Press Photography – From Picture Desk to Page: The Silly Season hits the Deck

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A woman walks two coloured dogs on a street on July 11, 2009 in Wuhan of Hubei Province, China. China's pet industry has developed rapidly in the past ten years. A growing number of Chinese are changing and indulging more as their standard of living increases. Many Chinese youth are turning to pets to reduce stress as they face tremendous pressure from a fast-paced society. Credit: Xinhua/Photoshot. All Rights Reserved.

Welcome to the second of Marvin Woodyatt’s monthly posts: As we are in the midst of what, traditionally, is called the ‘silly season’, I thought it would be good to share some of the weird and more unusual, even life threatening, stories that have been happening around the world.

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A 'mozo' runner is hit by an Alcurrucen ranch bull during the first bull run of Sanfermines 2009 Festival, in Pamplona, Navarra, northern Spain, 07 July 2009. According to the lastest reports, four people were moved to hospital after being injured, but none of them were gored. Credit: Fernando Moreno/Photoshot. All Rights Reserved.

Firstly, for those of you who have never heard of the ‘silly season’, it refers to a period of time throughout the summer, generally between July and August. This is when a large proportion of the media industry fly off to top up their tans leaving the rest of us to deal with a distinct lack of news and newspaper editors having to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find an interesting story.

These images are not necessarily representative of this lack of news, but they do give an idea of the kind of stories and photographs that many of the ‘lighter’ papers will print without hesitation. From oddly-styled pets to Polo matches played on Segways by serious business men such as Apple founder Steve Wozniak, the press loves a story out of the ordinary. And unlike some of the rather depressing news stories we come across regularly, these ones feed readers’ natural interest in light-hearted stories and bring an element of both joy and bemusement into their lives.

SUTAMARCHAN (COLOMBIA), 14/06/09.- Two youngsters enjoy the 5th Colombian Tomatina Festival at Sutamarchan municipality in Boyaca, Colombia, 14 June 2009. During this annual event, unique in Latin America, people gather and celebrate tomato fights as a tribute to this vegetable.  Credit: Efe/Photoshot.  All Rights Reserved.

Two youngsters enjoy the 5th Colombian Tomatina Festival at Sutamarchan municipality in Boyaca, Colombia, 14 June 2009. During this annual event, unique in Latin America, people gather and celebrate tomato fights as a tribute to this vegetable. Credit: Efe/Photoshot. All Rights Reserved.

The combo picture shows German Pavlo Rozenberg falling from the board during the preliminary round of the 3m diving competition at the FINA Swimming World Championships in Rome, Italy, 22 July 2009.  Credit: DPA/Photoshot.  All Rights Reserved.

The combo picture shows German Pavlo Rozenberg falling from the board during the preliminary round of the 3m diving competition at the FINA Swimming World Championships in Rome, Italy, 22 July 2009. Credit: DPA/Photoshot. All Rights Reserved.

Players of the US-Segway-Polo-team " Silicone Valley Aftershocks" pursued on Friday (17.07.2009) in Cologne at the edge of playing field. The world championship Segway Polo takes place on the 17th until 19.07.2009 in Cologne.  Credit: Maxppp/Photoshot.  All Rights Reserved.

Players of the US-Segway-Polo-team " Silicone Valley Aftershocks" pursued on Friday (17.07.2009) in Cologne at the edge of playing field. The world championship Segway Polo takes place on the 17th until 19.07.2009 in Cologne. Credit: Maxppp/Photoshot. All Rights Reserved.

What more can I say? What kind of world would we live in if we never got a chance to see these unusual moments in life captured on camera? They may fill our papers and websites with ‘silliness’ but they also allow us to ponder the whacky world in which we live.

ZHENGZHOU, CHINA  JULY 20: A man shows a white turtle that has a similar appearance to a plucked turkey which he found at the riverside of Yellow River on July 20, 2009 in Zhengzhou of Henan Province, China. The turtle weighs about 6.5 kg and it's 40 cm long.  Credit: Maxppp/Photoshot.  All Rights Reserved.

A man shows a white turtle that has a similar appearance to a plucked turkey which he found at the riverside of Yellow River on July 20, 2009 in Zhengzhou of Henan Province, China. The turtle weighs about 6.5 kg and it's 40 cm long. Credit: Maxppp/Photoshot. All Rights Reserved.

Marvin Woodyatt, July 2009

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