Shot in the wild

Shot in the wild

Shot in the wild

If animals are your first love and their protection is a cause close to your heart, then this photography exhibition is up for you especially.

Freelance photographer Archna Singh is showcasing some fine pieces of her wildlife photography taken at sanctuaries like Masa Mari, Samburu and Amboseli in Kenya, reserves in South Africa and Ranthambore closer home.

Aptly titled ‘On higher ground,’ it showcases the unique beauty of our wildlife and jungles and highlights the need for their preservation.

Archna is a 1996 graduate from NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology), teaches design at the Pearl Academy of Fashion and pursues photography as a passion. She fell in love with wildlife photography during a visit to Ladakh in 2006.

Excursions to South Africa, Kenya, Ranthabore and other places followed, and wild birds and animals have been the focus of her work ever since.

“In Ladakh, I was fortunate enough to spot three Black Neck Siberian Cranes. There are only 43 of them left in the world now. Imagine my joy at being able to see three of the last 43 surviving members of this species. Then I saw ibex, mountain deers, mountain squirrels which are the size of rabbits, and I knew that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

“Animals in the wild are the most beautiful thing to behold. Though photographing them is a tedious task as they are very shy, there is no requirement for any artificial lighting, make-up or posing. Their expressions are honest and innocent. They are naturally beautiful.”

No doubt, the photographs taken by her exude as much beauty. There are pictures of lion cubs playing on a river bank in South Africa. Then there are shots of majestic African elephants, hippos wading in water, lots of birds and cheetahs on a kill.

There are pictures of a female leopard with her cubs just outside a cave in Samburu National Park, Kenya. Archna tells Metrolife, she waited for four hours outside the cave to get that shot. Besides, she has a rare photograph of ostriches mating in the same park.

On her experiences in Ranthambore, she informs that she got to photograph Macchli – the oldest tigress in India – all of 17. She is toothless now and fed by rangers. “That was the ultimate in shooting wildlife in India,” she says. “Unfortunately,” she continues, “not all people understand the value of our natural heritage (wildlife and jungles). With a lack of emphasis on education regarding wildlife in schools and colleges, many can’t even tell their tigers from lions and leopards from cheetahs.”

“It is important that we understand their importance in the ecosystem and over all well-being of the earth. We must preserve them for our future generations, so that our kids get to enjoy the sight of these creatures as much as we do, and marvel at the genius of God.”

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