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Point 660, 2, 08/2008 67°09’04’’N, 50°01’58’’W, Altitude 360M, 2008
Olaf Otto Becker issued this wake-up call on the unfolding environmental disaster in the Arctic more than a decade ago, and since then the problems have only accelerated. The land of unbroken vistas of pristine snow, prowling polar bears and basking seals are now a thing of the past. The reality today includes submarines and icebreakers looking for profitable routes for exploitation, and tourists on brief forays on to the ice from well-heated cruise ships, hunting for photographs to show off back home.

Photograph: Olaf Otto Becker


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Brooks Brothers, WTC, New York, 12 Sep 2001
Of taking of this picture, Sean Hemmerle notes: ‘To be powerless in the face of adversity is an unsettling and humbling experience.’ The photographer’s framing of the image underlines the strangeness of his experience: he finds himself alone in the still confines of a clothing shop, most of the shirts still neatly stacked on their shelves, a chair and table in perfect condition. Outside, framed by the blown-out window, we encounter a scene of chaos and ruin.

Photograph: Sean Hemmerle

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Iraq, 2008
In a spectacle designed to boost morale, more than a thousand US soldiers, airmen, marines and seamen pray before a massive re-enlistment ceremony in Al-Faw Palace in Baghdad on 4 July.

Photograph: Ashley Gilbertson/VII Photo

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Vista Aérea de la Ciudad de Mexico, XIII, 2006
Greater Mexico City is the world’s sixth-biggest megalopolis, with a population of around 22 million. How does a photographer evoke such staggering numbers in a single image? In Luz’s case, he does it from the air. As far as the eye can see, waves of humanity wash across the landscape.

Photograph: Pablo Lopez Luz

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