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Monday, December 20, 2004

World Press Photos

Went for the photo exhibition at the Express Towers - it started off innocuously enough. Three of us, chatting, laughing, commenting – my friend being the photo expert at hand, pointed out the finer nuances.

And then we came across the Indian Award winning photo (a boy crying as he informs his parents about his sister's suicide, the body in the background). Not particularly well shot, even a bit fuzzy if you ask me…but apparently it did the trick, it captured the moment – the mark of a true photo journalist. Is this what it is, standing around and clicking a boy’s despair? There was nothing even remotely brave about it. So what was the big deal? It was just sheer lucking stumbling into this photo opportunity, but what deemed it award worthy?

In contrast the award winning International photos were astounding. From the jungles of Africa to the war in Iraq– we had no words, what could we say. The three of us split up, we could not even make eye contact – it was that personal. The photos were shocking, yes – affecting – absolutely but what really depressed me, more than the abject misery in those images was the sheer intrusiveness of that lens. Yeah it's all in a day' work, but I guess you need to develop a certain callousness to get those pictures right.

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