I worked as User Experience designer in Software Industry for 12 years before I took photography and filming as my full time career.
As far as awards are concerned I never contribute to any contests or competitions. I do photography for my own personal pleasure. I think every shot is creative from the artist’s perspective so defining one better than the other would not be fair.
Apart from that I feel honored to say my pictures and films have been shared and displayed by many national and international wildlife organizations and magazines
to promote conservation and awareness of wildlife.
I started Wildlife photography around 6-7 years back. I still feel I have so many things to learn to do better photography. Every time I go out I learn few new things. Currently I am doing more of filming than still photography. I am working on my own Wildlife documentary and few others with the Forest Department of Maharashtra. I have enjoyed every bit of it, getting up at 3 AM at night to reach the spot before the first light rays of sun fall on the ground, calm and beautiful sunrise with birds chirping all around and the sounds of waterfall loud and crisp in otherwise silent forest. I find myself fortunate and privileged to have this opportunity and hope to continue this for as long as I can.
I am more into art and photography rather than travelling. I personally believe visiting the same place again & again helps do better photography as you get more acquainted with the habits and habitat of the place. Having said that I most frequently visit forests, grasslands and costal area like Kanha, Bhandhavgarh, Tadoba, Ghats of Konkan etc
I am an animal lover and find solace in wilderness. Wildlife photography through my images empowers me to create awareness and generate love and interest of nature in people who follow my work. For me it is directly or indirectly contributing towards conservation. All national parks in India. In the near future I may visit Africa.
I carry my Canon 5d III body with few lenses like Canon 500 F4, Canon 100-400mm, Canon 24-70mm, Panasonic GH4 and few Samyang lenses. I do not use any filters for animal photos. For Landscapes I use ND and Polarisers.
Tripod!! I can’t stress enough, how important this accessory is. For getting good details in images and shooting low light, tripod is a must.
Post processing is very important step if used appropriately. There is a very thin line between processing and manipulation. One should be careful not to manipulate images unless you are doing fine art or creative photography. Ideally, I try to reproduce what I saw while clicking that my camera was unable to capture the dynamic range somehow. I shoot in Raw with picture style which gives me flat images with very low contrast. I adjust the color contrast and saturation with some tonal adjustments in post processing.
- Techniques used in the field while photographing.
1) Always use tripod.
2) Look for your composition before clicking.
3) Always think about the story you want to tell before you press the button.
4) Look for the catch light in the eye of your subject, it brings life in your picture.
5) Look for Light directions.
6) Try to bring dimensions in your image through light.
7) Understand and study your subject, place and theme before you pick up your camera.
8) Small wildlife appears small from high angle, try to get low or to the eye level of the animal to get eye pleasing pictures.
9) Always check for the background. Smooth and blur background with Bokeh are always pleasing to the eye. But also never be afraid to capture clutter which shows the animal’s habitat.
10) Always try to capture some kind of action/ behavior of the wildlife.
- Post-processing Techniques.
- Be fair to the scene. Do not over saturate the colors and contrast.
- Shoot flat images in the field so that you don’t blowout the highlight and crush the shadows. This helps you get better tonal range while editing images.
- Be creative; learn all important features and tools in post processing software.
Do’s and Don’ts for the beginners.
- Approach wild animals very slowly and quietly. Avoid sudden movements. NEVER CHASE WILDLIFE FOR PHOTOS.
- Do not ever feed the animals. Instead, learning when and what animals feed can help you find the animals in proper locations.
- Never throw stones or things to get their attention. Always leave space for an animal to get away. Be especially careful around females with young ones, spawning and nesting areas.
- Never approach too close to a nest, handle eggs, or baby birds!
- Back off when birds or animals look stressed.
- Always Keep Safe distance.
- General Photography career is good but Career in wildlife is not easy, at least here in India. Media in India does not pay much for images, so most photographers pursue their careers through other means like photography workshops, wildlife tours etc. I would personally suggest you develop some other major skill that will pay for all your travel, equipment and other expenses.