Kottayam: Nearly 50 years after he won the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography for the iconic photograph depicting children fleeing the napalm bombing during the Vietnam War, veteran photographer Nick Ut is in Kerala sharing memories as well as his thoughts on his art and profession.
The Vietnamese American photographer for the Associated Press still holds the Vietnam war photograph as his favourite.
"Yes, it's still my favourite photograph," Ut, who once said he would have committed suicide had he not been able to hospitalise Phan Thị Kim Phúc, the naked 9-year-old girl in the photograph, told Onmanorama here.
He was at Malayala Manorama's office here for an interaction with photographers and editors.
Ut is worried about the curbs on press freedom globally, though he expressed satisfaction about the evolution of photo journalism over the years.
"Today journalism has changed a lot. Nowadays everyone has a camera, iPhone, Facebook, etc. It has become easier to shoot," he said.
This is a positive change, he said.
Earlier, during the interaction, he remembered an occasion where he could shoot pictures using his phone at a place where camera was barred.
He said shooting war photographs has become difficult these days compared to the times he covered the Vietnam war.
He pointed out that many media persons have been killed in action while shooting pictures.
Ut believes that it is wrong to leave a scene without trying to save the subject that we photograph if he or she is in distress.
Ut, who retired from Associated Press in 2017, was honoured with the ‘World Photographer Prize’ instituted by the Kerala Media Academy, in Thiruvananthapuram recently.
He has been attending several programmes in the state and shooting the scenic beauty and the people of the state for a week now.