Discussion Forum Leica M System Images to Share Photos from a terrorist bomb attack in New Delhi….
  • #2888
    michaelbialecki

    Hello everybody, I just wanted to share some photos that I took a couple of years ago in New Delhi, India. First let me say that this was without a doubt the hardest thing that I have ever photographed and I do not wish for anyone to ever have to go through what I did.

    I was working, living and photographing in India back in 2005 and I just so happened to find myself in the middle of a terrorist attack. I was in a market when an explosion occurred and there was instant chaos, fire, smoke,the sound of people screaming and of course the confusion of what to do. Most of the people ran away to seek safety and shelter, but for some reason, I picked myself up off the ground, checked that I was not hit by shrapnel, and started to do my job. I wanted to be a doctor more than anything else in the world, but I am not, I am a photographer.

    I wanted to help the people that I saw who were missing body parts and laying in pools of blood screaming, but the fact of the matter is, I am not a doctor and I had no idea what I could of done to have helped those people. After a minute, some people came back to the place of the explosion and started taking the injured people to hospitals and clinics and they knew where those places were, I did not. Of course there was a voice in my head telling me to run away with the crowd and seek safety, but instead I stayed and documented the horror that I saw.

    These photos have already been published in Paris Match by my agency (Gamma) and other places as well, but I wanted to share them with the members here. By the way, some of the people in these photos have actually seen these photos and we talked about them in great detail.

    Everything was shot with my M6ttl, 28mm Elmarit and I used Tri-x. Please excuse the dust spots, scratches and the contrast of these images, I had to develop them in the most unusual place under very difficult conditions. I managed to develop the negatives and scan them overnight (back in 2005) in New Delhi after multiple bomb blasts ripped through the city. It was not an easy thing to do.

    I still can't believe when I look at these, that I survived that attack and somehow I managed to concentrate and shoot photos under those conditions…

    cheers, michael

    Attached files

  • #2890
    Kurt Kamka

    Very impressive photos. I'm glad you were safe. So much in life is about timing.

    I like how you instinctively started photographing. In a situation like you described, photography is much more than just documenting what's in front of you. It's an opportunity to ask and to try to uncover the question ‘why?'

  • #2891
    Roger

    Really exceptional work ! Well deserved that its was published by Paris Match . Thank you for sharing this .

  • #2905
    Kirsten VignesAvatar photo

    Thanks for continuing to post Michael. We all appreciate your photographic contribution to Red Dot Forum.

    No need to apologize for the spots, scratches, etc. I think those “imperfections” help portray the reality of the moment. If they were completely sharp and clear, what would that say about the event? The dust & scratches, and especially the motion blur, give us a better feel for the conditions not only you as the photographer were under, but everyone present in the images.

    Nice work, as usual.

  • #2908
    Pete Walentin

    Very impressive in many aspects.

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