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A Day in the Life of Africa ...a stunning collection of photographs

A Day in the Life of Africa.
This photo book based on one of the world's largest photography events will be published on October 30, 2002. Profits go to charity: the AIDS education programs in Africa. In the project 100 of the world's foremost photojournalists, representing 21 countries, fanned out across 53 African nations to capture the entire continent on a single day. All photographs were taken on February 28, 2002 with Olympus E-20 SLR digital cameras.
Visit the site " A Day in the Life of Africa"

PRESS RELEASE

The World's First Major Digital Photography Book

100 of World's Leading Photojournalists Use Olympus' CAMEDIA E-20 SLR Digital Camera

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Olympus Optical Co., Ltd. ( President : Tsuyoshi Kikukawa ) donated photographic equipment to one of the world's largest photography events ever, A Day in the Life of Africa. The photography book based on this event will be published in the United States and Canada on October 30, 2002 by Publishers Group West, North America's largest independent book distributor.

In the ambitious photographic project, A Day in the Life of Africa, 100 of the world's foremost photojournalists, representing 21 countries, fanned out across 53 African nations to capture the entire continent on a single day. The participating photographers included Larry C. Price, David Turnley, and other Pulitzer Prize winning photographers as well as members of the famed Magnum and Group VII photo agencies. Photographers from Japan were Taiji Igarashi and Yoshiko Murakami. The photographs were taken on February 28, 2002 with CAMEDIA E-20 SLR digital cameras, among others, donated by Olympus.

A Day in the Life of Africa is a selection of the best images taken on that day. With a foreword featuring a message by Desmond M. Tutu, Archbishop and Nobel laureate, the book captures the breathtaking diversity and startling contrasts of Africa. It has attracted considerable attention as the first major photography book comprised mainly of digital images taken by prominent photographers.

To coincide with the publication of the book in North America, an exhibition of 150 photographs from A Day in the Life of Africa will be held at New York's Grand Central Station Terminal from October 22 to November 4. The book is also scheduled to be published in South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Australia. All proceeds from the book will be used to fund AIDS education programs in Africa.

In Japan, A Day in the Life of Africa Photo Exhibition is planned to be held next year, which has been designated Year of Africa 2003. Olympus, as the sole Japanese corporate sponsor of this photographic event, will provide full support to this exhibition to ensure that these important photographs are seen by the Japanese people.

About "Day in the Life"

For two decades, the best-selling "Day in the Life" photography books have chronicled cultures around the world. Thirteen titles - including Days in the Life of the United States, China, Russia, and Japan - have collectively sold 2.5 million copies. More than 25 million African men, women and children are HIV positive, and every minute, two more are infected. This project's primary goal is to raise global awareness of a continent at risk.

All publishing profits will be used to fund AIDS education programs in Africa. Programs will be selected in concert with The Harvard Aids Institute, South Africa's renowned Soul City Foundation and Johns Hopkins' Center for Communication Programs. Funds will be administered by the Tides Foundation.


Olympus' Contribution

Olympus was one of the Premier Sponsor's for the project. The company donated to all the participating photographers full set of equipment. Each of the E-20 sets consisted of one CAMEDIA E-20 SLR digital camera, one B-32LPS lithium polymer battery set, one WCON-08B wide extension lens, and one TCON-14B tele extension lens. To help photographers develop images on location, Olympus also donated CAMEDIA P-200 portable dye-sublimation printers.

Olympus also organized training sessions for the participating professionals in New York and Paris to help familiarize them with the equipment. The company assembled an Olympus technical support team, based in Paris, to offer round-the-clock support to participants from February 22 to March 5, inclusive. In addition, the company sent two staff to Africa to provide local support. The help offered to this project by Olympus as premier sponsor therefore provided a total solution, covering the entire process from shooting to the printing of images.

Comments from Participating Photographers

Larry C. Price ( 1981, 1985 Pulitzer Prize Winner )

The E-20 is fantastic. Thanks to this light, versatile digital camera, I could shoot images just as I saw them and it helped me deal with the tough working conditions during A Day in the Life of Africa.

Eli Reed ( 1986 World Press Photo Award; Magnum Agency )

The camera is surprisingly easy and fun to use. There is almost no stress due to time lag so I can take photographs that are impressive and expressive, and that I know will turn out the way I intended.

Taiji Igarashi ( Photojournalist )

It was so useful for aerial shooting. While I was shooting in the air, about 6300-meter above sea level, over the summit of Mt.Kilimanjaro, I had to hold my camera outside of the window most of the time. Which means, about during half of my shooting, I could not use the finder. How then could I know that I captured proper photos ? Monitor of the body was the answer. I could check the aperture, angle, focus, and colour immediately after shooting, and could confirm everything on the spot. Without such technology, I wouldn't be able to come back to DITLA office in Paris.
Since last February, I have mainly been using digital camera to save time, cost, fear and frustration.

Additional information: Visit the site " A Day in the Life of Africa"
October 22, 2002
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