Focus Photo und Presse Agentur GmbH

Feature: The wonders of El Rocío, Andalusia

  • Caravan of pilgrims celebrating passion and love
    Every year at Whitsun, more than one million people set out on horseback and on foot on a pilgrimage to the village of El Rocío that lasts several days.
  • Dancing and singing in honour of the Virgin
    In the middle of the Andalusian desert, with temperature around 45 degrees, people start to dance with joy. Later sherry is served and the caravan continues.
  • Andalusian attitude to life in the open air, Spain
    Like nomads, the pilgrims sleep in the open air and sing about hardship, love and death. Old and young, fat and slim, poor and rich unite in the grip of music.
  • Festival of rituals: religious choir honours saint
    It's a journey with a lot of sacrifices, dancing and singing. Everything comes together on this walk: faith, love, happiness, hope, simply the whole of life.
  • Coto de Donana with Guadalquivir and pilgrims
    Oxen are pulling the silver cart through the dune sand to the rhythm of singing bells, and the caravan of pilgrims and riders follows.
  • Pilgrimage, a strenuous walk and muddy boots
    On the banks of the Guadalquivir, boots are getting muddy. And feet are suffering from painful blisters. But the men and women do not surrender.
  • Open air with gossip, entertainment, chats, music
    A joyful festival starts after the march to honour the Virgin and to revitalize the pilgrims. The music of the guitars helps them to forget stress and strain.
  • Men, rituals and traditions in Andalusia, Spain
    Men are singing and going into ecstasies. They are shouting: “Cheers for the Saint of El Rocío, long live the brotherhoods!“ The crowd echoes their words.
  • Proud Spaniards in traditional Spanish costumes
    For a while the families exchange their normal life for an archaic world. And, for the pilgrimage, horses once more become the most popular means of transport.
  • Rest in the open air siesta in the National Park
    The pilgrims have to bring the Virgin Mary in her beautifully decorated wagon safely to the place of pilgrimage. Even when taking a nap this man protects her.
  • Pilgrims crossing the Coto de Doñana National Park
    On the third day, the caravan leaves the sandy desert of the National Park. After innumerable hours of walking, the village El Rocío is only a few hours away.
  • Western city and a couple in Andalusia, Spain
    Like in the times of the Wild West, roads in the village of El Rocío are covered with sand. Instead of noisy engines there is the sound of horses and carriages.
  • Pilgrimage to chapel with statue of Virgin Mary
    In the village of El Rocío, people from all over Spain come together to visit the Virgin of El Rocío and to celebrate Whitsunday.
  • Father and son horseback riding in Andalusia
    Fathers dressed in richly decorated leather trousers are riding with their sons through the holy place, while the last brotherhoods are arriving at dusk.
  • Worshipping the Virgin Mary by candlelight, Spain
    The pilgrims light candles to the glory of the Virgin. After this strenuous walk, a joyful celebration to honour the Virgin takes its course.

Feature: And far below the Rio Negro is roaring, Colombia

  • Daisy is flying to school, Colombia
    Every morning Daisy rides to school at a speed of 50 mph. The trip over the precipice of the Rio Negro flowing 1,500 feet below takes only a minute.
  • Unusual transport system above jungle in Colombia
    Twelve steel cables link the slopes on either side of the river. For fifteen families these cables are the only connection to the outside world.
  • Sister takes care of little brother, Colombia
    What a responsibility for 9-year-old Daisy: As her little brother Jamid is still too young to ride by himself, Daisy has to carry him in a jute bag to school.
  • Children at school, Colombia
    Daisy Mora and her little brother Jamid share a school desk. Pupils of different ages are taught simultaneously in this school in the middle of the rainforest.
  • Hut in the rainforest, Colombia
    Daisy´s family lives in this hut built out of wooden boards in the isolated Colombian rainforest. The family makes a living from arable farming and some cows.
  • Children have lunch in rainforest hut, Colombia
    After school, Jamid and his brothers and sisters have lunch together at home.
  • Father and daughter are dancing, Colombia
    Daisy and her father are dancing at the mountain festival. For the families this is a welcome distraction from their hard and dangerous lives.
  • Family excursion in the rainforest, Colombia
    Father Mora concentrates on picking just the right moment. Life is suspended on a hook: a piece of wood and physical strength are all that slow the descent.
  • Steel cables as transport system, Colombia
    Everything has to be transported by means of the cables. What Daisy´s family produces her father sells in the village on the other side of the canyon.
  • Dangerous tightrope act, Colombia
    This farmer is transporting his milk churns back to the other side of the valley where his family runs a little farm with two cows.

