If you want to get a sense of the immensity of the Sichuan earthquake earlier this month, take a moment to see a slide show put up on the Washington Post website.
It includes 86 photos. A word of note about the photographers, some of whom I saw at work in the quake zone. To get assigned to China, they will be some of the best in the world. And these are the best, most powerful, images among the tens of thousands they shot in the zone. They are better than the ones I've quickly posted along with this item.
These photographers (or shooters, as they are known in the trade) are the best regional photographers that the Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France Presse have in East Asia, coming from Japan, Thailand and elsewhere. There are also photos by Paula Bronstein, a staff photographer for Getty Images, one of the top photo agencies in the world.
For a different kind of photo gallery, click here to see those posted on the EastSouthWestNorth blog, picked up from the Guangyuan Daily News. (Scroll down the page to see them.) These photos don’t have the technical quality of the Post slide show. But they are perhaps more powerful because they capture key moments.
Check out two particularly haunting images. One is of adults crouched in fear in a courtyard surrounded by tall buildings as the quake hits. The next is of a couple clutching each other amid a cloud of dust rising as they quake jolts Qingchuan.
Take a look. Some of the photos are graphic. So put on your seatbelts.