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Über das Hotel

The hotel is gorgeous, the amenities are high end Hermes!! I loved that my air conditioner worked well, given that I have bad experiences in Frankfurt with very hot rooms!

Everything is great, although the elevator system is quite cumbersome and didn't always work well. I also was there for business and worked with an excellent sales team, who were easy to work with and responsive. Allianz Global Investors looks forward to working with your team on a yearly basis for our conference needs. We were staying at Sofitel Frankfurt Opera 3 nights and the hotel was absolutely amazing! The room was big with a view to the nearest park. Also the location was absolutely fantastic.

Staff was friendly too. The hotel is nice, well located and brand new. However our experience did not meet the standards that we expected for a Sofitel. The staff was not particularly nice at reception. Check in lasted far too long as we had already provided all required information. The access to the underground parking was blocked as one of the automated door did not work.

I am sorry that your experience did not meet your expectations; please allow me to express my sincerest apologies. Please rest assured that we are taking the appropriate measures to address the problem and prevent future occurrence.

We appreciate your sharing your concerns, and it is our hope that you will give us the opportunity to better serve you in the near future. I am staying often at Sofitel Frankfurt and will do also in future, but this time, unfortunately I think, I received a room with a window extremely close to the rooftop bar.

I am an early starter and therefore go to bed very early. In addition, this time, there was a big travel group from China brought by two buses , that changed the atmosphere in the hotel completely. If this is occurring in the future also, I may not come back. Is it really valuable to fill a low booked first class hotel with loud travel groups? Just because it is one of the main vacation and thus low business activity weeks in central Europe? In general, my experiences with Sofitel Frankfurt are much, much better.

Staff is very friendly and professional, breakfast is very, very good. The rooms are fabulous, location is very good also for my morning run. Please accept my gratitude for all services I have received! Our stay was pleasant and the roof terrace for drinks a nice surprise which offers great views of the city. Overall the room was a lot bigger than expected. But the room didnt have a remote control so I could not turn on the TV and the mini bar was locked the enitire time.

The check in staff was alright as I really didnt feel they cared or perhaps becuase it was later in the evening. Very nice hotel, comfortable, cleaning, the people are very nice and helpful. Will choose again in our next trip to Frankfurt. We have been to the Sofitel in Frankfurt more often and are always very enthusiastic.

A very nice hotel and wonderful rooms. Our tip also the restaurant "Schönemann" - with a great offer also for vegetarians. Dear Hamad, We very much appreciate your comments regarding your stay at the Sofitel Frankfurt Opera.

Location is very good. Hotel is new and nicely decorated. I was very much impressed with this brand new hotel located in the very centre of the city of Frankfurt next to the Old Opera House. It is a smart house concept, new technologies are used to get by the lifts to the floor where you room is, in the room itself, etc. Besides, high quality materials were used for rooms decoration. In addition, Hermes toiletries are provided in each room.

So, it is a luxury property and you realise it as soon as you step through the entrance doors. Probably, it is one of the best hotels I have ever stayed at. The only slight disappointment is that the hotel of such calibre does not have an executive lounge.

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Siemens - Windenergy Website about the Siemens windenergy-park off the coast of Denmark. Emma 09 - "Stacked Stocking" Emma is back. And she brought her sisters with her Website Project presentation platform and corporate website for a brand value agency. A community for creatives. An elegant new website. Die Vattenfall Welt "World of Vattenfall" is an information terminal that shows the Vattenfall Group's social activities at branch offices in Berlin and Hamburg.

Der Vattenfall Frequenz Regler The Vattenfall Frequency Regulator is an installation that lets the visitor interactively experience power regulation techniques. Manifesta7 The european biennale for contemporary art Argentinian rider Sebastian Halpern topples from his quad as he competes during the fourth stage of the Rally Dakar running between Chilecito, Argentina and Copiapo, Chile, 07 January The Australian Open tennis tournament runs from 19 January until 01 February Thomas Diethart of Austria soars through the air during a ski jumping training session at the Nordic World Skiing Championships in Falun, Sweden, 24 February Wounded people are evacuated outside the scene of a hostage situation at the Bataclan theatre in Paris, France, in the early hours of 14 November We were watching the soccer game France vs Germany and could hear the bombs on TV but did not realize what they were until TV commentators started to say something was going on.

