“I believe in God, only I spell it nature”, Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous quote catches your eye in a jiffy. Making the quote a reality, an astounding visual of a waterfall lapped up deftly by an adept hand is hanging above it.
In the striking silver falls and lush greenery of the landscape, one cannot but miss the presence of God.
‘Wild e-ranges’, an exhibition of wildlife photographs by Deepakumar Narayanan, a conservation educationist and researcher, who has worked with the Forest Department for many years, at Museum art gallery, thus becomes an experience to cherish for the city’s nature lovers.
Breaking the monotony of vermillion and hazel sits a parrot in all its glory; the stunning emerald on the scintillating flames contradicts perfectly making the camera swoon with passion. The picture named ‘Emerald in the flame’ (A parrot sitting on flame of the forest tree), distinctly defines Deepakumar’s yen for beauty and affinity for wildlife.
This freelance shutterbug makes it a point to bring life even to his landscapes. Hence, when you concentrate on the snaking streams on his frames, you might even hear the soothing sounds of flowing water. Spreading his wings and claiming his throne sits a king vulture, throwing his extinction rumours to the wind, a scene captured at Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary. While in another frame, ‘Gathering storm’, an elephant gets ready to strike. ‘Man, woman and child’, inspired by Erich Segal’s book by the same name, showcases an elephant brood comprising mother, father and a child.
“All my photographs were taken in and around Kerala. Wayanad Wldlife Sanctuary, Tiger Reserve Thekkady, Eravikulam National Park and many others feature in my pictures. Since I had worked with the Forest Department for many years, I could go into deep forests. My penchant for photography developed about 20 years back when I started taking pictures of sights that inspired me. This exhibition is a collection of pictures I have taken in the last seven to eight years,” says Deepakumar.
The exhibition also has one of Deepakumar’s first outings as a lensman, ‘Walking into the twilight’. The picture has ample relevance being the first record of a tiger photograph from Periyar Tiger Reserve. Using his Cannon 50D, he even makes the fauna that flocks the pond in his backyard his subjects.
“There is a small pond near my house where storks and kingfishers come to quench their thirst. They sit on the waterlilly leaves and makes for a visual treat,” he says. Rare sights like the gregarious flowering of bamboos, wake of vultures, a wild dog (often seen in packs) indulging his loneliness, and a python coiling a deer are all there for the city to see.
“I have no formal training in photography, hence my photographs may lack the professional finesse. But what I am trying to bring here is some unforgettable visuals of nature for the world to see,” says Deepakumar. He says digital photography has its plusses and minuses just like any other new-age technologies.
“Today, everybody is a photographer. I took up photography after learning about wildlife and gaining a PhD in it. So I take care not to disturb wildlife when I venture into my photography expeditions, while for most others it is just a hobby. But among 100 such people, there is a possibility of 5 coming out curious and genuinely interested in wildlife which is a good sign,” he says. The exhibition is on till February 24.