13 Photographers on Capturing Hope Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic | Interview for Shutterstock blog . . .

Shutterstock I May, 7, 2020

It’s a painful and stressful time, but in the midst of devastating loss and uncertainty, photographers around the world are finding reasons to be hopeful.

“In the past, I’ve covered historic events such as Maoist Insurgency, the massive earthquake in 2015, and now, the COVID-19 pandemic,” Nepal-based photojournalist Narendra Shrestha tells us. “For the first time in my career, I’m facing a new kind of challenge. This is something I have no reference point for. It’s something I never imagined would happen in my lifetime, and I am learning every day.”

So much about this pandemic is unprecedented, from the exponential spike in disease to the response from leading researchers and scientists. It’s a historic event on both a national and global scale.

The hope can be found on the balconies of Italy and Tel Aviv, in the streets of Morocco and London, and beyond. For some, it all comes down to a momentous occasion of strength and unity. For others, it’s something smaller and more subtle, like a glance shared between two people.

“As a photojournalist, I feel it is my responsibility to give people some kind of positive message and convey any rays of hope I can grasp,” Shrestha says. “When I share positive photos, people comment about how it’s helped them find peace and positivity amid the pandemic. In turn, reading those comments, I find myself at peace.”

We interviewed thirteen extraordinary photojournalists about some of their most powerful images, and asked for their insights on staying safe during this period. Read on for their stories . . .

Monirul Alam: While I was covering the local situation in Bangladesh one day, I made my way to the Kamlapur train station where thousands of people were leaving Dhaka to return to their villages. I always look at people’s eyes and try to understand what they’re thinking. I saw this girl sitting on the train, reading the daily newspaper and absorbing the reality of our new situation.

Three or four days later, I visited the same train station. It was almost empty, save for a few railway guards. It was silent, and I stood there taking pictures of the vast emptiness. As I did this, I heard some sparrows begin to sing. For me, their song represented life and hope for the future.

What are your tips for photographers hoping to follow in your footsteps?

Monirul Alam: As a photojournalist, remember not to panic or put too much pressure on yourself. Our mental health is more important than ever in this kind of situation. Don’t force yourself to work long hours. We all need occasional breaks to cope with what we’re seeing.

Learn more about Monirul Alam: WebsiteInstagramTwitter.

STAY SAFE, Thank you so much  Shutterstock blog to published photojournalists interview . . . 

Diary / 11 May, 2020

Old Dhaka, Bangladesh


ফটোগ্রাফী নিয়ে এটিএন নিউজের টিভি শো . . .

© Monirul Alam / WITNESS PHOTO

সে দিন এটিএন নিউজের টিভি শো— ডার্করুম অনুষ্ঠানটিতে অংশ নিয়েছিলাম । অনুষ্ঠানটির প্রধান পরিকল্পনায় আছেন—এটিএন নিউজের হেড অফ নিউজ মুন্নী সাহা। পরিকল্পনা, গ্রন্থণা ও উপস্থাপনায় আছেন জনপ্রিয় ফটোগ্রাফার এবং ওয়েডিং ডাইরির প্রতিষ্ঠাতা প্রীত রেজা এবং প্রযোজনা করছেন ফারুক আযম ।

রোজার মাস— বিকেলে সড়ক গুলোতে ভয়াবহ যানজট ! অফিস ছুটি শেষে বাড়ী ফেরার তাড়া সবার ! কিন্তু বিধিবাম বৃষ্টি ! সঙ্গে ছাতা আর রেইনকোট ছিল বলে রক্ষা ! সেদিন দৃক এর ইফতার পার্টিতে অংশ গ্রহণ করতে গিয়ে, বৃষ্টিতে ভিজে—শিক্ষাটা ভালো হয়েছে !

এটিএন নিউজে ইফতার শেষ করলাম। আমরা সংক্ষিপ্ত আলাপতারিতা শেষে—সরাসরি সম্প্রচারিত অনুষ্ঠানটিতে অংশ নিলাম । ফটোগ্রাফী, ফটোর্জানালিজম এবং ফটোগ্রাফী প্রশিক্ষণ সহ ফটেগ্রাফীর নানা বিষয় আলোচনা হলো— প্রীতর সাথে । সময় সল্পতার কারণে আলোচনা সংক্ষিপ্ত করতে হলো, যা হোক—আমি ধন্যবাদ জানাই, আয়োজক এটিএন নিউজ এবং ডার্করুম টিভি শো কর্তৃপক্ষকে—আমাকে আমন্ত্রণ জানানোর জন্য ।

অনুষ্ঠানটি শেষ হয়ে গেলে—আমাদের আড্ডা হলো আরো কিছুক্ষণ ! আর সেই আড্ডার ফাঁকে একটা গ্রুপ সেলফি ! প্রীত রেজা, ফারুক আযম এবং আমি . . .

