Friday, January 15, 2010

Ryan Pyle Blog: BBC News / 20 Years in Pictures


How vain are you? How often to do you "Google" your name? Honestly?

Sadly, I do it often. My reasoning might surprise you. I don't get any emotional boost from seeing how many google pages my name appears in; but I've found it an excellent way to see how my work is being used online. So each month I spend a bit of time, less than an hour, trolling through websites in which my name or pictures appear.

Often I am pleasantly surprised. For example Corbis put together a 12 picture slide show of the most commanding news photographs from the last 20 years in September 2009. The BBC News website ran the slide show and I'm very honored that one of my images from the Sichuan Earthquake in 2008 was included. Sadly I only figured it out by doing a Google search for my name in late December.

BBC News 20 Years of Photographs

The image include, see above, is of a woman who had lost her son in the collapse of a Middle School in Juyuan, Sichuan; about an hours drive from the provincial capital city of Chengdu. That shot was one of the toughest I've ever taken. The woman was hysterical and the moment was emotional. Some have said that images like this one are a gross violation of privacy, but I feel my images, and others like it, are an important documentation of history. The Chinese government has never fully answered questions about why schools collapsed in such great numbers. Families have been torn apart from shoddy construction, and sadly there is no one honest enough to take the blame or even admit that corruption in the construction of these schools was widely to blame. I was there, I was able to bend rebar (the steel wires that hold concrete in place) with my bare hands; clearly no match for a strong earthquake.

Ryan Pyle

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This is Ryan Pyle. I appreciate you adding a comment to my blog and I hope that this space has offered you something useful and interesting. I look forward to staying in touch and I'm glad you took the time to comment.

Ryan Pyle