the Big Picture
February 20, 2009 (Use j/k keys to navigate)   Email to a friend    Permalink

At work

When the economy makes big news, many photographs of people at work come across the wires, usually to help illustrate a particular story or event. By collecting these disparate photos over the past few months, I found that a global portrait emerged of we humans producing things. People assembling, generating, and building items small and large, mundane and expensive, trivial and important. I hope you enjoy this look into some people's work lives around the world. (45 photos total)

Electric Time Co. employee Walter Rodriguez cleans the face of an 84-inch Wegman clock at the plant in Medfield, Mass. Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

An aerial view of the snow covered Ruhr district, with the steel company ThyssenKrupp in Duisburg, western Germany, is seen. ThyssenKrupp AG, Germany's largest steelmaker, said Friday Feb. 13, 2009 company profits dropped sharply in the fiscal first quarter and that it would cut jobs as the world economic crisis caused a sharp fall in demand for steel. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein) #

A worker walks past chicken eggs stored at a major eggs production factory in suburban Beijing, China, Friday, Oct. 31, 2008. Three more Chinese brands of eggs containing melamine were identified and a local government has acknowledged that officials knew about the contamination for a month before it was publicly disclosed. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) #

Miller Brady Hageman checks roller mills as wheat is ground into flour to make pasta at the American Italian Pasta Co. plant in Excelsior Springs, Mo. Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) #

A worker walks over steel bars at an iron and steel plant in Wuhan, Hubei province, China on November 1, 2008. Moves by China to restrict steel exports may push trade distortion problems into other industries down the line and run counter to world rules, a U.S. trade official said. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

Workers perform a quality check for newly made toys at the production line of a toy factory in the suburbs of Shanghai October 31, 2008. According to the owner of the factory, where most of the production is for export to the U.S and Japan, the slowdown of about 30% in client's orders can be mainly attributed to the global financial crisis. The number of Chinese firms exporting toys overseas halved in the first seven months of 2008, compared to the year before, the General Administration of Customs said on Monday. (REUTERS/Nir Elias) #

An operator walks in the control room of the closed third unit of the nuclear power plant of Kozlodui north east of the Bulgarian capital Sofia, Friday, Jan. 23, 2009. Bulgaria's parliament has approved plans to seek European Union permission to re-launch two old nuclear reactors mothballed when it joined the EU two years ago. The two aging 440-megawatt reactors at the Kozlodui plant were shut down in 2007. The government says Bulgarian businesses lost euro100 million (US$129 million) when Russian natural gas supplies were suspended for nearly two weeks. (AP Photo/Petar Petrov) #

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il visits the Pyongyang Gum Factory in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this undated picture released by North Korea's official news agency KCNA on January 16, 2009. (REUTERS/KCNA) #

An employee works at a workshop of Changning Steel and Iron Factory in Changzhi, Shanxi province, China on January 15, 2009. European Union trade officials will vote on Thursday in favor of imposing temporary antidumping duties of 25 percent on imports of Chinese-made steel wire rods, diplomats said. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

A woman spins raw silk yarn in a factory owned by Rwandan textile firm Utexwra in Rwanda's capital city, Kigali on January 19, 2009. Rwandan textile firm Utexrwa will launch the central African country's first range of silk products in February, as part of a strategy to more than triple turnover, the company said on Monday. The central African country's soil and climate are ideal for growing mulberry trees which silk-worms eat. The company said silk-worm rearers can earn three times more than coffee growers per hectare per year. (REUTERS/Hereward Holland) #

People work on an assembly line of shoes at Thuong Dinh Shoe factory in Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008. Thuong Dinh Shoe factory produces shoes for domestic markets and for exports. Shoe exports are among top of Vietnam's export earners, earning $4 billion last year.(AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki) #

Labourers work at a brick factory in Takarjul village in India - about 60 km (37 miles) south of the city of Agartala on February 3, 2009. (REUTERS/Jayanta Dey) #

A laborer's hands are covered with paraffin wax inside a candle making factory in the northeastern Indian city of Siliguri October 24, 2008. Candles are sold in large numbers during Diwali, the annual Hindu festival of lights, when people buy candles to decorate their homes. The Diwali festival was celebrated across the country on October 28. (REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri) #

