“For many decades, it hewed close to that often elusive balance between the news of the week and timeless photography..” wrote Elena Martinique, a contemporary art critic about the iconic Life magazine. This observation is equally suitable for India Today magazine which can certainly be credited to have defined India’s contemporary world of photo-journalism. Like the immortal photographers of Life like Margaret Bourke-White, Alfred Eisenstaedt or Andreas Feininger, an array of brilliant lens persons from India Today, like Raghu Rai opened to the country the stunning world of photojournalism. A common sulk we reporters and writers at India Today had was that if there wasn’t a striking picture to go with it, even the story of a Prime Minister getting shot will not see the light in the magazine. Never before had the image dominated the word in Indian journalism.
To such a great league of lens masters belonged Gireesh GV when I first met him at India Today. Like all camera artists, Gireesh’s niche has always been the twilight zone where photography and art met each other. Being a trained artist himself, Gireesh’s work more often than not assumed the composition of an artwork despite news photography’s inherent compulsion to race against time or even deeper concentration. But then, as every work of art, a news image too is a priceless moment etched in time and history for ever. I can’t forget our gruelling yet exciting journey through Nagapattinam and Cuddalore in 2005 to revisit the lands and faces ravaged by the previous year’s tsunami. It was an expedition to discover the faces and identities of the anonymous who were pilloried by the disaster. Gireesh’s each picture in this exhibition deliberately looks everyday to the uninitiated. Yet the conossieur cannot miss the extraordinary perspective, the brilliant composition, the wonderful ballet of light and shade. As for the journalists who have traveled with him, they open windows to go back in time to history and memory.
While traveling with M G Radhakrishnan in Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu in 2005. This I shot from inside our taxi while he stepped out to pickup his cigarettes. Interestingly What attracted me is that the graffiti of a television on the wall.
M.G. Radhakrishnan serves as the Editor at Asianet News, a popular Malayalam news channel. Radhakrishnan started his career in Mumbai as a sub-editor with Minerals and Metals Review. He was the Associate Editor of India Today magazine for two decades. M.G. Radhakrishan holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Kerala. He also has three books to his credit. His major areas of interest are politics, culture, economics and sports.
the show “Unleashing Panoramas” is still on, www.gireeshgv.in/online-show/