Tambarahalli S. Satyan

Patients waiting in the Sitapur Eye Hospital, India
WHO/T.S. Satyan

Tambarahalli Subramanya Satyan was born in 1923 in Mysore, India. As a teenager he taught himself to use a camera and began submitting pictures for publication. He soon earned recognition, and his images appeared in the Illustrated Weekly among other Indian publications. Since the 1960s, Mr Satyan has worked as a freelance photographer for international organizations such as WHO and UNICEF, and in 1979 his photographs were featured in an exhibition at the UN headquarters in New York. He has authored or contributed images to several books including his memoire, Alive and Clicking. He is a regular contributor to the blogs Churumuri and Sans serif.

Mr Satyan began working for WHO as a freelance photojournalist in the early 1960s. From 1961 to 1963, he worked with the WHO Regional Office in South-East Asia to produce several photo reports on health work in India. He photographed WHO's smallpox eradication campaign as well as eye care, nursing and school health programmes. His work was featured in several issues of the World Health magazine.

Sitapur Eye Hospital: India, 1961
In 1961, T.S. Satyan created a photo report on efforts to prevent blindness in northern India. His photographs focused specifically on the doctors and patients of the Sitapur Eye Hospital in Uttar Pradesh. He documented cataract surgery, rehabilitation programmes, and preventive treatment initiatives. The photographs from this report were published on several occasions in the World Health magazine.

"You must not look at things casually. Your eyes must be like a microscope. Look carefully… Your eyes must conduct a dialogue with the world. There is beauty all around. And the great motivation is to design and discover this beauty, to communicate this beauty… Great pictures are not taken, they are made. "
-- T.S. Satyan in Sans serif