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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Grace Holliday

‘Such rare and magnificent beauty in city life’: Himanshu Roy’s best phone picture

Man sitting on an elephant walking through fog
Foggy Elephant, 2023, shot on iPhone 14 Pro Max. Photograph: Himanshu Roy

Himanshu Roy was walking his dog, Rio, through his home area of Vesu, part of the Indian city of Surat, when he saw the man and the elephant.

“We don’t often see elephants here; Vesu is a very developed and residential area,” Roy says. “She and her owner had just arrived for a diksha ceremony, when a person renounces their wealthy life and donates everything they have to follow a spiritual path.”

After rushing home to drop off Rio, Roy returned. “The foggy morning weather and the dust from the ground couldn’t have been more perfect for creating a striking image; I emphasised both in the edit, as well as converting it to black and white.”

Roy credits his iPhone with enabling such spontaneity. “Of course, phones and digital cameras each have their pros and cons – both can help you create amazing photos if you use them well,” he adds.

Reflecting on the image now, Roy says it evokes in him a range of emotions. “Such rare and magnificent beauty in city life makes me feel happy, hopeful, joyful. It inspires me to show the world that beauty can be found in even the most unexpected places.”

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