Close Up: Photographer Jae C. Hong

Jae C. Hong is a staff photographer at the Associated Press currently based in Los Angeles. Hong first joined the AP as a photo intern and was hired full time to cover Las Vegas shortly after completing his summer internship. 

Lefteris Pitarakis Appointed AP’s Chief Photographer for Turkey

Lefteris Pitarakis, an Associated Press photojournalist based in London, has been named AP’s chief photographer for Turkey, based in Istanbul.

Stranded Sea Lion Pups on California Beaches

Photos by Jae C. Hong The starving sea lion pup was so tiny that it looked like a rock at the base of the seaside cliff until it struggled to raise its head as humans approached.

Mexican Rodeo Keeps Ranch Traditions Alive

Photos by Rebecca Blackwell Mexico’s best charro horsemen, wearing traditional wide-brimmed sombreros, lassoed galloping mares, flipped bulls by their tails and tested their mettle atop spirited horses on a recent weekend in Mexico City.

Bolivia Grandmothers’ Handball

Photos by Juan Karita Dozens of traditional Aymara grandmothers ease many of the aches and pains of aging by practicing a sport that is decidedly untraditional in Bolivia — team handball.

70th Anniversary of Joe Rosenthal’s Iwo Jima

On Feb. 23, 1945, a 33-year-old Associated Press photographer who had been rejected from the Army because of poor eyesight took a photograph that would ultimately become one of the most recognizable and reproduced images in history.

Oscars’ Memorable Moments

The Oscars, or Academy Awards, dates back to 1929, when the first ceremony honoring excellence in film was held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

Philippines’ New Year Dancers

Photos by Aaron Favila Amid the deafening drumbeats and firecracker blasts, the dragon snakes into a building in downtown Manila while three lion heads bob to the crowd’s delight.

Cuba’s Horse Business

Photos by Ramon Espinosa Already renowned for fine rum and fancy cigars, Cuba is carving out a new luxury niche that is attracting Latin American elites to the communist-run island: elite jumping horses.

Iran’s Meth Craze

Photos by Ebrahim Noroozi Iran is breaking bad. Officials say methamphetamine production and abuse of hard drugs are skyrocketing in the country despite potentially lethal criminal penalties for users if they are caught.

Madrid’s Fashion Week

Photos by Daniel Ochoa de Olza Madrid Fashion Week has celebrated its 30th anniversary with presentations from 44 designers and brands by models on catwalks in Spain’s premier fashion showcase.

India Cart Pullers

Photos by Saurabh Das At the end of their workdays, after they have pulled their wooden carts for hours through the narrow lanes of New Delhi’s spice market, the exhausted men stop at little sidewalk stalls for something to eat, often a few handfuls of rice with some gravy on top.

Mexican Heroin Trade

Photos by Dario Lopez-Mills Red and purple blossoms with fat, opium-filled bulbs blanket the remote creek sides and gorges of the Filo Mayor mountains in the southern state of Guerrero.

The Art of Piñata-Making

Photos by Rebecca Blackwell A Mexican party isn’t complete without a piñata, and Melesio Vicente Flores and Cecilia Albarran Gonzalez have spent the last 25 years making high-end versions of the papier-mache figures to later be stuffed with candies and broken open with a stick or club.

Ukraine Unrest 2015

Photos by Manu Brabo Shelling in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk killed at least six civilians Tuesday, as fighting intensified between government and rebel forces.

Gender Roles in Pakistan

Photos by Muhammed Muheisen By day, 27-year-old Waseem Akram sells mobile phone accessories from an alleyway shop in an old neighborhood of this Pakistani city.

Close Up: Photographer David Goldman

David Goldman was born in New York City and received his Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a Minor in Spanish at the University of Rhode Island.

When Coal is Over

Photos by David Goldman The rest of the house is just waking as Scottie Sizemore plops down in a rocking chair on his front porch with a cup of coffee. It’s midmorning, but the sun has yet to crest the ridge above, where mist clings like clouds that couldn’t quite make it over.

India’s Disappearing Brass Bands

Photos by Manish Swarup The wedding season is in full swing in India, marking what should be the busiest time of year for the traditional brass bands that lead raucous processions announcing the arrival of the bridegroom to the neighborhood.

On the Road in North Korea

Photos by David Guttenfelder When North Korea opens its doors, it does so for a reason. So it was when the authoritarian government granted permission for a road trip so extensive that few North Koreans — let alone a pair of American journalists — could imagine taking it.