So I changed to a TV live info channel, and they were already mentioning bombs outside the stadium. So I went immediately but got stopped on my way by armed forces police about one km away from the cafe. This is when I realized it was a series of attacks ongoing in the streets of Paris. Then Benjamin called me back to ask me to rush to the Bataclan concert hall, where I arrived about five minutes later.

Police and some army soldiers were already surrounding the place but it was still possible to be at a reasonable distance to take pictures. This is when I saw the first injured people being evacuated from the Bataclan. People pay their respect in front the Carillon cafe in Paris, France, 14 November The most important thing to me is the reaction of the population.

It cannot be compared with the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo story. In January, people were really angry and combative, they were without fear, one could say. Today, it is so different. People realize it can happen anytime and anywhere in France. And the number of the victims is so big that we all know close friends who lost or who have injured friends. Everything was working fine. Then there was a bang. Loud enough to make me look up from my computer screen.

The crowd cheered, while fellow photographers looked at each other and shrugged it off, dismissing it as a big firecracker which soccer fans often set off during games. A few minutes later, it happened again. A flood of missed calls from the office suddenly popped up on my phone — the connection unable to establish in the 80,strong crowd in the stadium.

I finally reached Benjamin on the phone: The only problem was, the stadium was in lockdown. The authorities kept the whole situation quiet, as the match continued playing — and the crowd had not seemed phased by the explosion sounds whatsoever. They had no idea. After retrieving our press cards from the front desk, a group of around six of us proceeded to the perimeter gate, which was being blocked by a security guard, refusing to let us out.

We flattened him as we pushed our way past him, out into the open grounds around the stadium. Outside, there was an eerie sense of calm, despite a heavy police presence. Operating on a rumour that there had been an explosion near a fast-food restaurant near a small piazza where Etienne and I had parked out motorbikes, we made our way around the stadium, asking police officers on the way what the situation was.

The summary of it was: We reached the piazza to find that it had become the medical and command centre for rescue operations. Police with machine guns stood guard, and there was a general sense of confusion as to what the perimeter was. Some policemen allowed us to walk around and shoot pictures while others attempted to push us back to where a small crowd had gathered.

Suddenly two firefighters appeared from around the corner, helping a shirtless man hopping on one foot. I photographed him being loaded into the ambulance, as three more injured people made their way towards us. At this point, I had not yet grasped the full scale of these tragic attacks.

I only saw four injured victims that night, unlike my many colleagues who witnessed gruesome, difficult scenes. With the stadium perimeter becoming increasingly difficult to operate around, and with unfolding events in Paris, I was called back into the city to reinforce the team.

At 2am on a Friday night, crowds are usually spilling out of bars into the streets. But it was a ghost town, where only sirens echoed.

I came to photograph soccer. I left, having covered part of the worst terror attack Paris ever saw. I never found out what the final score was. A large crowd gathers to lay flowers and candles in front of the Carillon restaurant in Paris, France, 15 November And here I am again, surrounded by candles and flowers, this time at the Bataclan, a block away from where I live.

We grasped pens to symbolize that freedom of speech will always prevail. We organized a march. The victims were all predominantly young adults, enjoying the usual friday night leisures we all indulge in.

This was gratuitous killing, with the objective of inflicting maximal damage. Things are different this time. There is only grief. Parisians awoke Saturday morning to a changed Paris.

But they needed to take in the full scale of the horror in person. Some would leave flowers, others would spend hours battling gusts of wind to light and re-light candles.

People left letters, drawings, pictures, bottles of wine. The silence was deafening at every site. The crowds were always teetering on the edge, emotionally. The working conditions were complicated. On the one hand, the raw emotion at these sites provided strong visuals. We were affected too. I hid behind my camera the whole time. Living these scenes through the viewfinder allowed me to put up the emotional wall needed to work. People are evacuated by bus outside the scene of an attack at the Bataclan theatre in Paris, France, 13 November Je me souviendrai du 13 Novembre I will remember the November 13, I also will remember the picture of the evacuation of survivors in a bus.

