My Best Shot: Tashi Tobgyal
Why it is my best shot
Most photojournalists think that they have seen it all. However, every time that I enter a conflict zone, it all seems new to me. When I was at the refugee camp at Shamli, I was astounded at the number of displaced people living there without any proper food or sanitation. There were several deaths too, mostly those of children, whose bodies just couldn’t cope with the derelict conditions. Amazingly enough, many kids still attended school. This photograph, to me, summarises the spirit of these tiny souls, and how life still goes on, irrespective of the challenges that it throws at us.
Where and when I shot this image
The image was shot during the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, in the Shamli district of Uttar Pradesh.
How I achieved it
While I was making pictures of the children at the madrasa, I noticed a little girl blankly staring at me. Even when I was actively moving around the area, she just wouldn’t move her gaze away from me. As I approached her for a photograph, I noticed how a tear in the tarpaulin on the roof, caused a shaft of light to fall on the girl. I knew then that I had to capture this moment.
The gear I used to get the shot
I used a Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera along with a Canon EF 16—35mm f/2.8L II USM lens.
Tashi Tobgyal started out as a Picture Researcher for several travel publications. Later in 2006, he joined The Indian Express as a photojournalist, and still continues to work there.
This article originally appeared in the March 2015 issue of Better Photography.Tags: Interview, photojournalist, photojournalism, children, The Indian Express, conflict, March 2015, Tashi Tobgyal, Refugee, Muzaffarnagar, School, Perspectives