Wild Catch

Ace wildlife photographer Sudhir Shivaram talks about the need to respect nature

Wildlife photographer Sudhir Shivaram often courts questions from wannabe shutterbugs about whether a camera is more important or the technique and skill while capturing wildlife. He picks neither. "Wildlife photography doesn't mean just clicking pictures of tigers and elephants in the wild. One needs to understand the behavioural aspects of wildlife," he says.

In the city to inaugurate the Kirloskar Vasundhara Photo Exhibition on January 25, the Bangalore-based photographer expressed his concern about the rapidly increasing number of amateur wildlife photographers and their lack of knowledge about wildlife behaviour. "Photographers need to reinforce their respect for nature. I am working on creating guidelines for ethical photography along with like-minded photographers. Many people don't know how to behave when they go on expeditions. They end up creating disturbance and bring danger to the subjects they use for their photography in the wild," said Shivaram, who is the brand ambassador of Canon.

At the inauguration, Shivaram gave a presentation called 'Environment through my lens', which talks about environmental issues that need to be addressed at the earliest, like wildlife protection, water conservation and more. On January 26, he hosted a photo walk with Sandeep Desai and interacted with photography enthusiasts through an advanced photography workshop. He gave tips on bird photography, basic image editing and the ethics of wildlife. "The affordability of digital cameras makes every second person believe he is a photographer and if he happens to visit a sanctuary or a wildlife park, he turns into a wildlife photographer," he said.

However, both the camera and the skill of the photographer are important. Shivaram points out how one needs to focus faster in low light to capture photographs of animals when they come to drink water from water bodies during late summer evenings. With increased shutter speed, a professional wildlife photographer also requires increased patience and respect for nature.

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