Raghu Rai, one of India’s finest photographer has set a milestone in photography, capturing moments gracefully for over five decades now. Known for his powerful portraits, Rai’s wide angle shots leaves the audience in a deep state of contemplation. Time and again, Rai’s photos have been featured in various national and international publications. Awarded by the Padmashree in 1972, Rai has work on several iconic photo essays and has been named the master of photojournalism.
Over the course of five decades, the septuagenarian has documented various subjects- from the Sadhus of Kumbh Mela to Indira Gandhi, Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa to the aftermath of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy.
Rai says that he enjoys taking quick, candid pictures rather than staged and timed ones. He believes in capturing the aura of the person in focus. Thus, he captures moments when the person is unaware of the camera and is in his/her own element.
Revealing the process behind his photography, Rai says that his photographs aims to capture ‘the fleeting moment’. Another speciality of Rai’s photos is that they are mostly black and white, rather than coloured. He thinks that colour makes for very average portraits. “In black and white, the grey tones, highlights and contrasts that you are able to create enable you to bring out the strength of the expression in a person’s eyes or face.”
Here’s taking a look at some of his iconic shots-
A Day in the life of Indira Gandhi
Mother Teresa’s faith
Humayun’s Tomb: A different Delhi