Eladio Gonzalez sands and buffs Oscar #3453 at R.S. Owens & Company Thursday, Jan. 22, 2009, in Chicago. Oscar 3453 began its life with the transformation of a chunk of metal alloy into a 13 1/2-inch-tall statue at the factory where the statuettes have been made since 1983. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green) #

Pralines pass by on a conveyor belt at the Halloren Schokoladenfabrik AG chocolate factory in Halle, Germany, on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009. Halloren is one of the few eastern German companies that has not been bought by a competitor after the country's reunification. (Adam Berry/Bloomberg News) #

The Boeing 787 line is shown at Boeing Co.'s airplane assembly plant in Everett, Wash., Friday, Jan. 30, 2009. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) #

A worker assembles a miniature locomotive at the Maerklin model train factory March 30, 2006 in Goeppingen, Germany. Maerklin is one of many German smaller manufacturing companies with rich traditions who have suffered under falling demand for their high-priced products. (Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images) #

An employee works at a mobile phone assembly line at a LG Electronics plant in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul, South Korea in this picture released on January 22, 2009. (REUTERS/LG Electronics/Handout) #

A coal worker stacks wood in the Cienega de Zapata, Cuba on February 5, 2009. (REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa) #

A worker inspects newly-made gloves at Top Glove factory in Klang outside Kuala Lumpur on January 13, 2009. Malaysia's Top Glove Corp is the world's largest producer of rubber gloves. (REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad) #

An employee works at a Changning Steel and Iron Factory in Changzhi, Shanxi province, China on January 15, 2009. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

A worker at the Elite Thai Leather factory inspects a dyed crocodile skin in Bangkok, Thailand on October 27, 2008. Craftsman whip tough Thai crocodile hides into any style of luxury handbag a fashion designer desires. (CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images) #

In this Nov. 28, 2007 file photo, mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles (MRAP) are assembled at the Force Protection factory in North Charleston, S.C. (AP Photos/Alice Keeney, File) #

A person works in a facility at Arura Tibetan Medicine Group, a Tibetan medicine enterprise ranked number one in China, on November 21, 2008 in Xining of Qinghai Province, China. (China Photos/Getty Images) #

A man picks a bottle at an assembly line inside the Taiwan Beer factory in Jhunan, Miaoli County February 13, 2008. Taiwan Beer, made by the Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp, will be sold in mainland China from May, amid warming ties between the two cross-strait rivals, according to local media. (REUTERS/Nicky Loh) #

Obama cigars ready to be packed in boxes are placed on a table at the Segovia Cigars Factory in the Nicaragua's northern province of Esteli February 4, 2009. While U.S. President Barack Obama tries to kick an old smoking habit, a Nicaraguan company has produced the latest in a flood of merchandise trying to cash in on his popularity -- "Obama" cigars. (OSWALDO RIVAS/Reuters) #

A woman works in a textile factory in Suining in southwest China's Sichuan province, Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009. (AP Photo) #

A Belarussian man works in a felt boot factory in Smilovichi, some 35 km east of Minsk on February 5, 2009. Felt boots for cold winter conditions called "valenky" are common throughout Russia, Lithuania, Ukraine, and Latvia. (VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images) #

An employee works at the Ferronikeli smelting complex in Glogovac, central Kosovo February 12, 2009. The Ferronikeli ore mining and metallurgical complex, set up in 1984, was badly damaged during the 1999 NATO air strikes against Serbia. It was bought by a consortium of international investors in 2006. (REUTERS/Hazir Reka) #

A worker at Iraqi's Iskandariyah power plant works on a broken electricity-generating turbine shaft February 11, 2009 in Iskandariyah, Iraq. Built in the early 1980s, the Iskandariyha plant is Iraq's largest and most important, providing a significant percentage of the country's total electrical power. Years of neglect by Saddam's government, as well as a 1991 aerial strike by the US during the Persian Gulf War, have left the plant hobbled and sometimes only operating at half capacity. The plant burns Iraq's plentiful crude oil to generate power with almost no modern environmental regulations while its employees, numbering over 1000, work on dirty, oil-slicked floors with little safety equipment. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images) #

