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Pictures of Haiti

I have just spent 15 days in Haiti, for those interested you can see some of the images here:


or here:


This tragedy is beyond words and I intend to set up a small foundation to try and help some of the people I met there.

For the technically minded, 99% of the images were shot with a Leica M9 with 35mm summicron, 28 summicron as well as some 24mm Elmarit. A few images were shot with a Leica M8 and a 50mm summicron. The M9 behaved beautifully at all times, and the file quality is nothing short of outstanding. I might publish a full on-hands review in the next days if people are interested.


by [a former member] at 2010-02-01 18:32:26 UTC | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Nice work Bruno! Tomas just posted a review here: http://tomasvanhoutryve.wordpress.com/2010/01/25/testing-the-leica-m9-in-paris/
and David Alan Harvey has been speaking about the M9 on Burn. Apparently the battery still goes quickly and the buffer is still not up to par. What I find on the M8.2 is that the on/off switch is way too loose. I have missed pictures that I would never have missed with an M6. The switch easily gets turned off when your camera is on your shoulder. Unfortunately, no one wants to buy my M8.2 even though I am pricing it at $595-$895 below what it would go for at a dealer in New York.

by Davin Ellicson | 01 Feb 2010 20:02 (ed. Feb 1 2010) | Bucharest, Romania | | Report spam→
Beyond words indeed, as witnessed in your images.

by [former member] | 01 Feb 2010 20:02 | on the road, United States | | Report spam→
>>I might publish a full on-hands review in the next days if people are interested.<<


Great work ! Nice project.

by Daniel Legendre | 01 Feb 2010 20:02 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
As far as the files, as I have said from the outset, the Leica RAW is built to create tonal range in b.w and it shows in Bruno’s files, that are still the best I have seen from digital. The color on the M9, in my opinion, is still problematic….that is speaking strictly as a viewer, as the camera costs more that I make in a half a year, if I am lucky.

Regardless, Bruno has great instincts, and I loved the work……

by [former member] | 01 Feb 2010 21:02 | | Report spam→
Andy, check out the second gallery…same pictures but in color…you might want to change your opinion… thank you for your comment on my work!


by [former member] | 01 Feb 2010 21:02 | Brussels, Belgium | | Report spam→
Heart breaking…
Nice work.

by J-F Vergel | 01 Feb 2010 22:02 | New York, NY, USA, United States | | Report spam→
the M9 on/off switch is different from the M8/M8.2, they have made it harder; not once did it move in 15 days of hectic conditions in Haiti. The batteries are small and light, I find I am using 2, max 3 during the course of a busy day, it really isn’t a problem in the real world, remember when we had to stop every 36 frames? :-)
I was in Haiti shooting mainly with the M9, but I had my M8 as a second body with a 50mm on it, which is a great combination…so I would recommend against selling your M8 too fast if you can avoid it; it is always a good thing to have a backup body when in the field.

by [former member] | 01 Feb 2010 23:02 | Brussels, Belgium | | Report spam→
I have looked at so many images from Haiti, you have some memorable ones. Nice work!

by Nancy Paiva | 02 Feb 2010 01:02 | Toronto, , Canada | | Report spam→
“This tragedy is beyond words and I intend to set up a small foundation to try and help some of the people I met there.”

I wish your post stopped there…

by [former member] | 02 Feb 2010 02:02 | Montreal, Canada | | Report spam→
F**K me. This is heartbreaking. It is what I thought it would be like there but I did not have confirmation until I saw these photos. Thank you for sharing these, great work and I pray that people are moved to action because of them.

FWIW, it is good to know that the equipment some of us use to tell important stories can take it in difficult environments. Thanks.

by Juan Carlos Delgado | 02 Feb 2010 04:02 | Portland, OR, United States | | Report spam→
Agree with Velibor..

by eva mbk | 02 Feb 2010 05:02 | Tuscany, Italy | | Report spam→
“This tragedy is beyond words and I intend to set up a small foundation to try and help some of the people I met there.”

