Curating the most unique perspectives from some of the world’s leading photographers, “1,000 words and then some” is AP’s monthly photo series that takes a look beyond the lens and camera data at the stories behind some of our favorite shots.
This month explores the peak of “Pokemon Go” mania, a rare celebration of marriage amid a time of conflict, a precision shot of another type of precision shot, a chance encounter with a unicorn, as well as some early snaps of the Summer Games.
From the photographer: “I’ve been looking for a wedding to photograph for more than a month, because very few people allow the media to cover their wedding activities and publish them, especially photos of the women relatives who are dressed up for the wedding,” says Hamra. “It took two days of talking to the family before the wedding and then 3 days of preparation and shooting. There was something special about the two girls, the colors around them, the way they were dressed and the way they were sitting next to each other that drew me to them.”
From the photographer: “I took this image after several days of trying to get a good frame of the anti-coup and pro-government rallies in Taksim Square, in central Istanbul,” says Giannakouris. “There were two giant Turkish flags in the square, and the light was really good just before the sun set. I used the sun as a backlight and the protesters were silhouetted on the red flag. This moment only lasted for a couple of seconds, then the flag started to wave again.”
From the photographer: “I created this effect by panning my camera in the direction of the diver with a slow shutter speed, and with the focus locked onto the diver,” says Maye-E. “I like to find the shutter speed that gives me enough sharpness in the photo where the viewer can still tell what is going on, but enough blurring to see the movement and speed of the diver. Panning gives the photo more energy and life, and it can be a good trick to get rid of messy backgrounds too.”
From the photographer: “I met my subject and her boyfriend on the road while they were playing ‘Pokemon Go,’ just a few hours after its release,” says Cheung. “I was drawn to the way the game looked as it was reflected in her sunglasses, so I chose a tight crop of her face to highlight that juxtaposition.”
From the photographer: “The moment was a spontaneous one, at a vigil for Alton Sterling outside the Triple S Food mart where he was killed,” says Herbert. “I saw the man in the center of the image put his hands on Cameron Sterling and say some words to him, and Cameron just seemed to fold into his arms for comfort. Hands just started reaching towards him and touching him. It was a really tender moment, to see the community literally reach their hands out to support him.”
From the photographer: “When I saw the illusionist setting up a series of six linked crossbows, with the last one pointing to a target above his head, I knew this was the shot I wanted to get,” says Blackwell. “He had a little bell attached to the first target to help him orient himself, and then at the last minute, put on a hood. I waited until the moment I heard the arrow hit the first target and then fired off three frames in quick succession. I felt really lucky when I checked my screen and realized I’d gotten the exact moment of the apple being pierced.”
From the photographer: “When I saw the guy dressed in hairy and glossy white, with a unicorn horn on his head, he immediately got my attention,” says Daniel Ochoa de Olza. “I tried to take a candid photo of him as he was having fun with friends, but I failed — he noticed I was taking pictures of him and started posing for the camera. I started taking some portraits of him and we ended up close to the bench where the old woman was sitting waiting for her son to walk the dog. I never spoke with the old lady but I’m pretty sure by the look on her face that she had never seen anyone like him before.”
From the photographer: “I shot this from a helicopter,” says Dana. “I had to ask the pilot to remove the door so I could move more freely, and make these shots with the camera pointing straight down. We were flying over various Olympic venues when we passed by Ipanema beach, and I was stretching out of the helicopter with a 5D MKIII and a 100-400mm lens for this photo. I loved how the sunbathers and umbrellas looked from above — just a regular day at Ipanema beach.”
From the photographer: “I took this photo during a training session,” says Lovetsky. “I chose a low shooting position to allow me to frame the Olympic rings and to have clear background behind the athlete. The one problem with this position is there are too many photographers per square meter crowding around to get this angle. This is my first time shooting gymnastics, and I will be covering them during the whole Rio Olympics.”
From the photographer: “Photographing the Pope during his trips is always a special experience,” says Borgia. “With Pope Francis in particular you can always be surprised by his unpredictable character. Despite his very humble and informal behavior we still need to adhere to special protocols. First of all the dress code: We always have to be dressed in proper attire — a jacket, a shirt and a tie. Security checks are definitely tighter and having all our equipment checked every time we change spots during the visit is very stressful. For this image, I had just changed to my wide-angle lens as Francis walked silently through the gate bowing his head, allowing me to capture both Francis and the ‘Arbeit macht frei’ gate behind him.”
This post was produced for Canon, AP’s exclusive vendor of still photography equipment, by AP Content Services, the paid content service of The Associated Press.
AP photographers were interviewed by a third-party reporter on behalf of Canon.
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