reuters pictures

What makes a truly great image?

File photo of a man rinsing soot from his face at the scene of a gas pipeline explosion near Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos

REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Reuters pictures service and our recent widely published packages of the most iconic pictures from the past three decades can be viewed here part onepart two and part three.  But as important as it is to look back proudly at our work, it’s more important to look forward.

“Photography is dead,” a professor once told a photography class I attended decades ago. He was an artist by background and he truly believed that everything that could be photographed had been already. His words sparked a debate at the time but, thankfully, did not prove prophetic.

What he failed to see was that computers and digital photography, which then existed only on a small scale, would radically change our industry. Children can now take photographs before they can read or write. Technology has made photography accessible to all, not just skilled professionals with expensive equipment. Images have become the only real international language.

Now a new phrase has emerged – “journalism is dying.” However, as with my professor, these doomsayers too are wrong: the decline of paper-and-ink media does not mean the death of journalism. If anything, the demand for information has risen.

While the Internet has grown crowded with bloggers and citizen reporters, the ability to spew sentences does not make someone a journalist any more than a mobile phone with a Leica lens and Instagram filters makes them a photojournalist. There will always be a role for quality journalists and picture providers trained in the art of balanced and accurate storytelling.

For this reason, I contend that journalism – including photojournalism – is alive and well and more widespread than ever. If anything, the crisper and more sophisticated displays on smartphones, tablets and computers have increased the clamour for quality images.

At Reuters Pictures, we are dedicated to covering global breaking news, quickly, accurately and to the highest possible standard. It is what we have always done, and what we continue to do. But the industry is indeed changing rapidly, which means we need to go further. When news breaks, our photographers not only compete with other news outlets, but also with images on social media. These may not be as sharp or as reliable, but they can certainly be as fast.

Meanwhile, news organisations, which make up the bulk of our clientele, are facing their own problems. Sharp declines in advertising and subscription revenue have forced cost cuts, and yet they still face pressure to provide ever-more content for a hungry online audience.

With less money, fewer journalists and more rivals, our clients are searching for images that make them stand out – which is where we come in. So what, in an era awash with selfies and seascapes, makes a truly great image? (more…)

Looking back at 30 years of Reuters Pictures

To mark the 30th anniversary of the launch of the Reuters Pictures service, a three part retrospective of iconic images is now available to view on Reuters The Wider Image and license via the Reuters Pictures websiteFor three decades, Reuters photographers have captured images illustrating the human tragedy of natural disaster and war, as well as the fallout of economic events across the continents. They have brought their lenses to bear on sport, culture and show business as well as world political and economic leaders – creating iconic images that are recognized around the world.

lex headshotB&W

Alexia Singh, Editor-In-Charge of the Wider Image Desk, had the daunting task of curating a selection of the best images from an archive of over 7 million images. “Iconic images rise to the surface over the years, you see them again and again in publications around the world and they become fixed in our collective consciousness. On the one hand this makes the job of editing a retrospective of 30 years of Reuters Pictures an easier task. However there are, of course, many more pictures that could have been included in this selection. When the iconic pictures match iconic events they are the obvious choices. But it’s also interesting to include images that stand up purely on the power of their aesthetic.”

“We didn’t set out to tell the story of the last 30 years, we do that every day on the wire, this is more of a look back at our “greatest hits”. We also wanted the photographers perspective on our history so they have been selecting their own iconic images and throughout the year we will releasing some of the photographers choices, on the day they were originally taken, in a kind of ‘On this day in Reuters History’ initiative.”

View the entire selection including behind the scenes text from the photographers Part 1Part 2Part 3

File photo of frantic Kurdish refugees struggling for a loaf of bread during a humanitarian aid distribution for hundreds of thousands of stranded Iraqi-Kurds in the mountains of Isikveren at the Iraqi-Turkish borderReuters Photographer Yannis Behrakis 

At the end of the first Iraq war about 1.5 million Kurds were fleeing in panic trying to escape from forces loyal to Saddam Hussein. About 600,000 of them fled to Turkey but half of them were stranded in the mountains at the Iraqi-Turkish border. (more…)

Obama and Pope Francis – 27 Mar 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama laughs with Pope Francis during their meeting at the Vatican

U.S. President Barack Obama laughs with Pope Francis during their meeting at the Vatican March 27, 2014. Obama highlighted growing gaps between rich and poor ahead of his first meeting on Thursday with Pope Francis, an event that was expected to focus on the fight against poverty and skirt moral controversies over abortion and gay rights.

