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Kolkata smog – Ian Homer, 2002

12 June 2008

This was one of the occasions when all the right elements snap into view and you are at the right place and time to see it coming.

I was in Kolkata (Calcutta if you use it’s older, more widely known name) as a stop-over from visiting the far Northeast of India as part of a sojourn to get to know other founding members of a, then fledgling, organisation I had the privilege of starting called PhotoMission. This was my first time in the subcontinent.

The air pollution could be seen as a wall of visible brown haze before we even got to the city reaches in our small plane from the clearer mountain air. Once you descend you have to marvel that over 14 million people live in this lung-pickling combination of dust, particulates and photochemical smog. I for one couldn’t stand it.

I had popped out of my friend’s place and gone across the road and was on my way back when I saw the opportunity, with the traffic cop wearing his smog mask. Only this frame has it all. Point made.

Ian Homergot seriously into photography during the final year of his undergraduate studies in environmental science, so much so, that he switched and went on to do a postgrad in journalism, majoring in photojournalism, at Cardiff University. Wanting to stay in the city he plunged headlong into freelancing, maintaining a keen interest in environmental and social issues and now specialises in this field, working for publications and NGOs.

Photographer since 1996, EPUK member since 2007.

See more work by Ian Homer

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