This picture I did not want to take, I was not looking for it. I did not realize that this photo will be published in numerous titles around the world. On social networks, where it is shared , I can see it again and again, and still they look me straight in the eyes. The photo recounts the horror but without the arms, nor blood, nor violence, just the pain of Friday, November Flowers and shoes aside of a blood stain near the Bataclan concert venue Paris, France, 14 November This photo was taken near the Bataclan the day after the attacks.

For me it represents the ambient chaos … a lost shoe on the pavement meters away from the premises of the drama, blood streaks and people beginning to come to pray, just a few hours before the injured were attended to, even on the ground … candles, flowers, shoes, blood, horror …. Thousands of people observe a minute of silence near the Bataclan concert venue in Paris, France, 16 November This photo was taken during the minute of silence next to the Bataclan the Monday following the attacks in Paris.

Hundreds and thousands of people gathered to pray — among them these three women of Iranian origin attracted my attention … a simple photo, sweet, but so tragic …. As Ian explained getting out of the stadium was not an easy task. We had both parked our motorbikes at the exact location where the rescue squads had set up their control center and I had to argue with a police officer before he kindly accepted would probably say kindly agreed to let us remove our vehicles.

At this point, I was only focused on the task at hand, I took a few pictures of the first injured people to arrive and sent them as quickly as possible. I had no time to think about what was happening as messages and texts from friends and family started to pile up in my phone.

I put the warnings on and rode as fast as possible, it was already late and I knew most of the routes would have checkpoints forbidding access. As I rode, I was grasping the reality of the attacks. When I arrived from the direction of the Saint Louis Hospital, the road was blocked.

As I rode around to find access, I found myself face to face with a unit of police all weapons drawn and walking slowly up the street searching for possible terrorists. They ordered me out of the street so I parked on the side and started to follow them from a distance, my back always against a wall. In the dim orange light of the street lamps, the scene was out of this world, this country. The officers were walking from door to door, tree to tree, corners to corners.

They were tensed shouting at passers by to get out of there, to find shelter, their weapons pointing at them. Suddenly, one of their colleagues following them with a car called them back. They ran toward him and quickly jumped into the car and drove away in an instant. I ran to my motorbike to retrieve my computer and sent the pictures I had taken.

I was then dispatched to the Bataclan to reinforce. This first night was surreal, I remember it as something you would have experienced as an outside character. And in a sense, I was an outside character. My mind was blank all this time, I had no feelings but this pain in my stomach and a dull rage building up in the back of head, it was terrible, it was far too big for something like this to happen here, in these places I had been with friends for drinks or a bite.

Three people set up a French flag in front of the Carillon restaurant prior to a minute of silence in tribute for the victims of the 13 November in front of the Carillon restaurant, in Paris, France, 16 November On Monday, at noon, a minute of silence was observed all over France.

There, the communities mix together, whether they are French, from Asia, or Maghreb, young or older. I arrived at As all three were hanging the flag from the pole, no sound could be heard in the too heavy atmosphere, with the exception of muffled sobs erupting here and there, breaking the air. It was hard for me to take pictures staying there just thinking trying to make a sense of it all. The sound of the shutters from my camera and my colleagues was tearing up this silence, this moment of contemplation and seemed unbearable to my ears.

I suddenly realized tears were rolling down my cheeks, slowly without a sound. All the emotions I was shutting down during the past three days were emerging. I felt rage and despair but also pride as I was watching the crowd and these three men working together setting up a flag as a symbol to rally them all against this terror, this horror that shook us all.

What I can only say is that after three days of photographing people paying tribute, crying, placing mourning flowers and candles, I found something special in this picture of a man comforting a woman in his arms at Place de la Republique, someting between compassion and hope:. A man comforts a woman during a vigil at the Place de la Republique in Paris, France, 15 November Les applaudissements semblent interminables.

Among all the photos I had to take during this period, this picture is particularly interesting to me. The press organizers show us our position in the courtyard of the University, a symbol of Freedom; the students stand in a semi-circle around the officials.