A worker keeps track of finished cars at the assembly line for the VW Golf at the Volkswagen car factory on November 14, 2008 in Wolfsburg, Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images) #

Workers ignite a kiln at a brick factory in Guruwali village on the outskirts of Amritsar, India on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008. Brick making is an unorganized industry, generally confined to rural and semi-urban areas and is one of the largest employment-generating industries in India. The laborers usually work for 12-14 hours a day to reach a target of 1,000 bricks a day, earning between US$ 60 to 100 a month. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #

Chinese workers labor in a factory making zippers in Jinjiang, China's Fujian province Saturday, Oct. 18, 2008. (AP Photo) #

A laborer works on a toilet bowl for export, at a ceramic factory in Tangshan, Hebei province, China on October 15, 2008. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

A worker walks over hot steel plates at the factory of Swiss Steel AG which is partly owned by the Schmolz + Bickenbach group in Emmenbruecke, outside Lucerne, Switzerland on October 15, 2008. (REUTERS/Michael Buholzer) #

An employee works in a textile factory in Suining, Sichuan province, China October 22, 2008. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

Child laborers sit at a police station after they were removed from a factory during a raid by policemen and activists of Bachpan Bachao Andolan, or "save childhood" movement, in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Oct. 23, 2008. 34 child laborers were rescued from a local embroidery factory. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup) #

Workers operate product lines in a dairy factory of Mengniu Dairy Group Co., one of China's largest dairy producers, in Hohhot, north China's Inner Mongolia region, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008. China's dairy giants are trying to revive their brands and win back consumer confidence, saying melamine contamination problems that have tarnished the industry won't resurface. Nearly 6,000 Chinese babies remain hospitalized with kidney problems caused by contaminated milk powder, the Health Ministry said. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan) #

Chinese workers make umbrellas at a factory in Jinjiang, southeastern China's Fujian province on November 11, 2008. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #

A person works with a gunpowder mixture inside a firecracker factory on the outskirts of the northeastern Indian city of Siliguri October 21, 2008. (REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri (INDIA) #

A technical expert inspects a still in the distillery of the Hennessy factory in Cognac, southwestern France, January 22, 2009. (REUTERS/Regis Duvignau) #

An employee prepares gold bars for transport at a plant owned by Argor-Heraeus SA in the southern Swiss town of Mendrisio November 13, 2008. (REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann) #

A worker inspects machinery at a zipper factory in Jinjiang, southeast China's Fujian province on October 18, 2008. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #

A laborer walks over newly-made pipes at a cement plant in Yingtan, Jiangxi province, China on October 28, 2008. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a group of city officials, (bottom right), watch as the cutter head of a tunnel boring machine is lifted by crane before being lowered into an underground assembly chamber beneath 11th Avenue at 25th Street for use in the Number 7 subway line extension project Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009 in New York. The cutter head, 22 feet in diameter and weighing 100 tons, is the first piece of two massive tunnel boring machines that will slice through Manhattan bedrock as they bore underneath 11th Avenue from 25th Street to 41st Street, and then east to the existing Number 7 line's terminus at Times Square. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow) #


I think you missed out some sex trade labor

Posted by Just For Fun February 20, 09 05:41 PM

There is an excellent show on Discovery channel called "How Things Are Made" that is worth watching.

It's relatively easy to show blue-collar people working on making "things". But many people do not work in manufacturing or construction. Are there good photo's of white-collar people at work for a follow-up?

Posted by Jojo February 20, 09 05:59 PM

Actually, bankers have at least something to do with every picture you see here. Without banking to combine capital with labor, the work seen in many these photos would not be done and we'd simply have photo after photo of people working the land for subsistence agriculture.

Posted by CPT Eddie February 20, 09 06:06 PM

Wikipedia is currently threatening to delete "valenky" (photo #28) from the encyclopedia as a nonsignificant word unless they hear within a few days to the contrary.

Posted by Robert February 20, 09 06:30 PM

Wow these are awesome photos!! There's nothing more inspiring then seeing photos of industry and productivity.

