Thursday, August 11, 2011
Top five: Best photojournalism on iReport

Editor's note: iReport, CNN's citizen journalism initiative, is celebrating its fifth birthday this month. To mark the occasion, we're taking a look at some of iReport's shining moments in a series of top five posts on a variety of topics. Today, we’re taking a look at some of the best examples of photojournalism.


Sometimes it’s hard to grasp the full extent of a story if you’re not there. In some cases, you need to see what’s going on before you can believe it.


What really brings it home for me are the photographs, the windows into the emotions of the people who are witnessing the news firsthand. Here are five indelible images that represent some of the best examples of photojournalism on iReport:



Pakistan flooding

In 2010, Pakistan faced the worst deluge it had experienced in 80 years. Filmmaker Alizeh Imtiaz traveled 250 miles across the country and photographed intimate portraits of Pakistanis affected by the flood. She also brought supplies to these remote areas, which had seen little aid from nonprofit groups.


"I took my camera in these rough conditions. I spent four or five days in the area so I could get to know the people," Imtiaz said. "I wanted to stay so people could see the desperation and devastation." She took the time to listen to their stories, which is key to great storytelling.



Typhoon Ketsana

Pasig City, Philippines, almost looked like the Venice of the East after Typhoon Ketsana swept through in 2009, inundating cities and forcing people to get around on makeshift rafts. Many were stuck on the roofs of their homes, waiting for the water to recede. Photographer Doranne Lim captured the panic from the best vantage point: a rooftop.



San Bruno explosion

Professional photographer Chris Honeysett got right up to the fire just after the massive gas-line explosion that destroyed dozens of homes in San Bruno, California, last year. His powerful black and white photos of firefighters "shrouded in smoke" painted the urgency of the situation. We used this well-composed photo as the lead image on



Oslo attacks

On a quiet Friday morning last month, reports of an explosion at a government building in Oslo, Norway, started trickling in. One of the first images we received blew me away. Immediately, we cropped Trond Lindholm’s photo of three bandaged German tourists near the site of the explosion and moments later, it was the lead image on, both domestic and international editions. The tragedy and the atmosphere were captured in that single photo.



Haiti earthquake

Not long after an earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010, left more than 200,000 people dead and thousands missing, several iReporters made their way there to help. Bobby Moon, who was a photography student at the time, was one of them. He made it his quest to tell the story of the people who survived the disaster.


At the site of a mass grave in Port-au-Prince, black cloth strewn across a white metal cross sat atop a hill. "The stillness of the site is haunting and the midday sun, baking the ground, distorted the air with a suggestive haze and haphazard motion," said Moon. Sometimes, a quiet scene speaks volumes about a situation, as it did here.


Whether you take a portrait wrought with raw emotion or press the shutter at the perfect time to capture a breaking news moment, all of these photographs have a story to tell. For inspiration, I’ve kept a collection of the most stunning news photographs submitted to iReport. Please continue to share your excellent photojournalism with us, iReporters. You inspire us all everyday.

August 11, 2011
Click to view sunethra's profile

Truly amazing, each photograph tells a story by itself.

August 11, 2011
Click to view Tauromaja's profile

The desolation of the Haiti photo...


There is an incredible power in each image. 

August 11, 2011
Click to view zdan's profile

I'm glad you agree that one photo can pack so much power. Thanks for the comments, sunethra and Tauromaja.

August 11, 2011
Click to view lila's profile

This is beautiful, Christina. So glad you turned a light on these incredible picture stories.

August 11, 2011
Click to view CortneeH's profile

LOVE this.

August 11, 2011
Click to view nsaidi's profile

Aww everyone, keep those poignant photos coming.

August 11, 2011
Click to view brixton's profile

I remember bobbymoon's pictures of Haiti- that fine balance between documentary and artfulness. Devastating.


All the reports mentioned are brilliant. Kudos to the artists.

August 11, 2011
Click to view pippi1877's profile

amazing photography

August 11, 2011
Click to view loto36's profile

Loved all of them, but my favorite is def the first one. How much innocence can the eyes of a child transmit... SImply beautiful!

August 11, 2011
Click to view Killiann's profile

Nice images. I hope they got paid for them and didn't give them away for free. If they did then shame on them and especially Honeysett.

August 11, 2011
Click to view siracco's profile

No happy picutres here.

August 11, 2011
Click to view jovanbregu's profile

Amazing pictures, all of them. However, the first one still makes me cry, every time I go back and look at it.

August 11, 2011
Click to view lambe's profile

I am reminded of a photo I saw many years ago now, at the beginning of the conflict with Afganistan.  It was a

picture of an old, hard-worn, pain-stricken face of a man with his arms around a dark-haired boy of about 7 years who was terrified and seemed to have just broken down into sobs of inconsolable grief.  I will never forget that boy's face as long as I live.  It haunts me, and I constantly wonder what became of him.  It pounded me with the true tragedy of war in a way that still hurts today.

August 11, 2011
Click to view RazvanC's profile


August 11, 2011
Click to view tilo's profile

All the photographs are very tragic feel sad for all

August 11, 2011
Click to view JoeHammer's profile

These are truly amazing photos.  It really get your sympathy going doesn't it.  But before we get carry away, let's not forget our country is deteriorating.  Pretty soon somebody will be looking at pictures of Americans without foods and on the streets.  A real pity isn't it?

August 11, 2011
Click to view sjunat55's profile

Excellent photographs!

A picture captures a moment and the feeling of that moment like nothing else.

Magnificent cboices, zdan!!!!

August 11, 2011
Click to view Sunsetlady's profile

compelling photos. i love photos who tell a story on a first glance.

August 11, 2011
Click to view abpune's profile

I find this list sick - a hungry child, bleeding, desperate people - these cannot be the objects of "beauty".

I would say, for humanity, these photos belong to the hall of shame.

August 11, 2011
Click to view zdan's profile

Thanks for the kudos, sjunat55! There were so many compelling photos and it was very difficult to pick. I realize that all of these come from disasters and bad news. The point I was trying to make is that you can use an image to tell a story, whether it's breaking news or a feature.

August 11, 2011
Click to view pipedog's profile

Incredible work!

August 11, 2011

Wow...Every Picture tells a story...

August 11, 2011
Click to view mcintron's profile

Really amazing photographs and great captures at a moment in history. Storytelling through photojournalism at it's best. Congrats to all!

August 12, 2011
Click to view Sherbien's profile

stunning photos

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