The director announces the imminent arrival of the President and asks everyone to turn their mobile phones off. In heavy silence, hundreds of students wait. There is no noise, no talking, no phones ringing to disturb the deep silence before the minute of commemoration starts. The President and his ministers enter, stand among the students and observe the minute of silence which ends to thunderous applause coming from outside the school and spreading into the courtyard.

All the students start clapping. While departing, the President shakes some hands and disappears. A moment full of emotion, not organized by protocol. Some young people cry but most of them show blank expressions on their faces. Before I leave the Sorbonne, I hear a student saying: A minute of bravery, all united against the fear felt over the past two days.

An exhausted and frustrated migrant holds his head after he failed to get a place on a train heading to the Serbian border at the train station in Gevgelija, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, 13 August My first pictures for epa date back to more than 20 years ago and that first decade of my epa career was connected exclusively to the breaking up of Yugoslavia, only to be followed by the terrible crisis in Kosovo.

It was then that I first experienced huge waves of refugees, when half a million people left Kosovo and were settled in the Macedonian refugee camp Stenkovec. Those were very difficult times and sincerely I thought, and hoped, I would never need to take pictures of refugees on European territory again. Unfortunately, I was wrong. A Macedonian policeman walks ahead of a group of refugees crossing the border checkpoint of Blace, some 25 kms north of the Macedonian capitol Skopje 24 April , after their arrival from Kosovo by train.

After the war in Macedonia in and the surrounding conflicts, I continued working for epa, mainly covering sports events. I have to admit that I have enjoyed these last 14 years and the sport assignments far away from the human suffering and tragedy. I continued to cover news in Macedonia and the surrounding countries but rarely something that is breaking news.

With the coming of the migrants on Macedonian territory in March and April this year, I was among the first who took a serious interest in it because I assumed that the migrant story would continue to develop. As time passed however, the story got bigger and in July and August it exploded and became one of the biggest stories of the beginning 21st century.

When I consider that I am not so young, and having 30 years of working as a photographer behind me, I started looking at things differently.

For me, I was faced with a big moral question. We all try to take the most touching pictures of the migrants because we know that those kind of pictures have a better impact in the newspapers in the world. Those are the types of pictures that sell. How moral is it to use their misery and their terrible situation for a better picture and a better play? But truth be told, never in my life did I receive a greater reaction from the many European journalists and their readers as they tried to contact me and ask if they could help the migrants in any way.

I received emails in which people asked me where can they donate money for the migrants. That made me a little happier. Migrants fight to get onto the train heading to the Serbian border at the train station in Gevgelija, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, 13 August While the younger ones and the children are easier to come into contact with and accept being photographed, the adults and especially the women are not happy when they see the cameras.

A big problem for me nevertheless is how to approach and make contact with the migrants. In all the chaos, what is difficult for me and the other photographers is the police which, by default do not like the photographers.

The permits for taking pictures at the border line are easily acquired from the ministry of interior. Even if you have all the necessary papers and permits required, the permission to shoot is given by the commander of the police force who is in charge at the moment. In any case, experience and patience is required to make good contact with the police which allows for better access to the border zone.

Migrants wait for the train heading to the Serbian border at the train station in Gevgelija, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, 14 August Where I faced my biggest dilemma was the situation when the migrants placed women and children in front of the police cordon. The police could at any time be given the order to close the cordon and not let anyone pass.

But the migrants, in their rush to pass the border as quickly as possible, try to breach the police cordon by setting the women and children in the front of the line. The migrants then start to push from behind.

As the police try to stop their passage the innocent women and children are caught in the middle. There are horrible scenes of women and children crying and fainting. While taking pictures of these incidents, I am not sure how much we captured the real situation in the field. Are the police being brutal or are the migrants just creating a scene that makes it look that way?

In it you can see two children crying in the middle of a police cordon. I also cried, but still I wonder if that picture, and dozens of others we made that day with similar themes truly show the situation of what happened that day on the Macedonian-Greek border. The children were left alone crying, searching for their parent who was on the other side of the cordon. What is the truth here and how can we capture it without manipulating the facts?

Migrants wait for permission to board a train heading to the Serbian border at the train station in Gevgelija, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, 15 August I am however, proud of the picture I took of the little Syrian boy whose parents carried him in a bag because, according to them, he was badly hurt from a chemical attack in Syria.

