Jaipur, 22 September 2019
Camera for long has stood an icon of journalists identity. Pictures from war and revolutions have recorded history live from ground zero. Yet, between camera and action lies a long and risky pause that encompasses a photojournalist’s life. This behind the camera journey revealed ahead of the audience on the third day of Talk Journalism 2019 as senior photojournalists Purushottam Diwakar of India Today and Bhagirath Basnet of The Times of India went in a panel discussion with Gaurav Hajela, Founder and Managing Director of Pathfynder Solutions.
Each of these photojournalists over decades of their experience has earned a long list of admirers and been appreciated on various occasions. However, even these are not unknown to the disappointments that come in routine.
While talking on the risks that a journalist dares for a perfect angle and shot, they happen to mention of few tragedies. Either of them though agreed on another persistent fear.
“A photojournalist at times spends long hours waiting for the right picture. Even if he manages to capture it with great effort the same might not get published,” they agreed unanimously.
A photojournalist though has to learn to think beyond the lights and technical aspects of photography and demand of the publisher while they click the shoot. They have to be constantly aware of their surroundings, at times this could literally a lifesaver.
Diwakar narrated a lesson from his wealth of experience. It was during an expedition in the remote areas of Africa that he came across a tribe that has so far remained untouched by the modern world. No journalist has ever reached the tribe and less was known about them to the outside world. Diwakar was none the less excited to capture their story first.
He couldn’t understand their language but tried to make the most of their gestures and expressions. It’s during this that he made a horrifying revelation.
“They wanted to kill me,” he said.
At the moment he had to let go of the urge to record the tribe’s life and start thinking to save his own. A smooth exit and hasty descend from the hill helped him to stay alive to narrate the story.
The discussion continued to highlight several other aspects of visual media and shared many interesting experiences. It was though the passion that seems to have kept the life of the photojournalists clicking.
Capturing history live in their camera, a photojournalist brings their audience closest to the actual scene of action. The camera has for long been a symbol for media and the photojournalists are the torch bearers of the same.
Courtesy- Newsroom at Talk Journalism
Text: Dr Kailash Gupta | Copy Edit: Niharika Raina |
Editorial Coordination: Rupali Soni & Niharika Raina
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