Posted by kristine February 20, 09 07:56 PM

An interesting insight into man's labours. Thanks for taking the time to collect these shots, really appreciate it.

Posted by Miles February 20, 09 08:04 PM

How many of these pictured companies are government owned,
privately owned or owned by USA Investors?

Posted by Anonymous February 20, 09 08:39 PM

Agree with Gautam in Comment # 61.
I know! who wants to see happy workers in well-lit factories in India, when you can have pictures of child -laborers and dirty workers that makes for much better copy?

Posted by Prasant February 20, 09 08:44 PM

i am humbled, so many poeple spend so much time to help a few. the children look so accepting

Posted by kathy dobbins February 20, 09 09:48 PM

#40 - been there done that. Eyes, nose and throat hurt like hell for days after.

Posted by Jamex February 20, 09 10:30 PM


Posted by �J�} February 20, 09 10:58 PM

wow.............Fantastic !!.....

Posted by Sri Lankan February 20, 09 11:02 PM

It�s remarkable to see what we do as a society to make it all tick over. I also can�t help but feel maybe this recession is also a realisation that an economy based on consumption will not last forever.

Posted by Thomas Edwards February 20, 09 11:09 PM

What amazing stereotyping.
Everything that is shown in this series of pics is manufactured in India,
including aircraft and MRAPs.
But what was shown was brick-klin workers, child laborers.
Pity to those who still live in colonial times.

Posted by Vivek February 20, 09 11:09 PM

Very cool. It gives good meaning to hardwork.

Posted by Ibrahim February 20, 09 11:21 PM

with such pure and honest pictures, as always is the case, I think i would like to rename this photo blog as "The Roving Eye". Just my opinion.
Mr. Taylor, and most importantly, all the photographers, a sincere thanks for your sincere efforts towards showcasing the makings of behind-the-curtains world that make each day - HAPPEN!

Posted by Nikhil February 20, 09 11:55 PM

In re #19: I'm not an expert, but I'm pretty certain that they're making charcoal. See for pictures of conical wood stacks, and an explanation that, in English, "coal" originally meant charcoal.

Posted by Tim McDaniel February 21, 09 12:02 AM

Horrifying. This incessant ant-like activity. And in the end what, a cold, lifeless universe ....

Posted by Hum February 21, 09 12:26 AM

Inspiring!!!! What a great set of pictures!

Posted by Brunna Rae Visalli February 21, 09 12:59 AM

I'm amused by the use of the word "rescued" in #37. I bet that if you asked those children, they'd use a different word...

Posted by Michael February 21, 09 02:07 AM

number #35 is cool. but i cant get over those poor kids in #37!

Posted by Julia February 21, 09 02:21 AM

I have taken this as a offence... There is more to India than the brick factories, candles and child labour... as portrayed here. Please fell free to capture young and vibrant India... India that can boast about being second fastest growing economy, worlds largest democracy... there are many firsts, seconds, fastest, largest that can be associated with India. Please stop publicising India (still as) land of snake charmers and rope walkers... a poor and underdeveloped country. Try capture the progress the country has made in education, infrastructure, business and many more fields. It is so sorry to note that people ("in developed and industrailsed countries") though aware of these facts are appearing ignorant of the fact... is it fear of something! YES WE ARE GROWING AND GROWING FAST!!!

Posted by RT February 21, 09 02:32 AM

I do agree with the gentlemen that there seems to be a teensie-weensie bias against India. I personally have seen Indian Manufacturing firms and seen a level of efficiency that would rival most of their western counterparts.

Its a pity that all one can gather from here is that the Indian economy runs on children who make bricks and gunpowder in the day time.

Its probably cause they are busy manning the phone lines at call centres during the night.

Posted by A. Furtado February 21, 09 03:11 AM

Does anyone ever think about life and work?

You're born (and have no say or choice in the matter). If you're lucky, you're born with good genes, good looks or to intelligent (and perhaps) wealthy parents. In developed countries, you generally have the opportunity to be educated through at least high school. In undeveloped countries, you might find yourself working at 10 years old.