… because the most acute need in Haiti right now is more white people doing NGO’s.

by [former member] | 02 Feb 2010 08:02 | | Report spam→
@ Matthias: not it isn’t.
However I have decided that I would find enough money to rebuilt two houses from poor people I know and met directly; so no NGO, just a little private help directed at two families directly. Straightforward and efficient.
If every single journo or expat from all the NGO’s and churches that are on the ground did just that and rebuilt 2 houses , it might actually make a huge difference.

by [former member] | 02 Feb 2010 09:02 | Brussels, Belgium | | Report spam→
If every Haïtian sitting around on Champ de Mars bitching for a handout did just that and rebuilt 2 houses, it might actually make an even bigger difference.

(not that rebuilding houses for people you’ve met, know and trust isn’t a good idea, much to the contrary. it’s just that in the grand scheme of things the problem is haitian, and it is in a large part governance, and governance won’t be solved by rebuilding)

by [former member] | 02 Feb 2010 09:02 (ed. Feb 2 2010) | | Report spam→
A gouvernance problem there is indeed, but a kickstart to some people will help greatly. (Of course, you don’t have a kickstarter on your R1200 anymore, too bad ;-) )

by [former member] | 02 Feb 2010 09:02 | Brussels, Belgium | | Report spam→
For the lazy ones, I have now uploaded a shorter image selection on youtube with a fantastic music soundtrack by a Port au Prince blind street musician, Olince Calixte.


Watch, share, and help Haiti in any way you can!


by [former member] | 02 Feb 2010 16:02 | Brussels, Belgium | | Report spam→
Bruno … thanks for sharing this set of photos. The photo of the blind musician is one of the most powerful I’ve seen and its wonderfully moving to hear his voice.

I put the audio slideshow up on duckrabbit: http://duckrabbit.info/blog/2010/02/bruno-stevens-on-haiti-audio-slideshow/

by duckrabbit | 02 Feb 2010 18:02 (ed. Feb 2 2010) | UK, United Kingdom | | Report spam→

Nice that you included Bruno’s piece on your site but then you couldn’t resist your editorializing which
certainly will shift some focus away from his intent

by [former member] | 02 Feb 2010 18:02 | Montreal, Canada | | Report spam→
nice (images, work, project) doesn’t seem like the appropriate descriptor…how can any of this be nice?

by [former member] | 02 Feb 2010 19:02 | on the road, United States | | Report spam→
Heart breaking work, A few of them are truly awe inspiring..Thank you for sharing Bruno
Are you setting up some sort of a appeal / donation for the cause you mentioned.
If so, i would love to contribute.


by Ethan Knight | 02 Feb 2010 19:02 (ed. Feb 2 2010) | christchurch, New Zealand | | Report spam→
@ Mark Tomalty … how?

by duckrabbit | 02 Feb 2010 20:02 | UK, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
I don’t quite understand your comment. I am shooting with two bodies, in extremely difficult conditions and human as well as technical situations. In all I have shot about 400 pictures a day on average, because I am out non stop from 6AM to 6PM, then editing and transmitting until 1AM. As I shoot with Leica, I don’t use my camera like a machine gun, but one image at a time. I simply work a lot. I have never been able to do a 20 pictures edit after spending 2 weeks in such horrific situations, in those cases I am not interested in ‘my’ photography or the comfort of my clients but simply to try and document a historical event to the best of my abilities.
Different motivation I guess.

by [former member] | 02 Feb 2010 20:02 | Brussels, Belgium | | Report spam→
Pictures of a tragedy, and you go into a discussion of the camera.

Lightstalkers has lost it’s way.

by George “Funky’ Brown | 02 Feb 2010 21:02 | 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry R, Iraq | | Report spam→
Lightstalkers is, in my opinion, a mecca for trolls. No one is forcing you to read this thread much less comment. Unless I’m missing something here ,like Bruno slept with your wife or was a huge asshole to you (I’ll take this all back if that is the case!!), why can’t you just skip the thread if you don’t agree? It’s all very un-dude like. Heaven forbid we all try to be civil. I just don’t get it.

by Juan Carlos Delgado | 02 Feb 2010 22:02 | Portland, OR, United States | | Report spam→

I kinda agree that Brunos segue into gear info might not have been a proper choice within the same post.
The point I was, unsuccessfully, trying to make was that while the exposure of his work on your blog is a good thing
I felt that to include the comment about this thread and a bit of a move to gear talk could start an unnecessary sidebar issue and
detract from the body of work which, I think, rates among the strongest to yet be shown.
Why not simply post your thoughts here and let you blog post take the high road.

