Wildlife Photography is the dream job of a lot of individuals and for good reasons, it has everything one would expect from their dream job. However, as fascinating as it may seem to people from the outside, being a wildlife photographer is not easy in any way, shape or form. Along with having elite photography skills with the camera, one must also have knowledge about different terrains, experience in tracking a certain species and most important of all, an incredible amount of patience to get the perfect shot.
Every breathtaking picture of a rare animal we see on social media, magazine covers or posters have days or in some cases, months of effort behind it.
Today, content related to wildlife photography is available in numerous platforms by various sources. However, this was not the case always.
History Of Wildlife Photography In India
Photography came to India in 1840 and in a short amount of time, India became a major go to place for aspiring photographers, due to the monuments and varied culture and the diverse wildlife. But the cameras and other photography equipments during this period were not nearly compatible to generate decent content of wildlife photography. Most animal photos during this time were of stuffed toys, zoos and domestic animals. This remained mostly the same until the 1880s when quick photography emulsions and much quicker shutters were invented, after this, wildlife photography became much easier than before and was picked up by large masses either as a leisure or even profession. This only became more apparent when National Geographic became the first major platform to publish wildlife photos in July 1906.
Due to being under the colonial rule at this point of time, India was a hotspot for wildlife photography and was up to date with most of the developments in the field.
Wildlife Photographers In India
The year 2020 has been a monumental one for the future of wildlife photography in India as Aishwarya Sridhar, 23, became the first Indian Woman to win the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the year award for her exceptional work of capturing a picture of the ever elusive and endangered Indian fireflies on the western ghats.
The picture was captured at an indigenous plum tree where the artistic movement of the fireflies was captured in an almost hypnotizing pattern.
Some of the other notable wildlife photographers in India with a notable social media following and equally respectable works of photography are, Rathika Ramaswamy, Jayanth Sharma, Sandesh Kadur, Sudhir Shivaram, among many others.
Go To Spots In India For Wildlife Photography
India is undoubtedly one of the best places for wildlife photography, it is impossible to narrow down all the places into a ranked list but some of the standout places are listed as follows:-
Nagarhole National Park,Karnataka
This is one of the best spots for tiger spotting in India right apart from the Sunderbans. The park comprises of sandalwood , teak and bamboo groves along with a variety of animal and plant species.
Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park,Andaman Islands
Although not as prominent like the other main stay places, this national park is slowly becoming one of the most prominent places to visit in India.
Hemis National Park,Jammu and Kashmir
This national park is always on the visitor list of everyone who visits Jammu and Kashmir and that’s an achievement in itself as Kashmir has world renowned tourist spots.
For as long as the very art of Wildlife Photography has existed, the Sunderbans has been synonymous with it. The spotted deer, crocodiles and the famous Royal Bengal Tiger are the three elements along with the exceptional natural beauty of the place itself that makes Sunderbans the face of wildlife photography in India.
Satpura National Park,Madhya Pradesh
This park is home to leopards, exotic birds and the elusive Sloth Bears. Located in the central highlands of Madhya Pradesh, this park is dubbed as Photographer’s Paradise.
Keoladeo National Park,Rajasthan
This park is situated between Jaipur and Agra and is home to numerous exotic bird species and plant lifes.
Is Wildlife Photography In India Sustainable? And The Future Ahead
This is the question which always occupies the top spot of the FAQ section regarding wildlife photography. The average salary of a wildlife photographer in India ranges anywhere between Rs.30000 to 5 Lakhs per month. The salary for beginners in the field is usually lesser than 20000. However with much more attention towards the craft of wild life photography these figures are only going to rise in the future.
Due to the mainstream presence of Indian Wildlife content on television channels like Nat Geo Wild, Animal Planet and Wild tv along with documentaries on streaming platforms like Netflix and Hotstar, the scope and opportunities for a career in wildlife photography in India looks bright indeed.