf Qadri, Libyan rebels run for cover after coming under heavy artillery fire from government forces along the front line near Brega, Libya, April 1. Qadri became separated from colleagues and went missing while covering the conflict near Ajdabiya April 10. (Altaf Qadri/AP) #

A Libyan rebel, defected from government forces, wears his medals along with a dagger and a hand grenade as he stands outside Brega, Libya, April 5. (Altaf Qadri/AP) #

A Libyan rebel plays a guitar outside Brega, Libya, April 5. (Altaf Qadri/AP) #

Libyan rebel fighters fire rockets in the desert half way between Ajdabiya and Brega, in Libya April 9. (Altaf Qadri/AP) #

A family sits around a bonfire outside their house in the village of Bahir Jonai, Assam, India. A vast and heavily populated region of Asia that depends on water from Tibetan rivers is feeling the effects of China's ambitious efforts to redraw its water map. Some even worry about future water wars; others say there's still time for diplomacy to keep the peace. (Altaf Qadri/AP) #



 
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