Friday, January 15, 2010

| TIME | Haiti's Earthquake Destruction. [Note: Contains Graphic Images]

Haiti's Earthquake Destruction: TIME Exclusive Photographs

'To see IS to believe' and another way to communicate, visually. As an aspiring photojournalist, i believe in the power of photography. A frozen still moment in time has the ability to capture imagination and convey and evoke an array of emotions through the simple use of composition, color and light. Through pure rhetoric and imagination, one is contained within the limits of their minds and comprehension of language. However a photo is a universal language that transcends all boundaries of culture and language.

One might suggest that a photo can also tell a lie through skillful manipulation. However, it can also reveal the raw and harsh realities in its coldest and bloodiest form. Cliches are cliches because they speak the truth and as the cliche goes, 'Pictures speak a thousand words'. As the framed shot stands frozen on its own, it, like all forms of communication, stand the test of one's prejudice and perception as we try to comprehend the context and put meaning to the visual message presented.

In TIME's exclusive photographs of Haiti's Earthquake Destruction, one need not know facts or statistics to understand the extent of damage caused by Mother Nature's wrath. Through this short photo essay which combines gut wrenching and bone chilling photographs with brief sentences on its context, a complete picture and more is given to the audience, all around the world. It is not only a powerful tool but highly effective as well. When tragedy hits our neighbors, one can only imagine the grim reality that comes with it and we can only sympathize so much. To hear on the radio and read in the newspapers of the grief and sadness in a surviving Haitian's eyes versus seeing those eyes through our own affects us very differently. Recognizing pain and suffering versus reading and hearing of it brings a different sense of consciousness to one's being.

The emotions then become more palpable and poignant in our imagination and hearts. When news initially broke of this disaster, the world's attention was still scattered and engaged by the many focused distractions around. However, the world stopped in its tracks when this hair raising photo of a Haitian woman stuck in the rubble reaching out for help was shown.

The shock and disbelief in her eyes in seeing the destruction and death around her, numbs her from her own physical pain and suffering. Within a matter of minutes of the earthquake, just as fast as it came and gone, her life crumbled onto her, losing the little she had to hold on to in a country plagued with suffering and hardship. These photos give us a taste of hell on earth.



  1. I have to agree.. a picture do tell a thousand words. And in a way picture and photos do so much more than videos. True, videos might depict a storyline better but in my humble opinion a photo has more focus and impact.

    great 1

  2. The pictures speaks for itself. It portrayed the helplessness and hopelessness they are in now. Images leaves a lasting imprint on people's mind. They are very effective in delivering across the message that the photographers wanted to convey. My heart goes out to these victims of Mother Nature.

  3. As an aspiring photojournalist tasked to document such tragic, catastrophic moments like these, you definitely have to have so much courage and be somewhat detached to choose clicking the camera over trying to help save someone's life. My prayers and thoughts to the victims of the disaster.


  4. It takes one with an talented eye to be able to catch the moment that would tell the world stories just from a split second in time. I'd like to say that you also have a knack of writing emotively which can be a great combination for an inspiring career in the years to come.

    These selected photographs are indeed heartwrenching and it gives us a realisation to how lucky we are today. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Very good post. Very good writing. Very cool blog too!

  6. Pictures are but a glimpse of the many stories and realities behind. Events such as this seem to be a test of our human spirit as a collective whole.

    A mirror, if you will. On one hand we have nations and individuals extending aid. One online Facebook game company even raised US$1mil.

    On the other hand, their very own kinsmen are running opportunistic scams to sap donations.

    Such a world we live in, no?

  7. The beauty of using pictures is that the photographer is capturing crucial moments. The viewer is then tasked to imagine what happens next. This is a strong form of 2-way communication.

    Good post.

    Colin Ong

  8. I agree totally that a picture speaks a thousand words.

    The content and pictures have more than humbled myself to count my blessings to be in this part of the world where natural disasters are so extremely rare.

    Thanks for this well-written blog!

  9. Thanks for sharing about the Haitian Earthquake. Truly, we are more fortunate than them.

    The pictures depicted their plight.
    Thanks for sharing :)

  10. pictures do tell a thousand is heartening to know that there are still many of us who still empathises with the more unfortunate in today's materialistic world.

    Thank you for sharing and bring senses to our "perfect" world.

  11. Detailed-simplicity.

    Read your article. Well written. Use of simple yet powerful words to narrate the horrifying happenings at Haiti. Capturing the hearts of millions with the powerful use of photographs, complimented by your narrations.

    1. On your point “ One might suggest that a photo can also tell a lie through skillful manipulation. However, it can also reveal..bloodiest form. ” … Yes, you are right about what a photo can be read differently. We have to acknowledge the fact that there always are variances in how people look at the same thing, whether it is a photo, article or event. Different perspectives do happen. But in this Haiti’s disaster, I am very sure there is only one common perspective – sympathies go to the people of Haiti.

    2. Perhaps, overall, what the whole horrifying disaster, which has taken thousands and thousands of lives, shows how humans, in the world of advanced technology, still so vulnerable to mother nature.

    Cheers, Harmony Ow

  12. i agree - images are powerful. and a strong image with thoughtful words are hard to shake. beautifully written piece. looking forward to reading more!

  13. Harmony - 'humans, in the world of advanced technology, still so vulnerable to mother nature.' - i agree. Technology deceives us into thinking that we are all powerful and in control. Mother nature's wrath at the end of the day is no match for any man-made gadget/tool/structure/innovation.

  14. To those i haven't responded to - thanks for dropping in and leaving your 2 cents worth. ;-)