Depending on luck, intelligence, family circumstances and so on, you will grow up and eventually have to go to work, doing something considered productive. You will spend the majority of your day at work for the next 40-50 years, whether it be on the assembly line, in agricultural fields, in offices. You will fight traffic jams going to and from work every day of your life. Over your lifetime, you will work with good and bad people and for good and bad bosses, all to pay your way, be a productive member of society and to accumulate currency that will be used to buy things. Some people will be [very] successful, most will not. Few people will accomplish anything meaningful in their lives and very, very few will be remembered by anyone outside their immediate friends and family after they pass on.

As these photo's show, life is filled with the drudgery of repetitious work, day after day, after day, until you die. This is what your parents consigned you to when they decided to bring you into this world.

Parents would do well to consider the above reality before they choose to birth a new child.

Posted by Jojo February 21, 09 03:25 AM

it's WoW

Posted by hind February 21, 09 03:55 AM

Pictures are superb.
Some hidden agenda against India?

Posted by Sanil February 21, 09 04:08 AM

This is so cool.
The best pic's i see every time on this site.
Go on and astonische me again.

Posted by Roger Kersten February 21, 09 04:13 AM

Nice view of the not so common place to go. Its like a field trip to those which are not supposed to be public. I want to see more of this and be amazed by everything.

Posted by Feliciano Naredo February 21, 09 04:23 AM

The Big Picture is one of the Jewels of the Web.
Thank you so much.

Posted by Drew Batchelor February 21, 09 04:24 AM

Great Collections!!!

Posted by renganathan February 21, 09 04:45 AM

it's great thanks for your sharing the pictures

Posted by andre February 21, 09 05:33 AM

Kvalitaj Fotografaĵoj
Ĝis Baldaŭ

Posted by kitzOgen February 21, 09 05:45 AM

Brilliant pictures. Something to show your kids to teach them where all the stuff comes from.

Posted by Chris February 21, 09 06:05 AM

For all of those arguing for a free economy, look no further than #37. Those kids would still be working in slave-like conditions of not for 'interference' from the government. Laissez-faire capitalism has its price.

(And Mr. Jack Lord: you are a subtle king.)

Posted by Mello C February 21, 09 06:26 AM


Posted by fiodor February 21, 09 07:48 AM

Good! fighting!!! Workers!

Posted by freewind February 21, 09 08:12 AM

Takes your breath away...

Posted by Aiste Guste February 21, 09 08:41 AM

I agree it is all scary: what scares me most is that we are still using men because they are cheaper than machines: we are comparing machines with men uniquely based on cost.

Posted by Charles Averty February 21, 09 09:27 AM

Inspiring! Thanks.

Posted by Mark Dixon February 21, 09 09:33 AM

Really amazing photos, but actually I've never seen anyone in Latvia wearing 'valenky' boots as written beyond photo #28. And I've been living here for all my life. :)

Posted by Madara February 21, 09 09:41 AM

I suppose if you had put pictures of "glitzier" manufacturing in India, someone would have complained that it's not all like that ... people still have to make bricks.

And shame on you for not adding every single existing job in a picture series of 80.

Actually, great work on your choices. You picked fascinating, thought-provoking pictures.

Posted by michele February 21, 09 09:50 AM

Nice photos! How can show so beautiful hard works!!

Posted by Carol February 21, 09 09:53 AM

nice pic's just showing the reality of achievents n Success. nice again

Posted by Vineet Kumar Mishra February 21, 09 10:10 AM

The Dignity of Labour..
Very nice pics!!

Posted by Ochuko February 21, 09 10:28 AM

Beautiful pictures. Lots of good pictures. A little sad though that they show real old industries of India. India is a major in IT, Software, Manufacturing, Finance, Call Centers yet no pictures of them.

Posted by Ganesha Murti February 21, 09 10:56 AM

Pic #41 is true steampunk from the time when it just was called modernity.

Posted by Sork February 21, 09 11:02 AM

Not at least one picture of the most common work in the western hemisphere: sitting in front of the computer for 8 hrs...

