National Geographic News
56 comments
Keith Oli
Keith Oli

People like you make me sick. I hope a missile kills your child and your significant other leaving you in emergency care to wake up and find that some sadistic European foreigner took a picture of the corpses of your loved ones to win a f****** prize. Disgraceful.

Jo Ellen Pearman
Jo Ellen Pearman

It seems National Geographic got a little off track with their judging. Why was it, the sadder, more devastating, disgusting the picture, the more likely it was to win an award? Thank goodness for the bird eating the berries, my personal favorite.  

Luthfiyyah Wiriana
Luthfiyyah Wiriana

this is the saddest photograph that make teardrops like waterfall, can't imagine the situation in the reality :'(

David Burton
David Burton

Why are all the comments only on the first picture?  Why can't we see just the comments for each picture as we move through them?

Jorge Rodriguez
Jorge Rodriguez

Very impressive picture. However, to me, it looks staged. I have seen too many videos and pictures of 'dead' Palestinians who died in front of cameras operated by Western journalists. A really blatant case was during operation Cast Lead: they were rushing Dutch journalists to a site where apparently a group of police officers had just been hit by an Israeli missile. You could see about eight men lying on the ground, none of them had lost any body parts. If a human body takes a direct hit from a missile, you don't see a body anymore. One of the men was on his knees, praying, and he 'died' with the cameras rolling...

Dead children make for excellent propaganda. Be careful.

Dows Chemical
Dows Chemical

In too a many cases, pictures extracts more reason to evaluate than the word itself. It expresses the things that the word cannot, however, explicitly imply. The above photograph clearly shows the excessive loss incurred by the state actors. 

Russ Abbott
Russ Abbott

Too many of these pictures were difficult for me to see. It was too hard to see what was going on.  


In addition, too many of them exploited human misery for the photographer's gain.

beverley merchant
beverley merchant

A sad and yet haunting photographic image of both a truly desperate situation and at the same time one of relaxed contemplation.

A remarkable muted colour palate .  .Thought provoking and incredibly beautiful.

beverley merchant
beverley merchant

A sad and yet haunting photographic image of both a truly desperate situation and at the same time one of relaxed contemplation.

A remarkable muted colour palate .  .Thought provoking and incredibly beautiful.

Jeffrey Maciejewski
Jeffrey Maciejewski

A number of folks have suggested that Hansen may have tweaked the lighting in his photograph after the fact. If so, then how far do we go in letting "news" photographers go in being able to alter what actually occurred at this event? Remember, this was a best NEWS photo award.

Some people have pointed to the work of another alleged photographer of the same event to illustrate what Hansen may have done to his photograph. See http://wp.me/p2jfzo-4n.

I don't know--if Hansen tweaked the photo I think it begins to place him on ethically shaky ground.

Tim Urso
Tim Urso

Everyone that posted that NG is being biased in showing pictures of the death of the two Palestinian children you obviously missed the point. On both sides you all have your bias so your opinions are not needed. The picture does not show any flags, political views, nationalism, or any kind of bias. Represented in these pictures is emotion. The people are free of any national identity or symbols. It shows the emotions and pain when children are killed in the result of bombing. You see these people as Palestinians. I see them as just people. There national identity means nothing. This is where you are wrong and caught up in your selves.
What is shown in the picture is only the emotional distress when innocent children life's are destroyed for nothing. Without the caption you would not know what nationality they are from. You missed the point of the photo with you arguments and statistics that mean nothing. In respect of the children I ask everyone who is commenting with their political views to keep your opinions to yourself. Pray not for Palestinian or Israeli, Pray not for Arab or Jew, but pray for ourselves so that we don't separate them in out hearts.

martina kearney
martina kearney


Staged??

I don't think so. Its exactly what the Germans said when the war ended regarding  the photographs of the jewish people in concentration camps.You  seriously need to  wake up and see what you are doing to fellow humans, disgraceful USA backed massacre or people for their own land 

SHAME ON YOU 


dana Natsheh
dana Natsheh

this is a very small part of reality in GAZA , that has been happening since 1948 all over OUR PALESTINE  , and no response from the  world , that claims to fight for peace and human rights !!!!

jim craig
jim craig

This woman needs a doctor--not a photo session. Likely a goiter.

Pradeep Datar
Pradeep Datar

Paul Hansen, every inch of your photo radiates Tragedy of infinite magnitude. The emotions are boundless and sans any boundaries, Politics,etc. We at NatGeo whole Heartedly join you in expressing your sentiments. Well done Paul. Hope to see more from you in future. 

