Ditch seeing through the lens, for a change let’s look, behind the lens.

We’ve all had memories.  And we’ve all had photographs to treasure them.

What makes Wildlife photography different from the one in studios where we often have our passport size photographs clicked?

What do or more specifically why do some people get into this field of wildlife photography?

After all roaming equipped with DSLRs and then just clicking pictures doesn’t makes sense. Or does it?

Don’t form an opinion as of yet.

 

     Saswat Mishra, who has held a camera since his young age and has developed a great knowledge base of wildlife, the habitats, traits and what not of our distant cousins from the wild. (Remember you being called a monkey by your teacher?)

You started off with a simple digital camera. My question is who gave you that to play with? 

Ya, started my journey by using a Canon Powershot SX150 IS that was very handy and compact. My dad obviously gave that to me as my advance birthday present back in 2013.

Actually, let me tell you that I always wanted to hold a camera and shoot everything I see, but back those days, there was no such digital technology that we have today, it was film which was used to photograph.

In 2005, I was at the Taj Mahal with my family, I wanted to take photos by my own, and my dad agreed and let me use it completely that day. That was the day, I clicked a photograph for the first time, but I lost that picture sometime later. Could have shown you otherwise.

And your early photographs? Flowers? Insects?

 

As I told you about the Taj Mahal portrait I did was the first ever. But after having my own Digital camera in 2013, my first frame was our National Bird “Indian Peafowl”, I remember it was shot at Lion Safari, Vasona, D&NH. It was the month of June and as we all know that peafowls love to be in rain!

 

Why not landscape, human portrait? Why wildlife?

Its not like that, I’ve tried everything but I enjoy shooting Wildlife the most, to be honest ! If someone asks me, what I love the most to capture after WILDLIFE, then it will be Landscapes and…the Urban Life !

 

What do you think to accomplish by going around clicking photographs?

Joy. Appreciation. Advice. These three things matter to me the most, and everything I’m doing is for these 3 things. I enjoy that every single moment with animals ! Nothing else matters to me.

You’ve done a great job with your first camera.

Yes, I agree, my first camera shall always be very special to me, I have captured more than 150 species of different animals, with that friend of mine.

 

I have been told that now you have also become conscious about the conservation and preservation of wildlife? What worries you?

As my main objective is to capture every Wild Animal roaming on Indian Lands, I’m worried for those species which are not getting much attention, let it be for their conservation or their protection in wild. I’m worried for some species like Great Indian Bustard, which was supposed to be our National Bird but Peafowl got that chance. But I think, if Great Indian Bustard would have been our National Bird, then it won’t be facing such days as it is today.

I haven’t got the chance to see Bustards of Inda till today. Therefore, I’m very worried about their status and conservation in wild.

Your all time greatest catch on camera?

No words to explain my greatest catch on camera is the Red Panda , which is known for its shy and elusive nature in wild. I spent almost 15 minutes with this beautiful animal.

 

What did your friends or family had to say about your photography passion?

They love it, they love every frame that I capture. They continuously encourage me for my true passion towards Wildlife Photography. I can’t name, as there are many persons behind my motivation. But if you ask me to mention  some people who are responsible for my interest in wildlife photography are; Poorna Kedar, Jineesh Mallishery and R.K Pai.

 

Recently you upgraded to a DSLR. What do you have to say? 

No special comments yet, as I’m still getting acquainted to its confusing features. But, of-course I’m very happy because of its great results and the power you feel while holding it. Conclusion is that, it makes my images better, and this was what I upgraded for !

Would you want to make it as a profession? Into moneymaking? If no, then why do you think one should enter this field? Frankly, in today’s world money speaks. 

Not at all interested in money-making in this particular field, I want to learn, just always learn. Because I believe in learning till the last breath of your life. One should enter this field for his own mental peace, that’s what I find in this field. It keeps me balanced in life. One should always be busy with something, lying flat in life makes you a zero. So, try to divert your mind in any field possible. As great people always say, money can’t buy happiness sometimes !

