earthquake sichuan
The strongest picture I have seen about the quake, no blood shown, but a very explicit and sad picture of the consequences

Before reading this, please consider showing your solidarity with chinese people by donating to the Red Cross to help the rescuing.

War photographers are a group of people that I’ve always admired, and in my opinion photographers who cover natural disasters do the same kind of job. Ethically, it must be hard to be taking pictures while others are acting, reparing things and saving lives. On the other hand, in the world we are living, without pictures or videos few people would know about the catastrophe or the war.

Sadly, the pictures are almost the only way to get financial aid for the rescuing and rebuilding. If people people are not aware of the event, the event doesn’t exist for people.

chinese newspapers frontpages
Newspapers across China printed their logos in black and some ran entirely without color. Several front pages had simple messages in white text across the middle: “The nation mourns,” “Pray for life,” and “National tragedy.”

For the recent earthquakes in Sichuan, a big coverage has been made by the world’s media but the donations for the western countries have been far from what they were for the floods in Louisana or the tsunami in Thailand, the Freakonomics blog has a good piece on that: How pure is your altruism?

The other important part of the coverage is the editorial choice of photography. For the Sichuan events, western medias chose to mostly show the effects of the earthquake: buildings looking like America has been trying to bring democracy to the area, people crying, dead bodies or army rescuers.

To take a look at some galleries of the event:

earthquake wedding

The other source for picture is now the internet with regular people that were there and put the pictures they have taken online. In the sichuanese case, you probably all have seen this wedding shooting that turned into a nightmare. The photographer has taken shots during the earthquake, and it’s pretty frightening.

About the Author

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Mirko Humbert

Mirko Humbert is the editor-in-chief and main author of Designer Daily and Typography Daily. He is also a graphic designer and the founder of WP Expert.