It’s nice to see that a great photograph can still be truly arresting. As I was sorting through our mail earlier this week I found myself staring at the new Newsweek cover. It’s a “quiet” shot, an expanse of mountain range in grainy black and white. But then, I think that’s what struck me about it. It is so completely antithetical to the usual news-glossy cover fare. (Even with the all too common fear mongering of the headline “He’s Still Out There. The Hunt for Bin Laden.”) It was no surprise, thus, to discover the image had come from the skilled hands of Magnum photographer Paolo Pellegrin. I am pleasantly surprised, however, to see that Newsweek is plumbing such rich sources for images. Even without the threatening headline, this image conveys the vast and ominous nature of our Afghanistan involvement, embodied in the very land where it is taking place. And I have to applaud the magazine for trusting that its readers are savvy enough to get that from such a subtle picture–another pixelated blow-up of Bin Laden’s face is the last thing we need.
Newsweek also deserves credit on a second front, for the inside pictures by John D. McHugh from Getty.