Feature: Twelve Hundred Years of Passion, Ottobeuren Abbey

  • Ottobeuren Benedectine Abbey in Germany
    In the 1,250-year-old Benedictine abbey, the monks still live and work according to the monastic rules laid down by Benedict, the founder of the holy order.
  • Monk in monastery library, Ottobeuren Abbey Allgäu
    Over hundreds of years, monasteries have assembled a vast store of knowledge. The voluminous library of the abbey still bears witness to the work of centuries.
  • Old monastic incunable with the rules of Benedict
    This Venetian incunable from 1489 is one of the very precious books. It contains the monastic rules laid down by Saint Benedict.
  • Benedictine monks pray and sing, Ottobeuren Abbey
    The monks are entering the basilica and taking their places in the choir stalls. At present, twenty-two monks live in the monastery community of Ottobeuren.
  • Sacristan of the church in the community of monks
    Brother Clemens is the sacristan of the basilica. He has to watch over the church and to prepare for the Masses.
  • Monks praying in the choir stalls of the basilica
    The monks gather at least five times every day to pray and sing together. The gold-plated wooden reliefs depict scenes from the Old Testament.
  • View of the baroque basilica of Ottobeuren Abbey
    According to tradition, the monastery of Ottobeuren was founded in 764. Work on the new monastery complex, constructed in the baroque style, began in 1711.
  • A monk is explaining about the science in books
    School classes regularly visit the monastery. The monks readily fulfill their mission of education and explain their monastic lifestyle.
  • Welcome by the abbot, Benedictine fraternity
    The abbot welcomes and also bids farewell to his guests in the magnificent “Bishop’s Entrance” of the monastery. And this he does with open arms.
  • Former outbuilding of Ottobeuren Abbey
    The monastery of Ottobeuren has helped shape the region of the Allgäu economically and socially. Today visitors enjoy the silence and the seclusion.

Corporate: On board the supply vessel Viking Lady, Offshore North Sea

  • Supply vessel loading process platform Gullfaks C
    To supply the North Sea oil platforms, the men of the vessel Viking Lady risk their lives each and every day. Danger is only one mistake away.
  • Aboard one of the world’s biggest supply vessels
    Sailor Ivar Birkelang is dragging along a heavy rope, which is placed around the containers in order to prevent any shifting on deck.
  • Crane loads containers onto the supply vessel
    From a height of 60 meters the crane operator of the oil platform Gullfaks C carefully lowers the heavy containers onto the supply vessel Viking Lady.
  • Supplying the Statoil North Sea oil platforms
    The sailors catch the swinging steel cable which they set free and pull it to the next container. It is hard and dangerous work but very well paid.
  • Viking Lady, modern supply vessel from Eidesvik
    The supply vessel Viking Lady does the almost impossible: it holds its position under the Statfjord oil platform during the loading of the containers.
  • Supervising the loading process, offshore industry
    Sailor Arvid is attentively supervising the process of loading. He is always in radio contact with the bridge and the platform.
  • Hard and dangerous work in the offshore industry
    Change of shift: Two of the four sailors always work together during the six-hour shifts, while the other two are sleeping, eating and relaxing.
  • Oil and gas platform Statfjord oilfield, North Sea
    During the last twenty-four hours, the supply vessel provided the oil platforms with food, tools, chemicals, drinking water and anything else they needed.

Feature: The barnacle fishermen from the Coast of Death, Northern Spain

  • Fishermen with small wooden boats in the Atlantic
    Men in Galicia depend on nature, especially on the sea. Striving to have a better income than others, a small group of brave men are playing with their lives.
  • Percebeiro, a barnacle fisherman, Sisargas Island
    Equipped with a billhook, a net and a rope, the fishermen jump from their wooden boots onto the steep rocks, looking for barnacles, a most valuable delicacy.
  • Barnacle fishermen take big risk for a better life
    Jose is pulling Cances onto the rock after he was knocked down by a huge wave. The profit of these brave fishermen compensates for the danger.
  • Barnacles are one of the most expensive delicacies
    Barnacles are a valuable delicacy, which are sold to exclusive restaurants in Spain. Charles Darwin investigated barnacles as a kind of prototype shellfish.
  • Sons secure fathers while they scrape off barnacle
    Clinging to the rocks, barnacles prefer to be at the spot where heavy surf swirls up plankton, which they just catch with the tentacles of their mouth.
  • The fishermen are harvesting barnacles in Galicia
    At low tide, fishermen scrape barnacles off the rocks with their billhooks. What they bring back from their battle against waves is a lucrative delicacy.
  • Widow with cross at the Coast of Death, Spain
    Like every year, the widow Rosa Garcia Souto paints the cross on her husband's grave white. Her husband lost his life while he was out harvesting barnacles.
  • Display case at seafood restaurant, Barcelona
    Barnacles are sold in fish auctions to the most exclusive restaurants in Spain. Gourmets pay up to 100 dollars for a serving of the delicious shellfish.