That picture was widely published on several front pages in Europe and caused big a response, which I mentioned before in the text. Many people and organizations became interested in the fate of the child and from what I understand, they were able to locate him and his family and he was able to get the care that he needed. Migrants from Aleppo, Syria, carry their injured child in a bag as they get in a train heading to the Serbian border, at the train station in Gevgelija, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, 04 August I use different camera bags depending on how many days I will stay in the field but my standard equipment during the time of the migrant crisis is my two Nikon cameras D4 and D4s, mm, 35mm, mm and mm.

Together with a cameraman, I am bending in a stream. There are flocks of mosquitoes all around us. Up until now I have photos of the horses inside the barriers, in both Czech republic and Mongolia.

I also have shots during the beautiful sunrise and sunset in the Gobi desert; however, there is a fence in the background. The herd of horses already escaped us several times. To take a photo of the horses in the wild Gobi almost seemed impossible. If we approached them, they noticed immediately and upon sight of us would run away a little further. In my tele lenses they were so small. Now, we are as close as never before.

We are almost not breathing as we crouch and crawl through the dense grass ahead. They are nearly eating us alive. The more we approach the more I think about how the Czech rangers urged us to be careful and not to get too close. I am a news photographer not a professional photographer of wild nature and I nearly forgot that there was no fence of the ZOO around me.

The stud guards his territory especially since there are little foals in the herd. We are hesitating to go any further. As we finally overcome our fear and start go forward, the herd spot us. The leader of the herd is watching. The stud stands nearly 40 meters away and starts walking towards us.

Deep inside I feel fear and worry. There is only the level field all around us and the ranger with his car is two kilometers away. If the stud decides to attack there is nowhere to hide except the river. The cameraman, who had convinced me to follow the herd, is now turning around and is about to attempt a run for the river.

The stud chucks his head, and after what seemed like a never-ending minute, the herd passes by all around us. The herd passes by and the cameraman and I laugh out of euphoria!

We finally have the shots we need after losing hope we would ever get them. I attended the whole trip with the Prevalski horses all the way to Mongolia. The difficult tranquilizing the horses before loading them into the crates in Czech Republic, following 17 hours long flight in the cold cargo space of the military aircraft among the crates with the horses. The unloading and long way of the convoy through hard terrain all the way here to Gobi, the new home of the wild horses.

So many incredible elements to the story, but the everlasting memory remains the imagery of the herd of the last surviving wild horses living in the world. Wild horse feature package on epa. People gather around the monument on Place de la Nation as millions of people march against terrorism in Paris, France, 11 January The coffin of Bernard Verlhac, aka Tignous, late French caricaturist of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, leaves the city hall of Montreuil after a funeral service, France, 15 January Pope Francis aboard his popemobile greets Filipinos and devotees following his mass in Quirino grandstand, Manila, Philippines, 18 January At the age of Israel Krystal is the oldest Holocaust survivor in the world.

Relatives of missing people during the Guatemalan internal armed conflict demonstrate during a march to commemorate the National Day to Dignify the Victims of the Armed Conflict, outside Congress in Guatemala City, Guatemala, 25 February Local residents queue to receive humanitarian aid in Popasne village of Luhansk area, Ukraine, 28 February Russian investigators stand near the covered body of Boris Nemtsov in central Moscow, Russia, 28 February A woman with children, refugees from the eastern Ukraine conflict zone, are seen in a temporary centre for refugees in Slaviansk, Donetsk area, Ukraine, 12 March More than homeless people live in the evacuation centre, with humanitarian aid is still to reach the Island since Cyclone Pam hit the region on 14 March.