Ebola: Life at Ground Zero

Photos by Jerome Delay When 2-year-old Emile Ouamouno caught a fever, started vomiting, passed blood in his stool and died two days later, nobody knew why.

Wings For Autism

Photos by Patrick Semansky With boarding passes in hand, children with autism spectrum disorders and their families took part in an air travel rehearsal at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Close Up: Photographer Dave Martin

Dave Martin began his photographic career at the Lakeland Ledger in Lakeland, Fla., in 1982 before joining the AP as a staff photographer in Montgomery, AL., in 1983. In 2004, Martin was named the AP’s regional photo editor for the South.

Thankful For Turkey

Photos by John Minchillo On a cold and rainy November morning, farmers Mary Carpenter and Paul Dench-Layton waded arm-in-arm into the large soggy paddock that’s home to their Broad Breasted Whites, nearly 250 gobbling, barking, and bumbling Thanksgiving turkeys.

Iranian Pilgrimage

Photos by Ebrahim Noroozi More than a thousand people trekked across Iran this past week to visit a shrine in this ancient Persian city, a pilgrimage like many others in the Islamic Republic – until you notice men there wearing yarmulkes.

Peru Attacks Illegal Mining

Photos by Rodrigo Abd Peru has sent 1,000 police into its southeastern jungles to dismantle illegal gold-mining camps, just weeks before the country hosts global climate talks.

Close Up: Photographer Rebecca Blackwell

Rebecca Blackwell joined the AP as West Africa photographer in 2007, before moving to the Mexico City bureau in 2014.

Cuban Dancers Return Home

Photos by Franklin Reyes On November 4, 2014, AP photographer Franklin Reyes Marrero died in a car accident while returning from an assignment west of Havana.

Peru’s Dirty War Victims

Photos by Rodrigo Abd It was the second burial for the three members of the citizen self-defense force from this remote Andean village, who officials say died so that others might live.

Burkina Faso Political Crisis

Photos by Theo Renaut Opposition leaders and members of civil society met Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014 in Burkina Faso, West Africa, to establish ground rules for a transitional government and what they expect from its leader after the country’s president of 27 years resigned last week amid mounting opposition to his bid to seek yet anotherContinue reading “Burkina Faso Political Crisis”

Tibet’s Exiles

Photos and Text by Tsering Topgyal When I was 8 years old, my parents paid a smuggler to take me across the Himalayas, a weekslong walk over the mountains from Tibet to India. It was a trek that tens of thousands of other Tibetans have taken since the Dalai Lama fled a failed 1959 uprisingContinue reading “Tibet’s Exiles”

Brazil’s Poor Voters

Photos by Felipe Dana Children play amid tumbledown shacks in some of Rio de Janeiro’s poorest hillside “favela” slums, places where armed drug traffickers lay down the law, stray bullets fly and raw sewage oozes into the streets.

Paraguay’s Little Club

Photos by Jorge Saenz They don’t get much smaller than Paraguay’s Deportivo Capiata – or bigger than Argentina’s legendary Boca Juniors.

Close Up: Photographer Muhammed Muheisen

Muhammed Muheisen, Chief photographer, Pakistan, won the $10,000 Oliver S. Gramling Journalism Award for his work capturing the loss and hope in Pakistan and conflict zones throughout the world.

Cuba’s Violin Shortage

Photos by Ramon Espinosa In a light-filled workshop cluttered with tools and pieces of old string instruments, three men carve strips of imported wood and silently measure the angles of violin pegs and viola necks bent out of tune by years of use.

Venezuela Horse Mafia

Photos by Fernando Llano It sounds like a page-turning novel: Venezuelan authorities say a gambling ring poisons one of the country’s most popular race horses ahead of a key derby, nearly killing the animal and shining a light on an underworld where millions of dollars in bets are made under the table.

Close Up: Photographer Robert F. Bukaty

Associated Press photographer Robert F. Bukaty was born in Buffalo, N.Y. and studied photographic illustration at Rochester Institute of Technology. He joined the AP in 1993 and is currently a staff photographer based in Portland, Maine. 

Spain’s Human Tower

Photos by Emilio Morenatti  Yesterday was the 25th Human Tower Competition in Tarragona, Spain. The tradition of building human towers or “castells” dates back to the 18th century and takes place during festivals in Catalonia, where “colles” or teams compete to build the tallest and most complicated towers.