Posted by Sieboldianus February 21, 09 11:21 AM

could i have some of that gold bars? only a few plz ;)

Posted by dezerter February 21, 09 11:32 AM


Posted by Ankur February 21, 09 12:25 PM

Impresionante!! Thanks!!

Posted by Alejandro February 21, 09 12:34 PM

Not surprised by how few of these photographs are taken in the US. And people want to know when the economy will get better. Hard work and ingenuity are what made this country great. We need more "working people" in this country. To hell with all these money moving fat cats!

Posted by JB February 21, 09 01:17 PM

i used to have the same job as #36. . you wouldnt believe how hard it is to tie thos little knots. . she has to connect all of those spools and they run into 1 giant spool. . and the little spools run out quite often. . . . oh and # 42 is my favorite. . i would love for that picture to be real in my living room. .

Posted by werd February 21, 09 01:41 PM

What a fabulous idea!

Posted by The Lens February 21, 09 02:00 PM

Really wonderful work.
We should think of prople, whose hardwork bring things we consume every day.


Posted by Ajith February 21, 09 02:28 PM

amazing photography.
people should see these images more often.
we take so much for granted these days.
no one ever thinks 'how did this get here?' or 'who made this?'

keep the excellent photographs coming!

Posted by brianfitzgerald February 21, 09 02:32 PM

Impressive, impressive posting! The ingenuity of people worldwide is astounding!

Posted by Andrew Abbey February 21, 09 02:55 PM

Truly inspirational. You are very talented. You make me want to run outside right now and take photographs.

Posted by trici February 21, 09 03:02 PM

@85 Life does have meaning, just because you choose to be a nihilist doesn't mean we all are.

Posted by Michael February 21, 09 03:38 PM

wheel look at here, i see you have a very BIG collection of balls here Dora :P

Posted by Ianculov Vucomir February 21, 09 05:36 PM




Posted by Karly Ashworth February 21, 09 06:04 PM

Such fantastic photos!

Fair trade, not free trade, will get us out of this mess. Maybe.

Posted by Adam Smith February 21, 09 07:22 PM

Nice photos as always.
But by all the praise of work I have seen in the comments above I suggest to read Marx and his thougts about "abstract work" ("Abstrakte Arbeit"). They make work (in the way we understand it today) look less glorious.

Posted by Christian February 22, 09 12:08 AM

fascinating images! love it!

Posted by tinako February 22, 09 12:12 AM

How about this photo of me a couple years ago. Published several times.

Posted by Mike Criss February 22, 09 12:51 AM

Amazing photos.
I learn something new every time I come to the Big Picture.

Posted by Do February 22, 09 01:13 AM

Very intresting to watch...

Posted by Rosh Ravindran February 22, 09 01:28 AM

Gorgeous photos.

How odd it is, however, that almost every single photo is of industrial-era work: factory work, textile mills, heavy machinery operation.

Hardly any representation is here of the timeless sorts of work that existed before the industrial era (doctors practicing medicine, school teachers, arts and music, etc.) .

The present and future is also lacking. You show almost none of the new sorts of work that are becoming dominant in the post-industrial era: science and creative knowledge work.

I hope this doesn't mirror a broader tendency among Americans to remain obsessed with something that's no longer relevant for us, something that we need to move on from: factory work and heavy industry. I hope we're not clinging to the factories at the expense of nourishing the older disciplines that are still important to us, and the new forms of work that we must embrace to survive and thrive.

Posted by Sean Savage February 22, 09 02:26 AM

very good

Posted by urmuli February 22, 09 02:34 AM

really incredible!!!
the world is smaller an bigger than e think

Posted by Jay Jay February 22, 09 03:52 AM

Very well photographed! Love this blog. ;)

One technical idea/suggestion, do not know if it is easily done.... What about having some "comments -> picture" links on the site? For example if the comment contained "#36" (could be set as exact format #numbernumber or whatever) there would a link under that number that would "scroll you" to the appropriate picture. Would it be useful? Would it be nice? What do you think?

Posted by MK February 22, 09 04:17 AM

#85, Jojo - why not instead think how to change the unjust system to more just one. Into something which benefits everyone. Into something which allows ALL people to fulfill their potential, not just the fortunate ones who have inherited enough wealth to never have to work but who can manipulate other people to help them keep their wealth.

