The image was taken by Canadian photojournalist Kevin Frayer. It shows a lady using a Mini Lung-Pro, a 190 yuan ($29) gadget that pushes air through a HEPA filter, up a tube, and directly into a face mask. It's said to filter out PM2.5 while not giving the "breathless" feeling a regular 3M mask does after extended periods of use. In the series' description, Frayer notes that "China's government has publicly set 2030 as a deadline to reach the country's emissions peak, and data suggest the country's coal consumption is already in decline."
The photo is from an arresting series titled China's Coal Dependence A Challenge For Climate, which placed second in the 2016 Sony Photography Awards' Professional / Contemporary Issues category. (Frayer actually won the Environment category for another series).
The Big Picture is a recurring feature highlighting beautiful images that tell big stories. We explore topics as large as our planet, or as small as a single life, as affected by or seen through the lens of technology.