Dharamshala photographer Tsering Topgyal started an internship earlier this year with the Associated Press Delhi bureau. One of his early assignments was to photograph anti-corruption campaigner Anna Hazare, who gained huge popular support when he went on hunger strike to demand the government pass a tough anti-graft law. Tsering spoke candidly about being a novice photojournalist sent to cover an important and controversial story.
“When I first started interning with Associated Press on April fifth I was sent to Jantar Mantar to photograph Anna Hazare. I have never seen him nor heard about him. I went there and I saw lots of journalists crowded over a small protest.I saw a man with white Indian traditional hat sitting on a stage with a background of Mother India embossed on an Indian map. That’s how I started to know about him. Then every now and then I saw him in my viewfinder. Most of the time my viewfinder is shaky as there is always pushing and pulling. Most recently it was at Ramlila Maidan where there were thousands of supporters and it was hot as hell. The crowds are mainly mainstream India. Almost every day I go there and try to make some pictures. Going there is very different for me as I meet lots of photographers and make friends with them. It was good for me as a beginner. Senior photographers guide me. On other hand it was nice to see my pictures on the wire but it was even better to see other photographers’ photos. We were on the same spot but every photographer had different photos. My approach is very simple. I go there and try to make better images. I hardly or never let the subject pose for me. I don’t think much nor do I previsualise much, but I am getting to know that previsualising is as vital as planning. I am just a beginner and have nothing useful to share as such. I owe zillions of thank you to people who always guide me and support me. I am getting to know the world of photography better and better.”
These photos were exhibited at Moonpeak Espresso. Moonpeak has encouraged Tsering’s photographic career for a number of years, and recommended him for an internship with AP.