Thanks to DVAphoto for Worth a Look: Jon Lowenstein in Haiti which as well as pointing to the pictures also raises some points about them. It mentions Jon’s comment about one image:
Haitian National Police gather a group of ‘looters’ or ‘salvagers’ and confront them. In some of these instances the looters are shot, but in many cases they are let go, especially when Western media are present.
The presence of the media clearly does have an influence on events and surely there can be few photographers who cover them who haven’t realised this. We’ve all watched how demonstrators react to a TV crew, becoming noisier and more active for the camera, and it happens if to a lesser extent for still photographers, however discrete we try to be. But in Haiti things are more extreme and many people have very little to lose and no way to exist or for their families to exist except by taking advantage of whatever they find. ‘Looting’ certainly isn’t a term I’m happy with in this situation.
You can see the set of images on the NOOR web site and also on Lowenstein’s own site, although I couldn’t get the captions to display there, and they help to understand more about these images. But there are a number of other projects also worth a look; in general I find his black and white work considerably stronger than the colour.
Lowenstein is a fine example of what some call the new documentary photography, and not surprisingly he put in an appearance on Verve Photo, Geoffrey Hiller’s site devoted to “The New Breed of Documentary Photographers” and well worth browsing through when you have time to spare – as it will certainly detain you for some time.
Also on NOOR you can view Jan Grarup‘s fine colour images from Haiti – he arrived there 4 days after the quake and provides some vivid images of life there.