Afghanistan in Panorama, March 2011

Every month, I dedicate a post to the continuing conflict in Afghanistan. In this installment, I'm happy to share a distinctive set of panoramic images by photographer Louie Palu. These were tricky to get. "With the growing threat of targeted attacks against journalists and their Afghan fixers [guides and translators] in many of the areas I wanted to visit, using a camera openly was too dangerous -- so I had to come up with an invisible way of taking photos," Palu explains. That meant being able to hide his equipment on his body: "I began using a super-wide panoramic camera, which allowed me to photograph scenes with the camera wrapped in a scarf or hidden under my arm. The lens has a small motor in it that starts at one side and revolves 120 degrees to capture a cinematic view of what I was seeing. The resulting pictures, shot on black-and-white film, are sometimes-distorted, long-and-narrow panoramas, but they also capture the environment in an unguarded and authentic way." In 2010, Palu was awarded a grant from the Alexia Foundation for his project on Kandahar. These photographs were taken during 2009-10 in Kandahar's Zhari, Panjwaii, Spin Boldak, and Maiwand Districts, Kandahar City, Nimruz and Farah Provinces. (For wider screens, be sure to click the "1280px" option at right.)

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Christian Charisius / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: 4/23-4/29

    A shepherd pulls a lamb into the sea in Gaza City, President Obama meets Prince George in London, the aftermath of Ecuador’s earthquake, and much more.

  • 2016 Audubon Photography Awards

    Spectacular wildlife photography: the winners and runners-up from the 2016 Audubon Photography Awards competition.

  • U.S. National Archives

    Bamboo Bombers and Stone Tanks—Japanese Decoys Used in World War II

    While researching World War II images at the U.S. National Archives, I came across several photos I had not seen before, of Japanese dummy aircrafts made of bamboo and wood planking.

  • Bruno Kelly / Reuters

    Cracking Down on Illegal Gold Mining in the Amazon

    The Reuters photographer Bruno Kelly recently traveled deep into the Amazon rainforest, accompanying agents of Brazil’s environmental agency into the Yanomami territory to combat rampant illegal gold mining.

Join the Discussion