This week Pakistan marked its day of independence from British rule with parades, parties, face painting and bombs. Two pictures of faces covered in colour, one paint, the other blood, seems to sum up all there needs to be said about the national pride Pakistan feels while facing so many challenges. Visually the complementary colours of green and red (colours on opposite sides of the colour spectrum) make the pictures jump out of the page especially when put side by side. The angry eye staring out of the face of green in Mohsin Raza's picture engages the viewer full on while in Amir Hussain's picture the man seems oblivious of his wound as blood covers his face, again more opposites, this time not in colour but mood. India too is preparing to celebrate its independence and Dehli-based photographer Parivartan Sharma's picture of festival preparations came to mind after I put together the red-and-green combination picture from Pakistan.
Let me explain – because of course I don’t enjoy the misfortune of others.
In some respects the advent of new technology has been a backward step for photographers, for the simple reason that it is so boring and dull to look at. Politicians, and company results press conferences, have always presented a challenge to the creative photographer because they are often visually unexciting. But trying to find a hint of expression, when the financial markets head south these days, is a nightmare, because the computer screen has taken over the traditional trading floor.