Monday, June 27, 2011

Last Week: The Pictures We Wanted to Talk About

Because of a welcome vacation, my regular weekly review of photography in print at Le Lettre de la Photographie has not appeared for the past couple of weeks. It was supposed to have reappear last Friday, but due to some technical glitches it appears there today. Herewith, the highlights, focusing on sports.


The Kiss
Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images

Rich Lam’s shot of lovers embracing in the midst of angry Canadian hockey fans became an instant classic the moment it went viral. After the Vancouver Canucks lost the decisive Game 7 of a thrilling and brutal Stanley Cup championship series, the team’s fans went from avid to rabid, taking to Vancouver’s streets to loot local stores and set cars on fire. The anonymous couple inadvertently captured by freelancer Lam didn’t remain anonymous for long: After the picture was published, the lovers were identified by relatives, and within days Scott Jones and Alex Thomas were being interviewed on a morning television news show, joining a pantheon of famously photographed kissers. Final note: Are there any scarier words in the English language than “angry Canadian hockey fans?”
Hazard Ahead
Photo by Doug Mills

The big story of this year’s U.S. Open golf tournament was the dominating win by 22-year-old Irishman Rory McIlroy, who finished on Sunday at an astonishing 16-under par, erasing memories of his final-round collapse in the Masters tournament in April. Photographically, a better story was crowd-pleaser Phil Mickelson, who struggled on the tough Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. In this shot, we see Mickelson’s reaction as he watches a shot go into water during the second round of play. That kid on the left, with the gray pants, blue striped shirt, and bushy hair sticking out from under a white hat? That’s McIlroy. That look on Michelson’s face? It’s why I gave up golf a long time ago.

A Hero Rises
Photo by Greg Nelson

The essential narrative behind all sports events is the rise and fall of heroes. Last summer, National Basketball League superstar LeBron James joined a Miami Heat “dream team” to assure himself the championship he had never won. But a funny thing happened on the way to athletic immortality: James played poorly in this month’s finals, and his team lost to the Dallas Mavericks, led by 13-year veteran Dirk Nowitzki. Sports Illustrated told the tale with Greg Nelson’s cover shot.
Class War
Photo by Nikolas Giakoumidis/AP

A sign of the times? New austerity measures imposed by the Greek government led to a strike by the country’s largest labor union. This banner reads, “Yes to the Society, No to the Power.” If you think Greek politics have become polarized, take a look at what’s happening in Wisconsin.
The Fire
Photo by Dean Knuth/AP/Arizona Daily Star

This photograph sums up the heartache of loss caused by the wildfires that continue to burn in Arizona. On Sunday, the so-called Monument Fire raced down a mountain and into the town of Sierra Vista, forcing 3,000 people to flee. Sierra Vista resident Pete Tunstall stood amid the remains of his home.

The Princess
Photo by Patrick Demarchelier

On July 1 the world gets another royal wedding. Prince Albert of Monaco will marry Charlene Wittstock, a former competitive swimmer who represented South Africa in the 2000 Olympics. The couple met a decade ago, at an event in Monaco. “After seeing me swim, Albert asked my management for permission to take me out,” Wittstock says in Vogue’s July issue. Patrick Demarchelier’s photograph explains the prince’s thought process.

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