Danish Siddiqui and the people behind the story
Danish Siddiqui, the Reuters journalist killed in crossfire last Friday covering the war in Afghanistan, was a largely self-taught photographer who scaled the heights of his profession while documenting wars, riots and human suffering. By Raju Gopalakrishnan and Mike Collett-White
"Ninety percent of the photography I have learnt has come from experimentation in the field," Siddiqui once wrote
Ahmad Danish Siddiqui was born on May 19, 1983. He became a journalist after a Master's degree in Mass Communications from Delhi's Jamia Milia Islamia University
Friends and colleagues described a man who cared deeply about the stories he covered, carrying out meticulous research before embarking on assignments and always focusing on the people caught up in the news
Siddiqui joined Reuters after stints as a correspondent with the Hindustan Times newspaper and the TV Today channel. Siddiqui provided video and text from his assignments as well as photographs
He was part of the team that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography in 2018 for documenting Myanmar's Rohingya refugee crisis
The judging committee described the series "shocking photographs that exposed the world to the violence Rohingya refugees faced in fleeing Myanmar"
"What I enjoy most is capturing the human face of a breaking story. I shoot for the common man who wants to see and feel a story from a place where he can't be present himself"
"Even in breaking news cycles he would think about humanizing a story, and you see that so often in his pictures, including those that won the Pulitzer and stories we have done in the last few years," said Devjyot Ghoshal, a Reuters correspondent based in New Delhi and one of Siddiqui's neighbours
A Reuters photographer since 2010, Siddiqui's work has spanned wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Rohingya crisis, pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and unrest in India
In recent months, his searing photographs capturing the coronavirus pandemic in India have spread across the world
"Covering the Delhi riots together and the COVID-19 pandemic more recently – his most compelling images were about people, isolating the human element"
On his final assignment in mid-July 2021, he was embedded with Afghan special forces in the city of Kandahar. He captured the drama in pictures, film and words. He never returned. Siddiqui, 38, is survived by his wife Rike and two young children