১৮ জুন ২০১৭
এটিএন নিউজ
কারওয়ান বাজার

© Monirul Alam / WITNESS PHOTO

World Aids Day in Bangladesh 


© Monirul Alam
01 DEC, 2015 – Dhaka, Bangladesh – Bangladeshi transsexuals pose for a photograph in front of a Osmani Seminar Hall on the occasion of the World Aids Day in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 01 December 2015. According to latest government figures, a total of 3,241 HIV-positive patients have been identified in Bangladesh since 1989, among who 1,299 became AIDS patients and 472 died while the UN estimates the number to be between even higher, between 8,000 and 16,000. © Monirul Alam 

Pet Dog Display in Dhaka


© Monirul Alam
Nov. 25, 2015 – Dhaka, Bangladesh – A pet lover hold his dog it’s an American Pit Bull dog, during the Pet Dog display exhibition at the National Press Club in the Dhaka city. The National Salvation Movement organization organized thes pet dog display exhibation,they said these pet dog exhibition held first time in Bangladesh,at list 45 spices dogs national and international displayed on this exhibition. Number of dog lover and people visit thes exhibation and enjoy it. 

 Violence Against Women  

© Monirul Alam

Nov. 25, 2015 – Dhaka, Bangladesh – Women activists protest demanding elimination of violence against women on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in front of Central Shaid Minar in Dhaka.Recent global prevalence figures (WHO) indicate that 35% of women worldwide have experienced either intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime. In 2013, the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) with support from UNFPA released a national survey of violence against women that found that 87 percent of ever married women have experienced some form of violence in their lifetime with 77 percent reporting violence in the past 12 months. 

I am Deathless . . . 

“I am eternal, I am deathless. After this body falls, do not think that everything will come to an end. I will live in the hearts of all living beings in my subtle astral form. Whoever will seek my refuge, will always receive my Grace.” 
– Baba Lokenth 

© Monirul Alam

Lokenath Divine Life Mission  seeks a world where individuals are relieved of crippling, self-created illusion of dependence; where individuals are conscious of their inner resources and learn to overcome poverty, to live with dignity and self-reliance.
Baba Lokenath Brahmachari was born in 1730 (the date of Birth is dipped in controversy) in the district of presently Barasat and in the village named Chaurasi Chakla a few miles to the North of the city of Kolkata, India.
At the age of 11, young Lokenath left home with his guru. He visited Kalighat Temple in Kolkata and then lived in the forests for 25 years, selflessly serving his master and practicing the Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali along with the most difficult Hatha Yoga. After this he travelled to the Himalayas where he meditated in the nude for nearly five decades. Finally, he attained enlightenment at the age of ninety.
After his enlightenment he traveled extensively on foot to Afghanistan, Persia, Arabia and Israel, making three pilgrimages to Mecca. When he came to the small town Baradi near Dhaka, Bangladesh. A wealthy family built him a small hermitage, which became his ashram.There he accepted the sacred thread of the Brahmins and clothed himself in saffron robes. For the rest of his life he performed miracles and gave divine wisdom to all who came to him to seek his blessings. He received the title Baba.
On the 19th day of Jaistha, 1297 (1st June, 1890), Sunday, at 11:45 am, Baba Lokenath was meditating when he went into a trance with his eyes open, and while still in meditation, left his physical body forever. He was aged 160. He had made a promise before his death:
An annual festival in remembrance of Lokenath is held every year by millions of devotees and followers, in many ashrams and in millions of households through worship, keertan, Tasha,food offerings and in many other religious ways on the 19th day of the Hindu month of Jyaishtha.


© Monirul Alam
© Monirul Alam
© Monirul Alam


© Monirul Alam
© Monirul Alam

Portrait | Mehjabin 


© Monirul Alam
Bangla Academy, Dhaka, Bangladesh | 13, November,2015

Every Day Life: A Bangladeshi populer model and actress Mehjabin attend the Prothom Alo 17 anniversary event at the Bangla Academy premises in the Dhaka city on 13 November, 2015. Hundreds of readers on Friday thronged the Bangla Academy premises in Dhaka to take part part in the fanfare of the 17th founding anniversary celebrations of Prothom Alo newspaper.

কেবল দৃশ্যের জন্ম হয় . . .

এখানে কেবল দৃশ্যের জন্ম হয় ! অচেনা পথিক—মরে যাওয়া কাঁশফুল আর গোয়ালে ফেরা গরুর দল । হেমন্ত শুকিয়ে গেছে —সেই কবে ! অথচ—সূযর্্যাস্তের দিকে তাকিয়ে থাকি । আকাশের ওপারে দাঁড় কাক কথা কয় ! অতপর আমরা এক, দুই, তিন ফিরে চলি—আমাদের কাবে্যর ঘরে . . . 

© Monirul Alam


© Monirul Alam
© Monirul Alam