Paulette Moudakis
Paulette Moudakis

Really disappointed in this year's crop of "best photos" - they are mostly depressing and from the Middle East.  Is this Time or National Geographic??  Where are all the gorgeous nature shots??  Please don't get political - I love Nat Geo for what it has always focused on - and the horror of war in the Middle East in not it!

Graham Smith
Graham Smith

Staged - probably. An incredibly good photo, yes. A worthy winner - no. This is far too political for me, and as others have said, totally ignores the fact that the deaths shown are in retaliation for thousands of indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israeli civilians. I don't support violence from either side, and I am sad that NG supports such an emotive incitement to support Palestinian violence.

Einat Z
Einat Z

In this "best of the year" stream, 2 out of 10 photos, that is 20%, show the Palestinian point of view of the conflict in the Middle East. The National Geographic Magazine is perceived as a NATURE magazine, though in recent years there are more and more stories with a political context. Trouble is, that NG portrays a biased picture. More trouble is, when a magazine that is widely regarded as a neutral and balanced one, presents such a biased, unbalanced view.

Susan Price-Jang
Susan Price-Jang

I highly recommend to Mr. Rebhun and anyone else with opinions one way or another about the Israel/Palestine problems, go see the documentary, Gatekeepers, in which 5 of the last 5 directors of Shin Bet (Isaeli version of CIA) discuss how they approached the problems of Israeli security during their terms in office and looking back what they would do differently.

juan garibay
juan garibay

staged or not those kids are really dead and those parents are in real pain!! this is really happening. This photo is very strong!!!! 

Laurence Rebhun
Laurence Rebhun

Staged....by a photographer well known for this crap. Disgusting.

Laurence Rebhun
Laurence Rebhun

Too bad the Hamas infested government continues to launch rockets at Israel. They might as well launch them at their own people.

Peggy Hess
Peggy Hess

How about showing how Israel is bombed FROM Gaza?

Jon Carry
Jon Carry

A staged photograph won?!
Has Nat Geo lost its ability to fact check? Very disappointing.

Jeffrey Maciejewski
Jeffrey Maciejewski

Until Hansen comes clean about his role in staging "news" photographs, the fact that he continues to win awards and garner favorable press is just deplorable. See http://wp.me/p2jfzo-2U

Casey Mcinnis
Casey Mcinnis

@Russ Abbott you can think that everyone is out for self gain, but perhaps the photographer just wants to hand the world a mirror, to say "Look at what we are." I'm sure their hearts long for those they capture in image, they just couldn't help them all.

Drew Allegre
Drew Allegre

@Jeffrey Maciejewski There are definitely multiple light sources in the winning image.  The photographer may have bounced his flash, used off camera flash, or possibly took advantage of some sort of reflection.  The direction of the sun can be determined by the hard shadows on the ledges, but there is a second light source to the left of the frame.  The walls also probably provide some diffused light.  

There is likely some manipulation (the sky is awfully dark, and shadows may have been lifted selectively).

I guess I don't have a problem with using off camera lighting (or just using available light in a creative way), but selective (as opposed to global) edits to a photograph certainly begin to blur the line between journalistic and editorial content.

Heiko S.
Heiko S.

@Jeffrey MaciejewskiThanks for the information and opinion on what seems to be an edited image, even if only for dramatic effect. It is sad that once again war victims are used to further personal careers and influence public opinion, as can be clearly seen from the comments here.

On a side note, Israel has recently passed what is commonly referred to as "Photoshop law", which forbids publication of edited/manipulated images for promotional purposes.

Unfortunately Palestinian victims have repeatedly won journalistic prices - unfortunate because of the victims as well as the fact that they are used for political purposes, often by the very regime responsible  for the misery. For those living far away it's much too easy to put the blame on the so-called oppressor (Israel) which in the case of Gaza isn't exactly the case. What the world doesn't see is that Israel - despite unprovoked attacks from the Hamas regime (and other local terror groups) in Gaza - provides Gaza with water, electricity, and sometimes even medical treatment for the needy. What the world almost never sees are the Israeli victims, because in Israel it's considered unethical to show pictures of the dead.

Thanks again for your post.

Graham Smith
Graham Smith

@Tim Urso Tim - I agree with you. If the NG jury had left the photo as anonymous - we would have concentrated on the tragedy of war depicted. Unfortunately, they said "It shows two Palestinian children being carried to their funeral after an Israeli missile struck their home in Gaza City. The children's father, whose body is on a stretcher in the background, was also killed in the blast; their mother survived but was in intensive care." which immediately moves it in the political arena and incites the discussions below.

