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Final Editthe image we rescued from the cutting room floor

Bert Fox Illustrations Editor Bert Fox describes the photo’s significance and what goes into making final cuts.

Cut It?
“We couldn’t run two photographs of the Yali people in the article,” says illustrations editor Bert Fox. “The one we chose delivered more contextual information via the geography of the scene and the powerful mood. The motion of the woman and pigs gave the photograph more energy and stronger appeal.”

Or Keep It?
“We chose this shot for Final Edit because it was a close second,” Fox continues. “Think of a bar chart with pure information on one end of the spectrum and pure aesthetic on the other. This photograph played very high on all levels. It was very strong.”

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Photograph by Alexandra Boulat To send this image as a postcard click here.

Feast for the Eyes

The late morning light turned harsh as Yali people of highland Irian Jaya prepared a feast, and smoke from roasting pigs and sweet potatoes filled the air. “My only option was to find another kind of light,” says French photojournalist Alexandra Boulat, so she began shooting “through the smoke, against the sun.” When a Yali man with a dramatically pierced nose turned abruptly toward her on a village path, she knew the shot would be a favorite.

Boulat also relished the meal she shared with the Yali, especially the sweet potatoes. “They were really good, and so big.” She credits a strong stomach for some of her success in moving comfortably among Indonesia’s diverse cultures. “I ate with many different people—it’s a way to get in touch with the country and the people you photograph.”

Journey through the feature story this photo was originally taken for.
Alexandra Boulat Zoom In for more images by Alexandra Boulat.

Go to Sights & Sounds for a multimedia tour of Indonesia.

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