Children sleep in a kindergarten, which recently resumed work following the ceasefire aggrement between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists, in eastern Ukrainian town Makeevka, Donetsk area, Ukraine 19 March Cyclists in action during the km stage five of the Absa Cape Epic mountain bike team stage race in Worcester, South Africa, 20 March Cat on a kitchen table in Hamburg, Germany, 24 March Firefighters respond to an explosion and partial building collapse in a residential and commercial mixed use multi-story structure in lower Manhattan, New York, New York, USA, 26 March An Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man throws matzah in the air at a bakery in an Orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem, 29 March A woman reacts as she is rescued out of the building where she had been held hostage at the Garissa University in Garissa town, located near the border with Somalia, some km northeast of the capital Nairobi, Kenya, 02 April A young Israeli settler snorkels as sheep belonging to a Palestinian shepherd drink water from the spring located at Jordan Valley near the Palestinian village of Uja near the West Bank town of Jericho on 08 April People watch from the windows and balconies of their homes during the Bisket Jatra Festival in Thimi, on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal, 15 April Members of the South African Police raid Alexandra Mens Hostel during a midnight exercise aimed at searching for weapons used during xenophobic violence, in Johannesburg, South Africa, 23 April People free a man from the rubble of a destroyed building after an earthquake hit Nepal, in Kathmandu, Nepal, 25 April Refugees trying to help their unconscious friend after being saved from the sea in Kuala Langsa, East Aceh, Indonesia, 15 May People reacting to results coming in from constituencies around Ireland suggesting an overwhelming majority in favour of the referendum on same-sex marriage, in Dublin, Ireland, 23 May Israeli painted artists during the Israel Midburn festival in the Negev desert southern Israel, 23 May Burundian protesters react as they face with police officers firing shots towards them during an anti-government demonstration Bujumbura, Burundi, 26 May The rubble of a destroyed Palestinian house damaged during the Israeli Hamas conflict in in the Al Shejaeiya neighbourhood in eastern Gaza City on, 27 May An aircraft flies in front of the bright full moon shining against the dark sky in Teglas, kms east of Budapest, Hungary, 03 June Nine years old Palestinian boy Amro Moussa splash jumps into the sea as he enjoy his time during a day with hot weather in the west of Gaza City, Gaza Strip, 03 June Migrants allowed to land by the Myanmar Navy collect rain water on plates to drink at the Kayin Chaung temporary camp near MaungDaw township, Rakhine State, western Myanmar, 04 June A young Indian bathes in sewage and rubbish strewn mud on the banks of the river Ganges, in Calcutta India, 08 June Demonstrators clash with police during a march by students and professors to present a proposal for education reform, in Santiago de Chile, Chile, 10 June A picture taken from the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria shows Syrian refugees waiting on the Syrian side of the border crossing near Akcakale, Sanliurfa province, south-eastern Turkey, 10 June A man looks for lotus flowers in a lake in Hanoi, Vietnam, 11 June African migrants cry as Italian police attempt to remove them at the Franco-Italian border between Menton and Ventimiglia, 16 June Betta fish or Siamese fighting fish are displayed for sale at a shop in Hanoi, Vietnam, 16 June A Greek orthodox priest holds a Greek flag as he takes part in a rally against austerity, supporting the government on the negotiations with its international creditors, in Athens, Greece, 17 June Indonesian Muslim women performing an evening prayer called tarawih, the night before the start of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, at Istiqlal mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia, 17 June Flowers lie in tribute to those killed in a terror attack on tourists on a beach in front of the Imperial Marhaba Hotel in al-Sousse, 27 June But there were no pictures or video clips shown.

This made me think that this would be an interesting photo feature, given the heat wave reports coming from Europe and the high temperatures here in Bangkok.

As many Thais who have never experienced snow before, I felt a bit excited even with this artificial version. I had seen snow before in Switzerland but not a actual snowfall itself, and the most vivid memory I had was when I became temporarily snow blind —an unpleasant recollection. Slow shutter speed picture of a little Thai girl enjoying sledding at Snow Town park in Bangkok, Thailand, 07 July I checked with the staff at the ticket counter regarding how to dress and they confirmed that it was not too cold inside.

Only around 25 celcius. Adults can visit Snow Town with even a T-shirt and shorts, but little kids need some warm clothing. The ticket includes the loan of snow boots. They also offer knitted winter hats, winter coats, jackets and gloves for rent at reasonable prices. Snow Town was created by a Japanese investor. Local and foreign visitors to sweltering Bangkok, especially small children have fun on the snow playgrounds, or riding the snow sledge that has a small cm high ramp.

