Clicking and conserving
Unlike most other wildlife photographers, Sudhir Shivaram, who bagged Sanctuary Asia's Wildlife Photographer of the Year award last year, doesn't feel disappointed even if the safaris he goes on yield in no spotting. "I just enjoy being in the forest," he shares.
Having been a nature lover always, he enjoyed hiking and trekking in the wild, even when he was young. However, it was during college, when he and his fellow students set up a photography club, that his passion for photography kindled.
Though he started off with what Shivaram calls 'jungle photography', his move to Bangalore signified a shift to wildlife as his subject. And over the next few years, his interests became more focused as he found himself fascinated by birds.
"Everyone wants to shoot the tiger. Of course, they are very majestic creatures and my tiger photograph is one of my favourite. But, even the smallest species of bird can be most fascinating," clarifies the shutterbug.
To Shivaram, photography is an aesthetic art; composition, sometimes even symmetry, is of the utmost importance. "I pre-visualise my subjects against certain backdrops and I'm willing to wait as long as it takes - anywhere ranging from five minutes to a few weeks or years - to literally make the picture," says the photographer.
Shivaram, during his photography workshops, also strives to create awareness about wildlife conservation. "Conservation is not all about 'Save the Tiger' campaign. Even if we manage to increase the headcount of tigers from 1,500 to 5,000, where will they live? The forests are disappearing," he says.
Shivaram, whose next workshop at Serai Kabini starts on October 25, will take a break from his job and concentrate on photography from November onwards. He hopes to delve deeper into conservation as well as create workshops on photography that are accessible to those who cannot afford them.