Photo of the day

This collection of Reuters Best photos of 2012 is absolutely amazing.  So many amazing and powerful photos.  If you appreciate photography at all, you owe it to yourself to check out the whole gallery.  Obviously hard to pick just one, put this photo packs such an emotional punch:

mage 47 of 95: MINZAYAR, Myanmar 

“At about 4:30pm on November 6, I went for the last time to the burnt areas at ‘East Pikesake’ village to take more pictures of the details of the ruins. While walking around, I saw this scene. It totally stopped me. No more walking, no more taking pictures, I just stood still staring at this scene which was breaking my heart. That little puppy was leaning on the leg of the dead one as if it was still alive. Normally, when I see scenes that are strong, I would just quickly take the photos, but this time, I forgot about taking a picture. 

I started asking the people passing by whether there was anyone who would adopt the puppy. They said they are sad as well seeing it refusing to leave its mother, but could not adopt because they had their own difficulties as a result of the violence. Then I put down all my cameras and sat and watched this poor little puppy with extreme sadness. 

After a while, I decided to take the picture no matter what. After a few shots, I paused, rubbed his head, he licked my hands and I continued taking pictures from different angles. By the time I had to leave, I was thinking about taking him with me to my hotel. But then there was one very kind local man on a motor bike who was watching me and the puppy. He said he could not adopt the puppy but still wanted to do something for it. Then we decided to send the puppy to the nearby monastery. We picked up the puppy and put him on the bike and finally, it was taken to the monastery. I will never forget his pitiful eyes as he left. 

Although I wished to take the puppy back with me, under my situation I had to leave him with nothing but sadness, anger, and a couple of pictures. I came back half-believing that the monastery would be the best place for him, half-regretting that I didn’t bring him with me. 

I got back to Yangon and was busy with work for a few days until one morning when my ringing phone woke me up with a question: ‘Minzayar, what happened to the puppy?’ 

I miss the puppy… Now I know, the thin little puppy has given me an inerasable question-mark, deep in my heart. He might survive at the monastery, or he might not, but the mark deep inside me that he left is going to last forever.” 

Canon EOS 5D, lens 50mm, f2.5, 1/60, ISO 200 

Caption: A puppy stands by remains of a dog local residents said was its mother, days after it was killed in an area burnt in violence at East Pikesake ward in Kyaukphyu November 6, 2012.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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