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Reuters Photographer Goran Tomasevic wins major prize at World Press Photo Awards

Reuters photographer Goran Tomasevic was awarded first prize in the “Spot News Stories” category at the World Press Photo awards announced in Amsterdam today. Tomasevic won with a series of images showing rebel fighters in Syria preparing for an attack on a government army post. Before they are able to launch their attack, their commander is shot by a sniper. Wounded and bleeding internally, he is carried away from the danger by his comrades, who then return to attack the post but come under tank shelling. A wall they are sheltering behind explodes in a cloud of debris and concrete dust. As the smoke subsides, they return to their comrade, who has died of his wounds. 

A Free Syrian Army fighter looks at his comrade as he is shot by sniper fire during heavy fighting in the Ain Tarma neighbourhood of Damascus, Syria. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

View the full series on the Reuters Pictures website 

Tomasevic, from Serbia, has been covering conflict around the world for over twenty years, he discusses his experience in this video. (more…)

Reuters Pictures of the Year 2013

Reuters tells the world’s stories like no one else. As the largest international multimedia news provider, Reuters provides coverage around the globe and across topics including business, financial, national, and international news. 

From the world stage, to the street corner, Reuters presents a slideshow of  the most extraordinary & iconic images taken by its global network of photographers in 2013. 

License over 6 million images at or follow us on Twitter @ReutersPictures to receive regular updates on our best content, photographers blogs and projects.

The Wider Image site launch: Q&A with Jassim Ahmad

Reuters’ award ­winning Wider Image is now available on all devices. Access our very best visual stories from your smartphone, tablet or desktop. Jassim Ahmad, global head of multimedia innovation at Reuters, answers some questions about responsive design, multimedia and trends in visual storytelling.

UK device ownership, UK Ofcom 2012 Communications Market report

UK device ownership, UK Ofcom 2012 Communications Market report

Why create a responsive experience?

As habits of media consumption change, photojournalism must adapt to reach audiences wherever they are. That may be a smartphone during the morning commute, a desktop at the office, or a tablet on the living room couch.

Building a native product for every device is prohibitively expensive and unsustainable. Responsive design fluidly adapts to any screen size. It achieves the broadest reach for the stories, which you have invested so much time and effort to report. It facilitates discovery through search and social media, and creates consistency across platforms.

What advice would you give someone considering a responsive site?


Reuters’ award-winning Wider Image is now available on all devices

The Wider Image is now accessible on your smartphone, tablet & desktop! Check it out here.

Photojournalism re-imagined for every screen; watch the video:

2013 Atlanta Photojournalism Contest Award Winners Announced

The 2013 Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar Contest presented their awards last week, with categories from spot news to features, honoring excellent photographers and their high-impact imagery.

We’re thrilled to announce that Reuters photographers took home multiple awards, including: (more…)

2013 UK Picture Editors’ Guild Awards winners announced

REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

The winners of the fourth UK Picture Editors’ Guild Awards, including Reuters photographer, Stefan Wermuth, winner of the prestigious overall Photographer of the Year Award, were presented with their awards by Nigel Farage MEP at a glittering ceremony held at the Honorable Artillery Company in London last week.

Hosted by BBC journalist and presenter Kate Silverton, the UK Picture Editors’ Guild Awards recognize outstanding photography from the world of news, royalty, sport, business, fashion and entertainment.

Along with Photographer of the Year, Reuters Stefan Wermuth also received the award for News Photographer of the Year.

Alan Sparrow, UK Picture Editors’ Guild Chairman, said: This year’s entries produced some of the closest scoring amongst our judges, but a clear winner emerged early. I think that the work of Stefan Wermuth makes him an outstanding Photographer of the Year.”


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