There is a release of artificial snow for a few minutes, repeated every hour. Thai and foreign visitors enjoying artificial snow at Snow Town park in Bangkok, Thailand, 07 July I photographed them with my 1DX so as to not call attention to myself. I used a lens, lens and a Sigma 50mm. The first photo I took was a wide angle shot, panning the camera with slow shutter speed, of children sledding.

I like using this effect at times, a bit blurred, almost abstract. But as for the rest, it took me a while to get a good photo. The snow would suddenly start falling and the children were frenetic, making for a bit of chaos.

So I waited for the next time. Luckily there was enough going on to allow me to take some nice moments. The light is not that great but the 1DX helps solve this problem. There was yet another artificial snowfall and I used my Sigma 50mm 1. I finally had to tear myself away from the artificial wonderland and relatively cool temperature and go out to face the real heat. In Africa, if people are against the government, then they are almost certainly against China. Burundians were no different.

Agency photographers were covering anti-government protests every day for weeks so I knew the protesters were not hostile toward us. A Burundian soldier fires a shot towards protesters during an anti-government demonstration in Bujumbura, Burundi, 25 May One day, as I covered the daily protests, I found myself caught in a small alley between a group of young men throwing rocks and policemen firing shots toward them.

I stepped aside and tried to take pictures of a policeman. The next thing I knew, a rock, the size of a fist, hit me in my chest and I went down for a very brief moment. When I looked back up, I saw the sky was filled with stones thrown by protesters, coming in my direction. There was nowhere to take cover with, so I ducked down hoping that it would not last long. I turned my face the other way, took my camera out in hopes of capturing something.

Rock-throwing Burundian protesters react to take cover as shots are fired towards them by police officers, during an anti-government demonstration in Bujumbura, Burundi, 28 May Then came this young protester running toward me. He wrapped his arms around to cover me, protecting me from the rain of stones. He used his whole body to cover me for about 30 seconds until there were no more stones thrown.

At least three stones hit my head, protected by a helmet. When it was over, the young man said something, tapped my shoulder and told me to start moving. I got up and saw that the alley was littered with hundreds of rocks thrown by protesters. He was already running back to his fellow protesters. I caught up with him and thanked him. I wanted to make sure that he was not hurt, and if I could do something for him in return.

But he just smiled, gave me a thumbs-up and left quickly. I have been beaten, robbed, or threatened by people while covering sensitive events in Africa. I was very touched. They were not randomly hurting people, they were not looting any shops, and they were kind to journalists.

They knew exactly what they were taking to the streets every day. They had a clear sense of purpose. And they knew the presence of journalists was important for them. A young Burundian boy tries to cover himself as police officers beat him after dispersing protesters by firing shots during an anti-government demonstration in Bujumbura, Burundi, 26 May Some have warned that the current crisis could develop into an ethnic conflict between a Hutu majority and Tutsi minority and descend the country back into a civil war.

Burundi fought an ethnically fuelled civil war in which some , people have been killed. Everywhere I go, the protesters were a mix of Hutu and Tutsi youths. Burundian Muslim women cry during a funeral service for the slain leader of the opposition party Union for Peace and Development UPD , Zedi Feruzi, who had been shot dead on 23 May, together with his bodyguard in the Ngagara district Bujumbura, Burundi, 24 May Despite the boycott by opposition parties, parliamentary elections were held on June 29th, Burundi is scheduled to hold presidential elections on July 15th, The following is an abstract of his speech delivered to the contest jury at the award ceremony in Amsterdam in April, I arrived in Donetsk in August , a city besieged by the military.

A city with modern infrastructure, factories, mines, universities, an airport, with a population of over one million, was deserted and quiet.

It was a creepy and frightening sight — empty streets, no cars, no people. And the reason for this emptiness was obvious — several times a day the city and its outskirts were under rocket attack and mortar fire, hardly precision-guided munition.

Residents walk past a damaged house after Ukranian army shelling downtown of Khartsyzk 24km from Donetsk , Ukraine, 18 August The area residents who had not left the city were hiding in their cellars and bomb shelters. They lived there without light and with little food and water for weeks.

Locals live in shelters in Ilovaysk 50km from Donetsk , Ukraine, 14 August

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