As golden rays of sunshine illuminate the entire wildlife sanctuary, the melodious chirping of birds bring to life the rustic beauty of the landscape. With solitude being its sole virtue, the striking wildlife abode of this sanctuary has astonished several nature enthusiasts in the past. Squatting behind the bushes, as wildlife photographer Sudhir Sudhindra adjusts his camera lens, he spots a leopard on a tree. While capturing the majestic creature taking a nap, Sudhir pauses to soak in the beauty of Gir Lion Sanctuary. "The joy of watching birds and animals in their natural habitat and observing their behaviour has always interested me.
Capturing those moments and sharing them with friends and family, helped me to spread that joy of nature. Soon, my passion towards wildlife grew and I got involved in a lot of conservation related activities and projects. I contribute my images free of cost for this purpose and they are used by a lot of NGOs and organisations all over the world. This makes me happy as I am able to contribute back to nature in a small way," said Sudhir Shivaram, whose photograph 'Sleeping Leopard' bagged the first prize at the Sanctuary Asia Wildlife Awards 2012.
What began as a random interest in photography gradually gained direction, and over the years, Sudhir became more and more focused on wildlife photography, especially bird photography. His long and passionate association with photography began in his college days in 1993.
"I do wildlife photography mainly for the joy of it. I work in an MNC software company which is my full-time job. Photography gives me a good weekend break from the concrete jungle and helps me relax and enjoy nature. I use photography as a means to share the joy of nature and help create awareness about the importance of conserving our natural resources. Hoping to inspire and ignite young minds about the need for wildlife conservation, I also deliver lectures in this field to various sections of the society," said Sudhir.
According to him, an image is worth a thousand words. However, that image has to tell a story. Sudhir strongly feels that some of the challenges faced by wildlife photographers today, apart from capturing portraits is the difficulty in conveying a story through a single photograph.
"It is important to understand the behavioural aspects of animals and birds to capture their emotions through images. A photographer must spend time with his subjects. If you need to capture their natural behaviour, then you need to enter their circle of trust and be one with your subject. I have spent hours together with just one subject for it to get used to me. Patience and perseverance are the key to capturing emotions on a natural wildlife portrait," said Sudhir who further added that in order to be a good wildlife photographer, one needs to be a good naturalist and understand and follow the ethics of wildlife photography.