There are many grim, depressing, disturbing, and disheartening photos of the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, such as this series on The Big Picture. But today I came across a series of photos that show a different side of the conditions in Haiti. Photographer Alice Smeets had taken revealing photos of the lives of people and children in Haiti before the earthquake (see the “Documentary” section), and she recently returned to document the aftermath in this series of amazing photos. Although it is a relatively long slideshow, I encourage you to look at the entire series. The “life goes on” section in the middle is particularly wonderful. From a photographic standpoint, I was often struck by her amazing use of light – using the low, warm sun of morning or late afternoon, and often shooting into the sun to accentuate it.
Documentary photographer Robert Coles wrote “Who we are, to some variable extent, determines what we notice and…what we regard as worthy of notice, what we find significant.” It is obvious from Smeets’ series of Haiti photos that what she regards as worthy of notice differs greatly from many of the photographers working in Haiti and/ or their photo editors at home. She communicates a much more human and hopeful perspective of the situation. All the photos from Haiti show a view of the reality there, but which one is more worth focusing on?