You’ve been active on social media since 2013 posting images. How do people react? 

Yes, feels good to be old. Just joking ! No I don’t understand people sometimes. They always appreciate the photographs that are different and have a uniqueness in them. If I count, most of images are not attracting much audience, I have just 5 to 10 photographs that can be called “Attractive”.

 

And recently you have also started travel blogging. What urged you to do so?

Started from last year only, just because I want to spread this message to tourists all over the world, that India is not only famous for great forts, temples or monuments. Its a country having a very rich wildlife, nature, heritage, culture, etc.

My motive is to tell my experiences on field and hopefully more and more people will start travelling too, by reading my blogs. Fingers crossed !!

How many requests have you got from people for having their photoshoot sessions? Did you accept? And why?

I get many. Most of them are friends obviously, as they know how my images look. They always request me for their photoshoots, mostly I decline requests, as I don’t like to shoot people much ! I love spending time with animals more than that.

I was about to ask you for a session with me.

 

Tell us about your equipment.  What’s the difference between a 10K and a camera worth 20K? Clicking pictures is all they do, right?

Hahaha……yes, all they do is clicking photos. But after completely exploring something we should upgrade, that’s my thinking. For example, you climb a small hillock near town, after 10 years of climbing that same hillock, will you not be bored ? You want to climb Everest, but it requires experience. So, I prefer small steps towards the goal is easier, except for pouncing on highest goal of life in an instant !

 

My present equipments consists of Canon EOS 1200D, with a Canon EFS 55-250mm Telephoto lens. I also want to add that, what I have now is the most basic DSLR available in market in present !

Yes, there is a huge difference in 10K Point-n-Shoot camera and a 30K DSLR Camera. If I speak in details, previosuly I wanted greater range of magnification with good clarity, which made me lag while using Powershot (Old camera), but now in 1200D I use as I want !

As I can show you a quick comparison in my image quality, nowadays ! This species is Plain Prinia, a common small bird. I captured this photo recently and see the difference from one of my old photograph from 2014 when I was using Powershot !

 

You’ve visited a lot of places.

A lot ?! Not at all, I have started travelling so much from last 2 years only. And the places I have visited for Photography purposes are :-

-Chilika Lake, Odisha
-Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Goa
-Darjeeling, West Bengal
-Gangtok City, Sikkim
-Chintamoni Kar Bird Sanctuary, West Bengal
-Vansda National Park, Gujarat
-Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai and lastly how can I forget my very own Dadra & Nagar Haveli.

Each place is very special to me ! And as I always say “Capture moments, not photos !”.And in my wishlist there are places like

-Mangalajodi, Odisha
-Dandeli, Karnataka
-Chopta Valley, Uttrakhand
-Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary and Rann of Kutch, Gujarat

Is it encouragement or equipment that one needs to enter this wildlife photography area?

Honestly speaking, when I started nor I had encouragement neither better equipment, but one only needs passion and an inner voice which tells you to advance everytime in life.

If you ask about who inspired me, then I want to take some names like, Poorna Kedar, Jineesh Mallishery and RK Pai, they always motivated me with their photos.

But, I always advise new photographers to come into Wildlife zone, other than the fact they are not aware of how much hardwork one should do to be consistent with their photographs.

The people who think Wildlife Photography is a waste of time, and what they are doing is only fashion / model photography. So, to these people my message is that, ‘Humans can be controlled by vocal instructions, but animals are wild, raw and real’ . They don’t listen to anyone, and getting the frame which is in your mind and getting the result afterwards, are two big things.

 

What are your future plans?

My future plans……..I don’t have any yet. But I just have in mind that, I want to upgrade to a Canon 7D Mark II and a 600mm lens, very soon. (My Wish Kit)

Looks he won’t offer me food. Mom, I’m coming.

Below is the comment section. Let us know your views or opinions.

Originally posted on thegreymatterblog,wordpress.com

 

Published by Sandeep Manush