We should also pray that the Palestinian leadership will move away from the violence which causes their own people so much grief, and seek diplomatic solutions. I would also pray that Israel will be persuaded by the International community to be conciliatory in response.

Chris Wood
Chris Wood

@Graham SmithIsrael's behavior is beyond despicable, especially in light of how their own people have been treated. They wield tanks and jets against Palestinian rocks and Roman candles, retaliating with a 1000:1 ratio, and you voice concern about Palestinian violence?  'Tis wisely said that it is better to be silent and thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.

Chris Wood
Chris Wood

@Graham SmithIsrael's behavior is beyond despicable, especially in light of how their own people have been treated. They wield tanks and jets against Palestinian rocks and Roman candles, retaliating with a 1000:1 ratio, and you voice concern about Palestinian violence?  'Tis wisely said that it is better to be silent and thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.

Dave Head
Dave Head

@Graham Smith The picture may have been staged but the deaths were not. Between 1 Jan & 19 Nov 2012 Palestinians killed 4 Israelis, 3 of them between 13 & 19 Nov. during Israel's Operation Pillar of Cloud.  Israelis killed 173 Palestinians during the same period - 78 between 1 Jan. and 11 Nov., and 95 between 13 & 19 Nov.  Since 2006 Israelis have killed between 61 and 110 times more Palestinians (depending on sources) than have been killed by them. Kinda puts that whole retaliation thing in perspective. I guess the other 170 Paletistinans killed this year were in retaliation for the next 20 years of hostilities ahead.

Chris Wood
Chris Wood

@Einat Z  How some perceive NG should not place a stranglehold upon the editors. NG has always carried political, social, environmental and nature articles, and if you think otherwise, you need only peruse their archives to be corrected. Having said that, for every pro-Palestinian piece in American media, there are scores of pro-Israeli pieces. If you seek a neutral and balanced view, we would need years and hundreds of pro-Palestinian articles to catch up. Two pictures is too small to even be considered an attempt at balance.

Dave Head
Dave Head

@Einat Z 43 times as many Palestinians have been killed; so Israel lost about....2 1/3% as many humans as did Palestine. Hence the 20% figure.

Dave Head
Dave Head

@Laurence Rebhun True, true.  If Hamas launched them at their own people then far less Palestinians would die.  Israel's military is much better at killing them.  Compared to the IDF, Hamas is incompetent at best. If you want more civilians per square mile dead or maimed it is hard to match Israel.

Chris Wood
Chris Wood

@Jeffrey Maciejewski  You have no proof that Hansen staged this, or any other photograph, and yet you accuse with great (self-appointed) authority.  Are you foolish or just jealous?

Graham Smith
Graham Smith

@Chris Wood @Graham Smith 

See my response to Dave Head.

Roman Candles? Perhaps you missed the news that Palestine has missiles capable of hitting Jerusalem, and have used them? They certainly are not firing just fireworks for the admiration of the Israelis.

A 1000:1 ratio?? Try getting your facts correct before pointing the finger at someone you call a fool.  Perhaps you should take notice of your own quote?

Graham Smith
Graham Smith

@Dave Head @Graham Smith 

@dave Head - given the thousands of rockets aimed at Israel,  to say nothing of the suicide bombers - you have to admit that the Palestinian lack of success in killing Israelis wasn't for the want of trying..  As I said - I don't support violence as a means to achieve political (or personal) ends, especially when civilians get hurt in the process, but I do object to entities like NG giving presitigious awards to demonstrably political photos. Who is the fool in this case?

Jeffrey Maciejewski
Jeffrey Maciejewski

@Chris Wood @Jeffrey Maciejewski You're right, Chris--I have no proof. I’ve merely analyzed the anecdotal evidence. Let’s consider four different options for what happened in the Cherisma case: 1) Hansen knew the body had been moved and photographed it anyway; 2) Hansen himself moved the body; 3) Hansen had no idea the body had been moved when he photographed it; and 4) Cherisma fell in that position to begin with. Options 1 and 2, in my mind, are equally as bad insofar as they both reflect an intent to deceive. Options 3 and 4, of course, exonerate Hansen from any ill intent whatsoever. That said, it seems to me that options 3 and 4 were unlikely to have happened (I emphasize unlikely; not impossible or improbable). Given the number of photographers on the scene (and how they might have talked among each other), I think it unlikely that Hansen simply happened upon Chermisa’s body in that position. Similarly, it seems unlikely Cherisma fell in that same (allegedly posed) position after having been hit.

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