Thursday, August 9, 2007

Hot weather is the story around these parts (the northeast). On my way back up north to Trenton from an assignment for a tomato tasting in South Jersey, I stopped at the Burlington waterfront ... and waited. In desperate times like these, when nobody is around doing anything to photograph, a photojournalist has to earn his keep using perspective, composition and other visual tricks to come up with something. So here it is, in the original form and the cropped b&w version that appeared in the paper.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Last night, I covered an assignment held at Scudder Plaza at Princeton University. Thanks to the university for having free wifi so I could set up my laptop in the plaza and transmit an image moments after I made it in order to make deadline. Hosted by the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action, it was a commemoration of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki. Below, floating candles are sent into the pond as is done at the river in Hiroshima on the same evening.

“ The purpose of this event is not to look back with 20-20 hindsight to question whether the atomic bombings in 1945 were justified. What’s done is done. Rather, our reason for having this commemoration is to remember the absolute horror that nuclear weapons represent, and re-commit ourselves to working for the global abolition of nuclear weapons so such total destruction can never again be inflicted on anyone.Floating candles are placed in the fountain at Scudder Plaza on Princeton U campus, where Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action hosted a commemoration of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki."

"Akiko Seitelbach was 22 years old and working on the second floor of the Mitsubishi Electrical Works in Nagasaki, Japan, when a bright light silently burst in the cloudless sky about 2 miles away. Amazingly, she survived the blast unscathed, and was able to escape from Nagasaki on foot. Later, she went on to marry an American serviceman and make her home in New Jersey, where she recently authored her memoir, Nagasaki Woman. "

I had photographed this woman one-on-one previously and listened to her recount her experiences. She witnessed unspeakable human horror. Read her book if you dare.

Seven-year-old Yeji Han, 7, of Princeton plays with the oregami crane she made at the event. If you don't know it, here's the crane story from

"The paper crane has become an international symbol of peace in recent years as a result of it's connection to the story of a young Japanese girl named Sadako Sasaki born in 1943. Sadako was two years old when the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945. As she grew up, Sadako was a strong, courageous and athletic girl. In 1955, at age 11, while practicing for a big race, she became dizzy and fell to the ground. Sadako was diagnosed with Leukemia, "the atom bomb" disease. Sadako's best friend told her of an old Japanese legend which said that anyone who folds a thousand paper cranes would be granted a wish. Sadako hoped that the gods would grant her a wish to get well so that she could run again. She started to work on the paper cranes and completed over 1000 before dying on October 25, 1955 at the age of twelve."