I'm a "well-off" Westerner and I consider the system to be unjust in this regard. I'd rather spend my life reading and researching things and communicating these things to others. But I can't, I have to do what someone else tells me to.

And it just hurts me to see so much human life and capabilities wasted around the world, all the time. For what, really? For someone rich to live in more riches? To produce yet another 100 metric tons of useless plastic garbage?

As I see it, slavery never died. It just changed form into what it is today.

And to people asking why so many pictures of China. Simple: the world's production of various goods has been off-shored to China since for last 20 years or so. It's just reality. India is just not as big a production powerhouse of tangible goods.

Posted by Utopian February 22, 09 04:37 AM

You could potentially see a life of drudgery and repetition in these photographs, but why not let the other series displayed by this blog remind you of the innate beauty all around you and try to appreciate those other aspects a little more? The notion of success being defined by your legacy in society is a selfish one and the more modest aspirations of raising a good family and being a well-rounded person ought to be more valued. No one should have to think twice about raising a child on account of some photos of assembly line workers a world away, raise your kids to feel a moral responsibility and you'll have done your part.

Posted by Anonymous February 22, 09 05:52 AM

Excellent photographs and inspiring to an amateur photographer who just purchased his first DSLR.

As to the people complaining about the content, could it be perhaps that he merely selected the best photographs for posting here, without thought to an agenda or some sort of national bias? Should he have included lesser photographs just to be "fair"? This is a photography page first and a documentary expos� second.

Otherwise, I might be inclined to complain that this page is biased against the unemployed!

Posted by MikeK February 22, 09 06:30 AM

Wow, great set of photos!!!

Posted by Anonymous February 22, 09 07:07 AM

Just amazing! while I am searching for the right words...and catch my breath!

Posted by Yona February 22, 09 07:53 AM

picture 28.. valenki... are not so common in Lithuania , unless among fishermen in winter

Posted by dionitz February 22, 09 08:31 AM

That was really really Trible!

Posted by Klaus February 22, 09 09:00 AM

Same in Ukraine - nobody using valenki in a winter, they just out of fashion for a last couple of decades. However, pictures are very good. :)

Posted by *(@_@)* February 22, 09 09:38 AM

Awesome photos. I noticed a lot of comments that the india photos seem to be bias, or offensive. Thing is, if these photos are current you shouldn't be offended that the photo's didn't reflect india as a wonderful place of groth. You should be offended that child labor and poor working conditions are still going on.

I am NOT trying to trash india. I'm just trying to say that we can't overlook some of the hard truths in this world so we can keep from maybe offending someone.

I just hope many of us who are lucky can realise we have it so good because many of us have it so hard.

Posted by mike m February 22, 09 09:41 AM

Awesome photos as usual !
And my dear indians - appreciate the pictures !!!

Posted by santosh February 22, 09 11:26 AM

# 16..must be triple seven line??

Posted by adil February 22, 09 11:33 AM

Very very nice. I hoped, that scrolling down the picture will never end.

Posted by Stefan* February 22, 09 01:15 PM

unbelievable pics. THANK YOU BOSTON GLOBE!

Posted by nick February 22, 09 02:04 PM

In Finland "valenki" or "vinkkelit" as we call them here are still the best footwear there is in the winter. We even have a "valenki" factory in Finland.
Otherwise, so great photographs!

Posted by hemmetti February 22, 09 02:33 PM

#142 - It pretty clearly says 787 line, smarty pants

Posted by Boeing February 22, 09 02:49 PM

I can not believe that my hometown is on Big Picture. Image number 2 is taken not far away from where I grew up in Duisburg, Germany.

Posted by Ulf February 22, 09 03:31 PM


Posted by kamyar February 22, 09 03:50 PM

#142 - I also initially thought #16 was miscaptioned, since in the picture the unpainted fuselages look more green (777s - aluminum covered in corrosion protectant) than black (787s - carbon fiber), but upon looking more closely it's definitely the 787 line. That's the only bay that's clear the full depth of the factory and you can see the big 787 assembly tower in the back. And only the 787s would have the scaffolding under the wings.
[I work in the factory where that picture was taken, kind of neat to see it show up on lists like this.]