You can see how this thread, despite the good intentions in the original post, is now, likely, to self destruct.

by [former member] | 02 Feb 2010 22:02 | Montreal, Canada | | Report spam→
There are 158 PICTURES not pages!!! which makes 10,5 a day.
I hope this helps.

by [former member] | 02 Feb 2010 22:02 | Brussels, Belgium | | Report spam→
Bruno how do you deal emotionally after witnessing all of this?
Thanks for sharing

by Matt Sutton | 02 Feb 2010 23:02 | Sydney, Australia | | Report spam→
Fair comment Mark, I respect your point of view … its a good one, you’re right and I amended the post. Thanks for opening my eyes.

by duckrabbit | 03 Feb 2010 00:02 (ed. Feb 3 2010) | UK, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Matt, that’s a great question and one that rarely gets talked about … How do you start to process something like this Bruno? Your work shows a lot of sensitivity and trust. You’ve obviously been deeply touched by what you’ve experienced. Perhaps it will be a long time before you can answer Matt’s question.

by duckrabbit | 03 Feb 2010 00:02 | UK, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Yea nothing like a bit of tech talk, anyone use a Nikon D700?|How did that go? Maybe some workshops will hit the mark………. Pity gear talk by the poster had to come into the fray

by Imants | 03 Feb 2010 02:02 (ed. Feb 3 2010) | The Boneyard 017º,, Australia | | Report spam→
Brilliant work as usual Bruno. Always an inspiration. I wish you luck helping the families you met there.

by Neal Waters | 03 Feb 2010 02:02 | san jose, United States | | Report spam→
Bruno. I just read Newsweek and TIME and saw your photo on the wfp.org/haiti pages. Very moving.

by Matt Sutton | 03 Feb 2010 03:02 | Sydney, Australia | | Report spam→
it is my mistake to put the link to the work and the tech talk in the same post. However, I did it because in the past, everytime I would post a link to some work, inevitably the tech talk kept creeping into the discussion, I was hoping that by giving the basic info in the post I would be successful in cutting the (expected) crap.
Nobody’s perfect, I guess…

In the meantime, I have posted a short selection on youtube with a song from a blind street singer from Port au Prince, recorded on my iPhone in front of the collapsed cathedral on the second day after the disaster, here is the link:


@Matt: well, this one was very hard on me, not sure I can manage to get rid of all emotional aftershocks…


by [former member] | 03 Feb 2010 12:02 | Brussels, Belgium | | Report spam→
I am sorry for contributing to the tech talk. I realized I shouldn’t have been asking Bruno questions in the same post as this one on his Haiti pictures.

Best regards,


by Davin Ellicson | 03 Feb 2010 14:02 | Bucharest, Romania | | Report spam→
@matt, i’m not going to interfere with Bruno’s response (he seems much more shaken than I am on this one), but I’d like to seize the opportunity to somewhat hijack the thread a little bit.

“how do you deal emotionally after witnessing all of this?” is a question that comes back quite a bit. it is irrelevant, voyeuristic, and personally, deeply bothers me. This is why.

My family wasn’t crushed under a building, my child’s body wasn’t left to rot in a street and eaten by a dog, I don’t live in a place where the food distribution is hijacked by a gang, and my well-being isn’t conditioned to PR for a cult, a government, or an NGO.

