Danish Siddiqui, the Reuters journalist killed in crossfire on 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.
A native of New Delhi, Siddiqui, 38, is survived by his wife Rike and two young children.
30 May 2018. New York, United States. Reuters/Mohammad Ponir Hossain
Reuters photographer Danish Siddiqui poses for a picture at Columbia University's Low Memorial Library during the Pulitzer Prize giving ceremony, in New York, U.S.
He was part of a team that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography in 2018 for documenting Myanmar's Rohingya refugee crisis, a series described by the judging committee as "shocking photographs that exposed the world to the violence Rohingya refugees faced in fleeing Myanmar."
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.
29 Apr 2020. New Delhi, India. Reuters/Danish Siddiqui
A health worker reacts before the burial of a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officer who was died of complications related to COVID-19 at a graveyard in New Delhi, India.
"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 a neighbor of Siddiqui.
"Covering the Delhi riots together and the COVID-19 pandemic more recently – his most compelling images were about people, isolating the human element."
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.
23 Apr 2021. New Delhi, India. Reuters/Danish Siddiqui
People wait to cremate victims who died of complications related to COVID-19, at a crematorium ground in New Delhi, India.
In recent months, his searing photographs capturing the coronavirus pandemic in India have spread across the world.
"Ninety percent of the photography I have learnt has come from experimentation in the field," Siddiqui once wrote.
16 Feb 2011. Mumbai, India. Vivek Prakash
Reuters photographer Danish Siddiqui takes pictures as fireworks explode during a procession to mark Eid-e-Milad-ul-Nabi, birthday celebrations for the Prophet Mohammad, in Mumbai, India.
"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."
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.
Siddiqui joined Reuters after stints as a correspondent with the Hindustan Times newspaper and the TV Today channel.
24 Feb 2020. New Delhi, India. Reuters/Danish Siddiqui
A group of men chanting pro-Hindu slogans, beat Mohammad Zubair, 37, who is Muslim, during protests sparked by a new citizenship law in New Delhi, India.
Last year, while covering sectarian unrest in a Delhi suburb, Siddiqui and Ghoshal saw a Muslim man being beaten by a frenzied Hindu mob.
The images were widely featured in international media, highlighting the danger of wider conflagration between India's Hindu majority and sizeable Muslim minority. Siddiqui, a Muslim, had a narrow escape when the mob turned their attention on him.
Those photographs were part of a selection of Reuters pictures of the year in 2020.
12 Jul 2021. Kandahar, Afghanistan. Reuters/Danish Siddiqui
A member of the Afghan Special Forces keeps a watch as others search a house during a combat mission against Taliban, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan.
Siddiqui provided video and text from his assignments as well as photographs.
On his final assignment, he was embedded with Afghan special forces in the city of Kandahar.
13 Jul 2021. Kandahar, Afghanistan. Reuters/Danish Siddiqui
Humvees that belong to Afghan Special Forces are seen destroyed during heavy clashes with Taliban during the rescue mission of a police officer besieged at a check post, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan.
Earlier this week he was traveling with a convoy of commandos when it came under heavy fire from Taliban militants on the outskirts of Kandahar. He captured the drama
in pictures, film and words.
(Writing Raju Gopalakrishnan and Mike Collett-White; Text Editing by Mike Colett-White; Layout Julia Dalrymple)