An Ugly Subject Makes For Beautiful Photos. This Year’s Pulitzer Prize Winning Feature Photography.

Images of COVID’s toll in India take Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. Congratulations to Adnan Abidi, Sanna Irshad Mattoo, Amit Dave and the late Danish Siddiqui of Reuters for being awarded The 2022 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Feature Photography for their compelling images of the ravages taken on India as a result of the Covid Pandemic.

Winners of The Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography

The 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography has been awarded to four photographers at Reuters for their coverage of Covid’s toll in India. As is often the case with photography, especially in journalism, the subject can be horrifying yet the image can be beautiful. These four managed to balance the hope with the horror and bring an intimacy to the devastation.

The following images are from the prize-winning series, courtesy of the Pulitzer Organization. Biographies of each photographer and links to their work can be found at the end of this post.

A ‘Naga Sadhu,’ or Hindu holy man, places a mask across his face before entering the Ganges river during the traditional Shahi Snan, or royal dip, at the Kumbh Mela festival in Haridwar, India, April 12, 2021. As COVID-19 cases and deaths exploded in India in April and May, hospitals ran so short of oxygen that many patients suffocated. (Danish Siddiqui)

photo by Danish Siddiqui , courtesy of Pulitzer.org

A man sits next to his wife, who was suffering from a high fever, as she intravenously receives rehydration fluid at a makeshift clinic during a surge of the coronavirus disease in Parsaul village located in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India, May 22, 2021. (Adnan Abidi)

photo by Adnan Abidi, courtesy of Pulitzer.org

A healthcare worker administers a dose of CoviShield, a coronavirus disease vaccine, to a shepherd during a vaccination drive in Lidderwat, located in India Kashmir’s Anantnag district, June 10, 2021. (Sanna Irshad Mattoo)

photo by Sanna Irshad Mattoo, courtesy of Pulitzer.org

A healthcare worker checks the temperature of a woman inside her hut during a coronavirus disease vaccination drive for workers at a brick kiln in Kavitha village on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India, April 8, 2021. (Amit Dave)

photo by Amit Dave, courtesy of Pulitzer.org

Manoj Kumar waves a handkerchief from the back seat of his vehicle at his mother Vidhya Devi as she receives oxygen in the parking lot of a Gurudwara (Sikh temple) amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease in Ghaziabad, India, April 24, 2021. (Danish Siddiqui)

photo by Danish Siddiqui, courtesy of Pulitzer.org

Manisha Bashu presses the chest of her father, who was having difficulty breathing, after he felt unconscious while receiving oxygen support at a Gurudwara (Sikh temple) amidst the spread of coronavirus disease in Ghaziabad, India, April 30, 2021. (Adnan Abidi)

photo by Adnan Abidi, courtesy of Pulitzer.org

A man grieves as his family member is declared dead outside the coronavirus disease casualty ward at the Guru Teg Bahadur hospital in New Delhi, India, April 23, 2021. (Danish Siddiqui)

photo by Danish Siddiqui, courtesy of Pulitzer.org

Urns containing ashes after final rites of people, including those who died from the coronavirus disease, await immersion due to a national lockdown, at a crematorium in New Delhi, India, May 6, 2021. (Danish Siddiqui)

photo by Danish Siddiqui, courtesy of Pulitzer.org

cropped at top:
The body of a person, who died from the coronavirus disease, lies on a funeral pyre during a mass cremation at a crematorium in New Delhi, India May 1, 2021. (Adnan Abidi)

photo by Adnan Abidi, courtesy of Pulitzer.org

To see the complete series, visit here

Photographer’s Biographies:

photographer Adnan Abid

Adnan Abidi is an Indian Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist whose career started in 1997 as a darkroom assistant. Abidi worked at the Pan-Asia News Agency (PANA), Indo Photo News and Press Trust of India before starting with Reuters in 2005. Adnan has been part of two Pulitzer Prize-winning packages for photography, including the Rohingya exodus in 2018 and the Hong Kong protests in 2020. Abidi is currently based in New Delhi, from where he covers national and international assignments as Senior Photographer for Reuters. Visit his website here

photographer Sanna Irshad Mattoo

Sanna Irshad Mattoo is a photojournalist and documentary photographer based in Kashmir. Ranging from groundbreaking news to in-depth storytelling, her work concentrates on depicting tension between the seeming ordinariness of life and the stark symbols of a menacing militarized milieu of Kashmir. Her work has been published in newspapers and magazines around the world has been screened and exhibited in various exhibitions and festivals. She presently contributes to Reuters as a Multimedia Journalist. Follow her on Instagram

photographer Amit Dave

Amit Dave is an Indian photojournalist with three decades of experience. His career started as a photographer with the state’s magazine and at a local newspaper before he joined one of the country’s main newspaper, Indian Express. Amit joined Reuters in 2002 and has covered riots, the aftermath of an earthquake in Gujarat, droughts and the Indian Ocean Tsunami in south India. He is currently based in Ahmedabad, the main city in the western Indian state of Gujarat, from where he covers local and national news assignments for Reuters. See more of his work here.

photographer Danish Siddiqui

Danish Siddiqui, born on May 19, 1983 and tragically killed in 2021, was an Indian Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist. He was the Chief Photographer for Reuters, based in India. Danish graduated with a degree in economics from Jamia Millia Islamia, where he would later purse post-graduation studies in Mass Communication. Before Reuters, Siddiqui worked as a correspondent for the Hindustan Times and TV Today Network. He received the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography, as part of a team of photographers, for documenting the Rohingya refugee crisis. In 2021, he was killed while covering a clash between Afghan security forces and Taliban forces in Spin Boldak, near the Pakistan border. Siddiqui is survived by his two children and wife, a German national. See more of his work here

Other Finalists

The other Finalists in the category were the Photography Staff of Reuters for images of climate change collected around the globe, effectively portraying extreme and dangerous natural events as common and widespread threats to human life. And Gabrielle Lurie of the San Francisco Chronicle for her intimate and harrowing images of a mother’s attempts to care for her homeless, drug-addicted daughter.