‘The lone hand prompts us to ask what is going on behind the curtain’: Callie Eh’s best phone picture

<span>The Hand, 2023, shot on Xiaomi 13 Pro.</span><span>Photograph: Callie Eh</span>
The Hand, 2023, shot on Xiaomi 13 Pro.Photograph: Callie Eh

Joyful, dancing wedding guests were following a ceremonial procession and car through the streets of Bhaktapur, Nepal, when Callie Eh happened upon them. The Malaysian photographer was in the country for a photography workshop.

“I try to attend them every year or so,” says Eh, who now lives in Switzerland. “I can improve on existing skills and learn new ones, meet other photographers and exchange ideas.”

Eh was heading back to her hotel for the night when she passed the happy commotion and was drawn in its direction. As the wedding car passed by her, a hand appeared from behind the golden curtain at the window, waving frantically.

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“I typically focus on the subject’s expression and emotion, but this was just a spontaneous moment,” she says. “The lone hand prompts us to ask who he is, and what is going on behind that curtain.”

She used a Xiaomi 13 Pro to take the image, and later made minimal adjustments; Eh prefers to keep her photos as natural-looking as possible.

“This image reflects my natural curiosity about the world,” she says, “but it also brings about such a strong sense of connectedness. I can recall the joy and happiness of their celebration. Looking at this picture still warms my heart.”

• Callie Eh is a winner in the Sony World Photography awards 2024, exhibition at Somerset House, London, 19 April to 6 May