We are conduits, we choose to go where we go, and we leave (essentially) when we want. My job, when I go somewhere, isn’t to actually give a shit. It is to not make things worse, while representing those who do care (and those who don’t, and those there to profit), fairly and accurately. Whether I feel any empathy with the people I photograph is, quite frankly, irrelevant, so is how I deal with it – the only relevant question is how you feel about them. In Bruno’s case, given who his clients were, if you feel empathy and sorry for the poor Haïtians, his objective has been reached. The rest is irrelevant voyeurism.

by [former member] | 03 Feb 2010 16:02 (ed. Feb 3 2010) | | Report spam→
Outstanding BRUNO.
if I were some random person wanting to give aid money, your pictures alone would be enough to convince me. Haiti needs a few talented photogs like Bruno with clients and means of filing quickly, and a whole lot of doctors, water and food. The rest of the freelancers rushing to Haiti with no contacts might think about the the rest of the world.

by [former member] | 03 Feb 2010 17:02 | Baghdad, Iraq | | Report spam→
Media must not be left behind as Haiti rebuilds

By Garry Pierre-Pierre/Guest Blogger

Foreign journalists, seen here working in Port-au-Prince, have flooded into Haiti after the earthquake, but the local media is in tatters. (Reuters/Eliana Aponte)
Foreign journalists, seen here working in Port-au-Prince, have flooded into Haiti after the earthquake, but the local media is in tatters. (Reuters/Eliana Aponte)

The earthquake that rocked Haiti didn’t spare anyone, including the media. Like every institution in the troubled country, the media has had its share of challenges. They cannot pay decent salaries to reporters and the reporting most often doesn’t go beyond the headlines. International organizations have developed training programs for Haitian journalists, but those journalists tend to leave Haiti after gaining some experiences, leaving a vicious brain drain and a permanent training cycle.

What the earthquake has done is destroy the physical infrastructure that will limit the reach of the media, particularly radio, which is the primary source for Haitians to get their news and information.

The day of the earthquake, miraculously, one radio station, Signal FM, remained on the air, after not suffering any damages to its buildings and antennas in the mountains of Boutilliers. The station did a commendable job by keeping people informed. Elected officials, business owners, and regular people used their airwaves to communicate. The station remained open around the clock and did its best to keep the population informed. It wasn’t until a few days later that other stations return to the airwaves. To this day, many still remain silent, hoping to resume broadcasting soon.

Before the earthquake, there was a vibrant radio scene here—it seems as though every dial is taken on the FM band. Le Nouvelliste and Le Matin, the daily newspapers, have not resumed during the earthquake and it is unclear when the oldest daily in Haiti will be able to begin publishing again.

I’m quite concerned about the future of the media in Haiti because they are not part of the discussion of the rebuilding of the country. But the reality is that the media was affected as much as any part of civil society during the earthquake. As a struggling democracy, Haiti may not understand the role of the media, but everyone agrees that it is necessary since the catastrophic events of January 12. I believe that funding for media should be part of the equation of rebuilding. Journalists, like everyone else in this tragedy, lost their homes, family, and friends. The notion of a separation of church and state is noble, but these are not normal times and should not be applied in the case of Haiti’s media.

I think the international community, which should understand the role of a free press, must not leave Haiti’s media in tatters. The media should be a part of the reconstruction because of its ability to inform and mobilize people.

Right now, the government has a serious public relations problem, largely because President René Préval has not been seen in public enough. His comments have not connected with people; part of that reason is that he hasn’t spoken enough. So his pronouncements are dissected in minutia. By using the media for its ability to inform the public, the government could solve its problem. But in its current shape, the media cannot continue to broadcast and print information. Resources are desperately needed and should be provided.

Garry Pierre-Pierre is the editor and publisher of the Haitian Times, a Brooklyn, New York-based weekly. He has been reporting from Haiti in the earthquake’s aftermath.

If you have any information on journalists and media outlets in Haiti please notify me via e-mail smendez@cpj.org, or Twitter: @HelpJournalists. During your work in Haiti and that of others reading your posting if you met any local media who were injured or in need of help (medical, financial etc.) please let me know and how to contact them or their names so we can trace them through contacts on the ground.

by [former member] | 03 Feb 2010 18:02 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
Valid point, but actually most important radios were almost immediately back on air and providing an essential lifeline and information vector for survivors; Radio Caraibes springs to mind, they are unbelievably active in trying to bring separated people back together.
There are also TV channels, including one transmitting from a container in the courtyard of their destroyed building in Delmas 31, right near the new MSF hospital.

by [former member] | 03 Feb 2010 18:02 | Brussels, Belgium | | Report spam→

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Davin Ellicson, Photographer Davin Ellicson
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