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Behind the picture

IT IS not an official holiday, but the annual World Photography Day which falls today celebrates the science and creativity behind the medium that has documented some of the best and worst moments of history.

The right photo can evoke all sorts of emotions. As for the photographer, their keen eye, their ability to compose that perfect shot and – most importantly – being in the right place at the right time is invaluable for producing those effective shots.

During this trying time, when Covid-19 is posing such a dangerous health risk, among those standing in the frontlines to ensure that those of us at home get a clear view of what is going on in the outside world, are dedicated news photographers.

Some are not only tasked with capturing that newsworthy still photo but also recording videos that will be put online in our web portal. We have had photographers who had their own close calls, being in the vicinity of those who turned out to have been infected with Covid-19.

However danger is nothing new to news photographers having in the past covered protests, skirmishes and natural disasters to get that picture that says more than words ever could.

So we asked some of the photographers at theSun to share their views of working in the ‘new normal’.

Asyraf Rasid said it was an interesting time to be in. “During MCO especially, it was a borderline adventure, and like going to war everyday. With the new normal, the challenge lies in maintaining physical distance between the photographers rather than between the photographer and the subject.”

When asked about the precautions he takes, Asyraf said: “Other than having extra ‘gear’, which is the face mask and a bottle of sanitizer, not much has changed.”

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His colleague Adib Rawi said: “In my view as a photographer, I am experiencing something that I never have before. It is exciting to be in a position to take photos related to Covid-19 or the new normal.

“At the same time, we as photographers need to always be aware of our social distancing, especially in crowded places, besides following our SOPs.”

Adib said the biggest change for him when it comes to work is that he now needs to be more alert when it comes to his safety.

“I will always be prepared with my hand sanitiser, face mask and gloves (if necessary) during this pandemic. I will make sure I maintain good hygiene, and will always keep reminding myself that this is not a usual virus. Hopefully our world and country will come back to how it was before. Even so, it never makes me less excited to get a great picture for my audience.”

Fellow theSun photographer Amirul Syafiq shared his views by saying: “To get a good picture during the new normal, we have to know our subject, as well as the right moment to take the shot. We also have to wear a mask and maintain social distancing while looking for a perfect backdrop.”

Amirul added that the way they work hasn’t changed much.

“We have to maintain social distancing, or we will be exposed to this Covid-19 pandemic.”

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