Posted by EverettWA February 22, 09 03:55 PM

These illustrations are much needed in our world. So many of us internet users come from middle class or upper class backgrounds. We tend to forget that it is the working class that makes the world go 'round. The real tragedy is that the very conditions that cause them their woes are the ones that prevent them from effectively mobilizing.

Posted by Degor February 22, 09 04:08 PM

Impressive... most impressive!

Posted by Jinx February 22, 09 04:13 PM

The mud transporting brings back memories.

Posted by Banazir February 22, 09 05:31 PM

Hazir Reka is the one, great job

Posted by Lali McColly February 22, 09 05:31 PM

Wow ! Thanks so much it is heartbreaking photos !

Posted by quang le February 22, 09 06:17 PM

Wow! It was refreshing to see so many people producing so many tangible goods. Not a taxpayer funded public works project in the bunch!

Posted by Rob Mahan February 22, 09 07:25 PM

What a picture of the effects of a global economy in the world in 2009.

It really shows how interdependent we are becoming. It also shows how global production will sooner or later affect the wages, health, and living standards of millions of people in our shrinking world. Let us hope these standards rise instead of being dragged down to lower ones.

Everyone should see the picture SLUMDOG, made in India and presently being
shown in theaters.


Posted by George Stone February 22, 09 07:35 PM


Posted by Alysson Borges February 22, 09 08:41 PM

While most of the above comments marvel at the quality of the published photos, and quite deservedly so, I must however, much to the shagrin of many of you, take a completely different position on the message. It is great to see peoples of the planet busy, turning the wheels of their economies; however, as it pertains to these very United States, I MUST express this thought: Several years ago, the pure and shameful element of greed drove the CEO's of big profitable companies to start packaging the heart and soul of this country and its economy and shipping them to the places that you know. To these money hungry fat cats I have one thing
to say: Shame on you, short sighted, self-centered shysters, robbing the pride of this land and exporting its very foundation for existance, for good. Damn you bastards!! Damn you.....
I hope the new administration will deliver on its promise of penalizing companies outsourcing the bloodline of this country. Wake up you egotistical twits, shipping jobs to Bangalore and Bangkok may save you a dime today, but will have your children cursing your ancestors, as they scramble to survive in the desert land, once called the Fertile Land of Freedom.
Before any body gets their feathers ruffled, let me say, I am NOT suggesting total ignorance of other countries and what they can bring to the table. But I am saying, America does NOT need to import every thing it consumes from CHINA. What in the Hell happened to our national pride? Our drinking water is damn near coming from China. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves, business venturists. Fry in hell, TWICE!! You make me sick!!!
O' by the way and for the record: ALL items made and imported from China are sub par and of piss poor quality, yes ALL. This is fact and no hasty generalization.
WAKE UP AMERICA, demand that your Congressmen and women redirect commerce to where it belongs, American factories.

to say

Posted by Deep Lee Concerned February 22, 09 09:21 PM

Just stunning! Reminds us of something in life that we might be prone to forget ... Thanks a lot for the fantastic work!

I suspect (am not sure) there maybe some contradiction in the captions of #5 and #9:

#5 "...Moves by China to restrict steel exports may push trade distortion problems into other industries down the line and run counter to world rules ..."

#9 "...European Union trade officials will vote on Thursday in favor of imposing temporary antidumping duties of 25 percent on imports of Chinese-made steel wire rods..."

Seems both are from "REUTERS/Stringer". Is China restricting steel exports or dumpting it?

Maybe this is not important as whatever China is doing some people would feel bad about it?

Posted by jc February 22, 09 11:16 PM

May God protect them all

Posted by Sam February 23, 09 12:22 AM

Great shots, though it's interesting to have the India-angle commented on. I wouldn't know enough about the subject to notice something like that, so the comments are appreciated.

Does #36 look to anyone else like a fiendish trap from an old 1960s episode of Batman?

Posted by Chris February 23, 09 12:44 AM
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