CHENNAI: To some of us, the art of photography is limited to memories stored between pages of an album, but to some others, it is a proficient tool to express creativity and convey an unspoken message. A single image can transport you to different parts of the world, tell you stories of culture, lifestyle, food, and war. Looking to use this medium to raise awareness about wildlife, nature and conservation, Wildlife Conservation of India (WCI) — in the process of registering itself as an NGO — is hosting ‘Wildlife Photography Talks’, featuring 20 speakers, who will share their knowledge of photography, tips and techniques learned through experience.
“David Attenborough said — No one will protect what they don’t care about, and no one will care about what they have never experienced,” quotes Rathika Ramasamy, renowned wildlife photographer of 18 years and the founder of WCI. “Wildlife photography is a medium to connect with nature and familiarise people with diverse flora and fauna they may have never seen before. Visual media is extremely popular these days. It instantly appeals to people and grabs their attention. We will be displaying photographs and talking about the topic at hand to keep the conversation engaging. We hope that through our talks, more people gain interest in wildlife and photography, she adds. A gamut of topics will be discussed through the weeks — birds, tigers, frogs, butterflies, snow leopards and more. People can register for multiple talks based on their interests.
In an attempt to amplify the work and knowledge of lesser-known and non-professional photographers, several first-time speakers will be given the stage. Rathika is guiding them through the process and hosting the events. “There are people who do not photograph professionally but are very passionate and talented. Watching them on a platform will help amateurs relate and inspire them to pursue this on their own,” she elaborates.
One such individual is amateur photographer and a core member of WCI, Lakshmi Pichaimani, who will be featured today, covering lighting techniques while photographing birds in her talk ‘I have a light’. A chartered accountant by profession, she has been honing her photography skills for the past four years, focussing on bird photography. In her talk, she will be emphasising how to frame bird photographs in interesting light; the importance of lighting to create mood, emotion, and perspective in one’s photographs; and delve into some personal experiences.
Though the lockdown has restricted the possibility of travelling for photography, Lakshmi explains how it has benefitted the photography community to create better outreach, “While we couldn’t travel through this lockdown, the photography community has been using this time off wisely. Firstly, this lockdown has proved to be a good time to sit back and review and critique our previous work for which we had no time pre-pandemic. Secondly, we have been trying to spread our knowledge through videos, posts etc.”
Founded in 2020, WCI aims to raise awareness about the importance of wildlife, nature, biodiversity, sustainability and conservation. They have previously conducted various workshops and talks and look forward to focussing on a younger audience through events at schools post the pandemic. Register on their website: www.wildlifeconservationofindia.org
The first 100 people to access the zoom link can view the event on zoom, others will be redirected to an interactive YouTube live. The talks are free of cost and will be hosted in the months of July and August, every weekend at 5 pm.