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Dhiraj Singh July 8, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in India.

Pushkar Camel Fair in Rajasthan, India

Mumbai-based photojournalist, Dhiraj Singh, (b. 1980, India) is a graphic designer by profession. He turned to photography to explore the world around him. His work has been published in Newsweek, Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, L’Espresso, Respekt, The National Post, The Age and others. Dhiraj recently won the third place in  the ‘war and disaster’ category at the China International Press Photo Award-2009 and third place in Spot News at “The Asia Media Award” which was held in conjunction with IFRA’s Publish Asia 2008. His work has  been exhibited at Global Gallery in Sydney, Australia and The National Maritime Museum in Finland. His pictures of the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008 were also part of a group exhibition titled, ‘Bearing Witness’ held in Mumbai in 2009.

About the Photograph:

“A woman walks past a make-shift photo studio at the Pushkar camel fair, held each year in the desert state of Rajasthan. What struck me about the picture was the beautifully painted screen depicting a palace in the background while this woman walked past oblivious to the decorated opulence. Perhaps she was deliberately choosing not to even glance at the dream sequence, perhaps she saw it everyday and it no longer fascinated her, perhaps to live in such a palace was her secret desire…the questions tumbled one upon the other in my head as I saw real life intersect with ‘reel’ life before me…one India crossing paths with another India, a slice of time my shutter caught. It would be amiss of me if I didn’t give credit to photographer Raghu Rai for his unintentional contribution to this image. The ornate screen was the backdrop that Raghu Rai had especially made for the project he was working on and I was simply standing there admiring the photographer at work. While Rai went to talk to someone nearby, I saw this woman pass by and simply pressed the shutter.”