The call of the wild

The call of the wild

The call of the wild

J  S Mahesh’s frequent visits to the Mysore Zoo and the Bannerghatta National Park as a child is what ignited in him the love for the wild. He recalls that he was especially fascinated with the butterfly and the tiger and began taking pictures of the same with a small camera until he bought himself a professional one.

Although Mahesh chose to be a software professional, his love for photography and the wild did not wane. He always found the slightest of excuse to travel and says that he couldn’t have been able to chase his passion for photography without the support and encouragement of his parents and wife. In an interview with Nina C George, he talks about what got him hooked to photography and how he keeps his hobby alive.

How did you develop an interest in photography?
As a child, I was always curious about the butterfly and the many patterns on it. I also found the tiger to be very majestic and I still remember that the first time I spotted a tiger, I was both excited and disappointed. Excited because I finally found one and disappointed because I couldn’t click a picture since the animal was too close.  

Where did you get some of your best pictures from?
I would say the pictures I shot during my trips to Kabini River, Bandipur National Park and Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary are among the best. Locally, I frequent GKVK Campus near Hebbal to spot butterflies. Every trip has offered a memorable and unique experience.  

Your biggest support system...
The first person to appreciate and criticise my pictures is my three-year-old daughter. She is the first person I show my pictures to after I return from my photography expeditions. She recognises the birds, animals and pictures of the butterflies that she sees and connects them to the surroundings. My wife and my mother too encourage me and have never stopped me from going on long trips to take pictures.

What technique do you   follow while taking pictures?
I am not a trained photographer and haven’t undergone any formal training. I learn from whatever I see around me. I prefer taking pictures in natural light and never depend on artificial lighting. I also don’t edit my pictures and leave them undisturbed because sometimes raw pictures have their charm.   

Any lessons learnt?
I’ve learnt to tide through the most difficult moments in my life after spending time in the wild. It is only after one spends time with nature that they understand the importance of conserving the environment and why man must be at peace with his surroundings.

What kind of images capture your attention?  
I was fortunate to spot an eagle that had just caught a snake. I captured the process of the eagle eating the snake bit by bit. I was also lucky to be able to spot a Green Vine snake during one of my visits to a forest in Maharashtra. I ventured out with a wildlife conserva­tionist who helped me spot this particular snake.

Your mantra for success...
You get the best only when you don’t have any expectations.

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