Phil Coomes, Picture editor

Phil Coomes Picture editor

Exploring the world of photojournalism, photos in the news and BBC News' use of photographs, including those by our readers

Picture power: Doused with milk

A man is doused with milk and sprayed with mist after being hit by an eye irritant from security forces in Ferguson

In August, police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, leading to protests in the town. Photographer Adrees Latif of Reuters talks about the frame shown here, in which he captured the moment a man is doused with milk and sprayed with mist after being hit with eye irritant from the security forces.

"As the evening rolled past midnight, I saw one man among the crowd who looked particularly agitated. He seemed to be a local resident, very upset with the police, and people were holding him back as he yelled towards the officers.

"As he kept shouting, the police targeted him with some kind of eye irritant - it looked like pepper spray. He wasn't very close, but they got him right in the eye and his friends immediately pulled him to a parking lot nearby, where they poured milk on his face to flush away the effects of the spray.

"As they started to pour the milk, I began photographing and noticed a bright spotlight in the background. I believe it was from the police. At that point the people taking care of the man started spraying mist or water to further clear his eyes and I positioned my camera and used the light source to create a rim light around his head and bring attention to the droplets."

You can find out more about the Ferguson protests in our in-depth guide.

Read full article Picture power: Doused with milk

Picture power: Under the dress

A man is arrested by security in Cannes

The Cannes Film Festival is one of the highlights of the entertainment year, and the comings and goings on the red carpet can make for arresting pictures.

In this case, arresting is the right word.

Read full article Picture power: Under the dress

Picture power: A scar on the landscape

An aerial view of the Atibainha dam

In November, Reuters photographer Nacho Doce flew over the Atibainha dam in Brazil, part of the Cantareira reservoir that supplies the state of Sao Paulo, a region suffering its worst drought in 80 years. He took the picture above, the lakeside almost resembling a screaming face in profile. Here Doce offers his thoughts on the image.

"Words can't express what it feels like to view a landscape as bleak and disturbing as the one in this photo.

Read full article Picture power: A scar on the landscape

Picture power: Royal tour

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave the In Memoriam exhibit during a visit to the 9/11 memorial Museum, New York City

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have returned from a three-day tour of the east coast of the United States during which they visited the 9/11 memorial and museum, met President Obama and watched a basketball game. The Press Association sent photographer Jonathan Brady from London to cover the visit and here he reveals what it is like capturing the royals on tour.

"I have photographed the royals many times before for the Press Association but usually at official engagements at Windsor and Buckingham Palace. However, this time I would be spending three days following the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their visit to New York City - a tour that was guaranteed to receive a lot of media attention on both sides of the Atlantic and around the world.

The Duke of Cambridge plays a synth guitar
The Duke of Cambridge plays a synth guitar during a visit to the Shutterstock offices in the Empire State Building, New York City

Read full article Picture power: Royal tour

Fast and furious, the dangerous world of contact motorsport

Dan Bramwell, exits his car after an engine malfunction

Motorsport was made for photography. It's fast, furious, and at its best can be a spectacle ripe for capturing through your lens.

Photographer Dan Giannopoulos has been shooting short-oval circuit racing this year, having grown up watching it at Arena Essex Raceway in the late 1980s and early 1990 with his father and brothers.

Read full article Fast and furious, the dangerous world of contact motorsport

Picture power: When doves fly

Pope Francis frees doves upon arrival at the Istanbul's Holy Spirit Cathedral

Since Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected to the post of Pope in March last year, pictures of the white-clad figure have featured regularly on the news wires, meeting the faithful at the Vatican or on one of his many tours.

While on a visit to Muslim-majority Turkey, he was photographed by Agence France Presse photographer Gurcan Ozturk releasing two white doves outside Istanbul's Holy Spirit Cathedral.

Read full article Picture power: When doves fly

The Swap

Viktoria Sorochinski by Andrej Glusgold and Andrej Glusgold by Viktoria Sorochinski

The Swap might sound like an idea for a late-night reality show, but is in fact a photographic project curated by Stuart Pilkington that pairs image-makers together to record portraits of each other.

Pilkington had the idea as a way to develop his own photography, though now sees his role as curator as being the creative centre of his work.

Read full article The Swap

One woman's fight against Ebola

More Than Me vehicle

The Ebola crisis has claimed almost 6,000 lives during the current epidemic in parts of West Africa, bringing unimaginable suffering to the communities affected. News organisations have dispatched photographers and camera crews to report, but alongside this some of those who work in the region have been using social media to record a wider story.

One of those is Katie Meyler whose pictures on Instagram show the work her organisation is doing to help combat Ebola in West Point, a township in the capital of Liberia, Monrovia.

Read full article One woman's fight against Ebola

Lewis Hamilton: A photographer's view

Lewis Hamilton celebrates

Following Lewis Hamilton's historic Formula 1 triumph in Abu Dhabi last weekend, Press Association photographer David Davies reveals in pictures the moment the British-born racer became World Champion for the second time.

I've always enjoyed covering Formula 1. In fact, it's where my interest in photography started. However, for one reason or another, I have never covered a Championship decider. But that all changed in Abu Dhabi last weekend.

Read full article Lewis Hamilton: A photographer's view

Picture power: Pausing the moment

A protester about to hit a window of Starbucks with a piece of wood, 19 November 2014

I want to take a look at this picture taken by Carl Court in London last week during a march by thousands of students protesting against education cuts, tuition fees and student debt.

For me - although it is something we have seen in previous demonstrations (frame 4 in this gallery for example) - this picture sums up the power of the still image, as it produces more questions than answers.

Read full article Picture power: Pausing the moment

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About Phil

Phil has worked in the photographic arena for many years, as both a photographer and picture editor, primarily at the BBC where he has covered news stories, features and audio slideshows, both in the UK and abroad.

He obtained a BA (Hons) in photography from the University of Westminster where he studied under Andy Golding, Tom Ang and Gus Wylie, the latter of whom instilled in him his love of the colour photographic document and street photography.

Despite the obvious advantages of digital photography in news, Phil can often be found running film through his old cameras and spent 64 weeks shooting a project to mark the end of Kodachrome in 2010.

Phil is a member of the British Press Photographers Association.

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