by Arpan Basu Chowdhury


We are thrilled today to announce the first of two winners of our 2019 Photography Contest – “Breaking of a Shackle” by Arpan Basu Chowdhury. We would also like to thank our guest judge Patricia Joynes, a photographer who evaluated our contest submissions. Though we had planned to choose a single winner, the breadth and scope of submissions made that difficult. We will publish our second winner tomorrow. Both photographers will receive a $100.00 cash prize as well as regular payment for publication.

About today’s winning photo, Arpan wrote:

In India, the Hindu widows are socially the most discriminated ones. They cannot wear colorful clothes, they even cannot be part of festivities. To break this age-old custom a nonprofit organization named Safal Foundation came up with the idea to make widows a part of Holi. They invited hundreds of widows from different corners of India and the widows came. They gathered at the Gopinath temple in Vrindavan, India and celebrated this auspicious occasion with petals of flowers. They have now broken an age-old regressive custom and given themselves a new ray of hope, and their lives color in a black and white world.

In choosing “Breaking of a Shackle,” Patricia Joynes wrote:

My first look at this photo took my breath away. The pure elation and dynamic movement sweep up the viewer in this amazing overhead perspective of women dancing in a shower of golden flower petals. The kaleidoscope of vivid colors, the curves of the garments, the textures of the clothing and flowers all combine to create an exciting moment as the observer wonders what great hope has inspired such jubilation. A great photo evokes a feeling. Each time I look at this photo, I feel joyful and want to be there in that photo dancing in their celebration.



We are grateful to all photographers who submitted outstanding work for our first contest. We will publish many of these images in the weeks to come, either as standalone art or paired with our written work. Stay tuned tomorrow to see and read about our second winner. In closing, we return to Patricia Joynes who quoted Ansel Adams in explaining her choice of Arpan’s work.

“A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.” – Ansel Adams