Ivanoh Demers, a photojournalist for over 20 years, comments on some of the images that have marked the news in recent days.

The location of tents that were removed remains evident, the grass having lacked light.

Yellowed grass following the dismantling of the pro-Palestinian encampment on the University of Chicago campus, May 7, 2024.

Photo: Getty Images / Scott Olson

Hours after the dismantling of a pro-Palestinian encampment at the University of Chicago, the campus was meticulously cleaned. But there were still traces…

Demonstrators from the pro-Palestinian encampment were evacuated by local police around 4:30 a.m. Photographer Scott Olson showed up at the scene a few hours later. He chose this original point of view to illustrate the end of the event.

The location of the tents remained clearly defined by the flattened and yellowed lawn. Except for the faded lawn, everything was back to normal on the University of Chicago campus.

A woman is walking at the top of the photo. She passes a man standing on a stepladder who is participating in the cleaning operation.

The two men walk across an airport tarmac, each carrying an umbrella.

Meeting between the President of China, Xi Jinping, and that of France, Emmanuel Macron. Photo taken at Tarbes airport, France, on May 7, 2024.

Photo: Getty Images / AFP / AURELIEN MORISSARD

Chinese President Xi Jinping was welcomed on the tarmac of a French airport by his counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Sunday.

It was raining, they both had umbrellas. The photographer chose to include in his shot the reflection of their silhouettes on the wet asphalt of the tarmac. The small flag, on the left side of the image, specifies that the scene took place in France.

The photographer had to deal with the many people walking behind the two main subjects. Some of them were looking towards the camera. Despite these intrusive elements, the photo is very successful.

The only problem with this kind of image is that it requires a wide shot. Consequence: we cannot clearly distinguish the expression of the two statesmen.

When laying out, many operators may be tempted to tighten the image to better show their faces. Please don’t do this! By cutting off the bottom of the image, we would sacrifice the particularity of this photo.

With his face resting on a fist, Markus Soeder seems to be dozing.

Markus Soeder, head of the Christian Social Union in Bavaria. Photo taken during the party congress, April 27, 2024, in Munich, Germany.

Photo: Getty Images / Johannes Simon

Two weeks ago Markus Soeder participated in the congress of the Christian Social Union in Bavaria, in Munich, Germany. Photographer Johannes Simon sent a photo of the Minister-President of Bavaria, leaning on the table, half asleep. In the foreground, a yellow glow adds a touch of mystery to this unusual image.

The photo is, let’s say it, rather disastrous for the main person concerned. We must therefore ask ourselves the following question: is this photo of public interest?

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It depends on his involvement in the exercise. The fact remains that he is dozing during a congress of his own political party. In my opinion, this photo is informative, relevant and publishable.

Agence France-Presse decided to make this photo available and Getty Images agency chose it as one of the best of the week. They obviously had the same reasoning as me and felt that it was in the public interest.

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois puts his hands to his mouth as if he is praying.

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois speaks at a Québec solidaire congress, in Gatineau, November 25, 2023. (Archive photo)

Photo: The U.S. Press / Spencer Colby

I often talk about the importance of taking photos, even if they don’t match the news of the day, for our archives so that we can use them later. This week I saw a convincing example of the usefulness of this practice.

This photo of Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois was taken on November 25, 2023, during a Québec solidaire congress in Gatineau. Standing in front of a microphone, the politician has his hands in a position that evokes reflection. He seems thoughtful.

After the resignation of his co-spokesperson Émilise Lessard-Therrien on April 29, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois said he had taken a step back to think about his political future and that of his party.

The use of this photo in this context is entirely appropriate. It illustrates the state of mind of the politician. It goes without saying that it should be noted that this was an archive photo.

My wink of the week

When I saw the photo of Scott Olson – the one that covers this article – I had a big smile.

I took a similar photo in 2020, following the dismantling of a homeless encampment on Notre-Dame Street, in Montreal. I then saw almost the same scene as the one sketched by my colleague this week in Chicago. All that remained were the footprints of the tents moved the day before.

We don’t reinvent the wheel. In press photography, almost everything has already been done. But that shouldn’t stop us from trying to create images that stand out for their originality.

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