On December 26, The Atlantic ran a set of photographs of Christmas celebrations worldwide. The range of locations and people were interesting, but I was taken particularly by a picture that also appeared on the front page of that day’s Wall St. Journal. The photographer is Reuters’ Vasily Fedoshenko.
To me, the composition suggests a Renaissance painting. The whites of the very high ceiling are echoed in the gowns of the kneeling children, of the Mary figure and of the infant. So are the blues of the altars and Mary’s cape, and so are the browns of the church floor and the columns and the robes of Joseph and the three kings.
No, the photographer did not design the scene. But he went to the church, saw what was there and knew how to make use of it. A nice piece of work.
For an organization that does not produce its own print publications, Reuters takes its photography seriously. It has photographers as well as reporters stationed all over the world. In addition to licensing images to news organizations, it shares online portfolios on specific subjects.
One of these was assembled after Fedoshenko’s 2016 visit to the restricted area around the Chernobyl nuclear zone 30 years after the disaster. The photographs and narrative focus are on the changes in wildlife over the period, and they also record, by their absence, the abandonment of all humans from the contaminated area.
Here are a few other Fedorenko images.
Body builder, 2015
Boys playing in a fountain, 2017
Man chopping ice for a swimming competition, 2009
This may be Fedoshenko’s most circulated photograph. It makes me think of the report last week that one of those polar bear swims was canceled in New Jersey because, darn it, the water was too cold. Tough people, those Belarusians.
In a Reuters profile, the photographer said this about his work:
“I would like as many people as possible around the world to see my photos, or the accompanying story. Something usual in my country can be very unusual somewhere else. So when I shoot I keep that in mind.”