Islelanders

An African immigrant whose wife had drowned is helped out of the water after laying flowers in the sea, during a memorial service to commemorate those who died while crossing from Africa to Europe over the years, in Birzebbuga, outside Valletta, June 18, 2009.

An African immigrant whose wife had drowned is helped out of the water after laying flowers in the sea, during a memorial service to commemorate those who died while crossing from Africa to Europe over the years, in Birzebbuga, outside Valletta, June 18, 2009.

I was attending this commemorative service organised by the Peace Lab to coincide with World Refugee Day – migrants who had lost family members at sea gathered at the sea’s edge to cast flowers and pray.

Some played music on their percussion instruments. Suddenly one man, overcome with despair over the loss of his wife who had drowned when their boat had capsized, flung himself into the water. Colleagues rushed to help him out again. I quickly jumped into position to get the picture of him as he came up with two migrants holding his arms, managing the right shot just as his face caught a bit of sunlight as he got to his feet.

The image isn’t pin sharp, there’s a bit of subject movement as my exposure had been set to shoot in the shade, but I don’t feel it detracts in any way from the power of the photo. The exposure was wrong, but since I was shooting RAW files, that was easily fixed afterwards.

Canon EOS 5D MkII
Canon EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
Focal length 16mm
Manual exposure
Shutter 1/200 sec
Aperture f/7.1
ISO 200

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One comment

  1. Erika

    Amazing work! well done and thank you for putting a face to the numbers and emotions to the statistics! Many forget we are dealing with people who have gone through more than any person should have to!

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