Every year, August 19 is observed as World Photography Day to celebrate the importance of photography and pictures, a medium which can evoke numerous emotions without using words. The idea behind celebrating the day is to inspire people to talk more about the art form that has a rich history. This year, as the world continues to reel under the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns owing to the coronavirus infection, we asked renowned photographers to share their favourite photograph that defines the current situation for them, and why.
Here’s what they had to say.
Shoba Jolly, photographer
Titled Uncertain, this photograph poignantly captures the emotions that I experienced during the lockdown. Gazing through the window from the comfort of my home, I wonder what the future holds for us as we battle these unprecedented times of the pandemic. My heart goes out to those who have suffered greatly, and to the families of those who lost their loved ones. Uncertain — that is what the situation remains even today, as the world economy takes a tumble, jeopardising the livelihoods of millions.
Vijay Kranti, journalist and photographer
I have photographed political acrimony at its frenzied peak during innumerable elections in my 50 year long professional life as a journalist and photographer. Indian masses have also stunned me by their unity and patriotism during each war in 1962, 1965, 1971. Each time people stood like a solid rock behind the nation. And I find the community cohesion since the explosion of Covid-19 pandemic no less mesmerising. In a society where standing in a queue is more of an exception than a rule, here is a woman, waiting patiently for her turn for the free community food for her family as she holds her food bowl. Having watched over a hundred people like her waiting patiently every day for their turn for over two months at the municipal school in front of my house, my hopes about new India are much higher today.
Ravi Dhingra, commercial photographer
There has been a forced work from home for almost all. Home is supposed to be more informal as compared to work place. Here the vegetables and fruits are being dried after washing in baking soda, a norm now, and there is some kind of structure in the manner they are placed, looks very formal, organised and as per the hierarchy. The line between home and office seem to have vanished.
Dinesh Khanna, professional photographer
Through the lockdown everything had come to a halt and the city was eerily quiet and desolate. However, when the unlockdown started, the world started to slowly wake up. To me, it seemed like the wheels that propelled civilisation had got punctured and become useless and these new wheels on the ground had appeared to tell us how to behave and move ourselves.
(As told to Jayashree Narayanan)