Global Lens Reflections on life, the universe, and everything

Beauty comes to those who wait

Displaced women in Zalingei, in Sudan's war-torn Darfur region, carry pots they have made to the market to sell.

This image is a testament to hanging on til the last minute. I was in Zalingei, in the Darfur region of Sudan in 2005. I was sitting with some Sudanese men, and these women came by carrying pots on their heads. (So far there's nothing unusual here: men sitting around talking while women work.) The men encouraged me to photograph the women, and I did as they walked by, and in general there was a lot of laughing. But then the women kept walking, and I just kept focusing on them from behind. ya never know. Then all of a sudden the one woman turned to look back at us, a sort of parting glance, and I exposed this frame just as she's almost completely turned around. I love the way the women's arms and the pots line up. If I'd done this right, I would have shot it as a vertical, and we'd have the top of the pot. Instead, I was holding the camera horizontally. Yet I cropped it to a vertical, in part because on one edge of the frame was the corner of a Toyota Land Cruiser, which just didn't add anything to the image. 🙂 I still like the image, as it speaks to the beauty and strength of women in a very harsh and violent environment.

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