Photographing Food for Life

In 2018 Probal Rashid took home the trophy for the World Food Programme Food for Life category for his image, A FISHERMAN LIFE.

Bhola Island in Bangladesh

Technical: Canon 5D Mark iii, Lens-EF24mm f/1.4L II USM, Exposure - 1/80 sec; f/2.5; ISO 2500

Description: Lokman Miah (30) is a fisherman, cooking on a fishing boat in Bhola. Bhola is the largest Island of Bangladesh, located in the southern part where freshwater from the rivers meets saltwater from the Bay of Bengal. On the Bhola Island, fisher communities live in close proximity to the river where land is cheaper. This allows them to live close to their livelihood. At the same time, this location makes them vulnerable to riverbank erosion, which according to villagers, has been increasing in recent years.

Please tell us more about capturing your Finalist image. For example; what was happening around you, what inspired the shot, what time of day, challenges you had in capturing it.
The image is a part of my documentary project RIVER DELTA CRISIS: BANGLADESH. After a daylong photo shoot, I was coming back to my hotel room. Suddenly I saw a fisherman cooking food on his boat while other men were catching fish. His name is Lokman Miah (30), he was making dinner for his other colleagues. It was quite difficult to manage the exposure of this image as the light was very low and the background sky was blue for a few seconds. I had a very little time to capture the image.

What was it about the image that you feel fitted the category so well?
I think this image is perfect for the category World Food Programme - Food for Life, because the image A FISHERMAN LIFE represents all fishermen communities who take risks in everyday life to survive and gather food. Also, this is not a stable source of food considering there are increasing problems with ocean pollution and climate change.

How did it feel to be a Finalist for the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year 2018?
I was very grateful that the judges considered my photograph and that it had the necessary values to be part of the finalists and it was a great satisfaction to be inside this prestigious contest. This photograph is a part of my long-term documentary project on Climate Change. I hope it will bring more awareness on this issue and convince others to help improve the fishing communities’ lives through the vast exposure that this contest will help me create.

Flooding in Bangladesh 2016

Image Above Description: A flood affected woman on a raft searches for somewhere dry to take shelter in Jamalpur, Bangladesh. Bangladesh is one of the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The regular and severe natural hazards that Bangladesh already suffers from – tropical cyclones, river erosion, flood, landslides and drought – are all set to increase in intensity and frequency as a result of climate change.

Please tell us a little more about yourself and your background in photography
I am a documentary photographer based in Bangladesh, currently living in Washington D.C.  I have a Post Graduate Diploma in Photojournalism from Ateneo De Manila University, Philippines. As a documentary photographer, I cover social humanitarian issues and my works have been published in many national and international newspapers and magazines such as, Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Newsweek, Forbes, GEO, Paris Match.

My works were exhibited in Bangladesh, Germany, Italy, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, UK and the USA. Also I received some awards including the Pictures of the Year International (POYi), Days Japan Photojournalism Award, China International Press Photo Award (CHIPP), NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism Awards, Yonhap International Press Photo Awards, KL International Photo award, FCCT/OnAsia Photojournalism award.

Bhola Island in Bangladesh

Image Above Description: Rakib, age 12, poses for a portrait on floating eroded roots in the river Meghna where his home was lost due to erosion. August 2017, Bhola, Bangladesh.

Which photographers, if any, have most influenced your work?
The satisfaction from knowing that there are people who appreciate my images, and the feedback that I receive keeps me going. But most of all, I am motivated by my way of documenting the people and things that I’ve encountered. Along with this, photography of James Nachtwey, Sebastiao Salgado, Matt Black, Jonas Bendiksen and many more motivate me to carrying on my job.

To find out more about Probal visit:
Instagram: @probalrashid
Twitter: @probalrashid

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