By Prior Beharry
FORMER veteran photographer Rattan Jadoo has passed away at 60 years.
He joined the Guardian in the 1980s and then moved over to Newsday with one of its founders and editor-in-chief Therese Mills in 1993. He was ailing for some time with diabetes having retired on medical grounds. He died on Monday.
Jadoo was remembered as a no-nonsense photographer and for his iconic photo of Archibishop Anthony Pantin speaking to a homeless man outside the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception in 1999.
AZP News Chief Photographer Azlan Mohammed who worked with Jadoo for more than 20 years described him as the consummate professional “and one of the best news and sports photographers in T&T’s media history.”
He said, “Though a stern photo editor, and operator, all he ever wanted for his photographers were the best pictures of the day for the newspaper pages.”
According to Mohammed, Jadoo learned the profession in the 1980s at the Trinidad Guardian from some of the best photographers T&T ever produced in the likes of Rudy Arthur Taylor, Noel Saldenah, Max Lai Leung and Maurice Brown.
First, in the darkroom, he slowly graduated to working the beat and excelled at both news and sports, he said.
Mohammed said, “He also distinguished himself by bringing back memorable images from the Soca Warriors campaign in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. He also was a regular at football, cricket and other sports which he brought to life through his camera lens.
“This is in addition to Parliament coverage, and breaking news. He is best remembered for the iconic photo of Archibishop Anthony Pantin conversing with a homeless person outside the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception.
“His life’s work stands as a standard for journalism in T&T.”
Trinidad Express Photo Editor Robert Taylor said, “I’ve known Rattan for at least 29 years and a few more before that as well- as he often reminded me of visiting Trinidad Guardian as a schoolboy.
“I recall how intimidated I felt when, attending my first Intercol match as a photographer – walking along the track at the Hasely Crawford Stadium- noticing two men who I had the utmost respect for – Sally (Noel Saldenah) and Rattan, then and still, icons of Sports Photography.
“The photo that stuck in my mind, when I became seriously interested in the profession, was Rattan’s winning photo of Gus Logie taking a catch from the forward short-leg position. Here I am seated between him and Noel Saldenah.
“Like Sally, Rattan had a knack for being relaxed and jovial while still capturing the most important image on assignments. I will always remember his willingness to give advice, his selflessness and the consistent quality of his work.”
Also paying tribute was CNC3 Executive Producer Sampson Nanton. He said, “Rattan was truly an exemplary photographer. During my days at the Newsday, I particularly remembered looking at his photos and looking at others and seeing the stark difference in quality.
“Even though he already had several years of journalism under his belt, he was always excited about getting that exclusive photo, always a passion for the job. Then there was the serious side, as Azlan mentioned, looking for the best in those who worked under him and not accepting anything less.”
“I remember when a photographer came back from shooting a ship and the photo was 90% sea and 10% ship, Rattan asked him if he knew what the zoom on the camera was for and sent him back to get it. He quarrelled the whole day too, even after the poor fella got a better shot.
“He was all about high quality and he practised what he preached. May he rest in peace.”
Writer and photographer Mark Lyndersay said it was no surprise that Jadoo joined Newsday with Mills.
He said, “They had a strong rapport and mutual admiration and he built a robust photographic team in short order at the new paper.
“I never doubted that his approach was always in the service of the best possible picture and that always made it much easier to work with him.”
As photo editor at the Guardian from 1990 to 1992, Lyndersay recalled having to broker the ocassional flare-up between Jadoo and Saldenah. He said, “There were never enough fast, long lenses available.”
Guardian Sports Editor Keith Clement said he worked with Jadoo for about eight years at Newsday.
He said, “Rattan was a very serious photographer who was a real professional in terms of his work.
“Outside of that, he was a real cool guy who you could have sat with and share a joke.”