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From trigger happy to a bigger picture

19/11/2012

When I first started photographing, I did it for the sheer joy of being in the jungle and the gratification of reliving the moments after getting back home. To be honest there was some kick in having your photograph up on the internet and having people look at it, comment on it. The recognition was also sub-conisously driving me to produce more content. But intrinsically it was some sort of selfish joy all through. And over time the interest in observing animals and their habitat increased. My curiosity made me more a naturalist than a photographer.

(Pic courtesy: Amit Rawal)

If you do anything for a longer period of time, the question of why you are doing what you are doing strikes prominently at some point. And of-course it did. That’s when I slowly started thinking about the larger picture and what I wanted to do.

We all agree that awareness is the key to a better planet, and as photographers we try to bring about a real picture of our world. But all through, one thing that bothered me was that the content I was publishing was mostly for people who are interested in it and more importantly people who had access. And at this point I started thinking about how to take the story to a new audience.

I identified two sets of people. One who did not have access to mass media and internet and the other which wasn’t interested in wildlife content and documentaries in the serious or academic form. This is when I started my  work with CEE (Center for Environment and Education) and addressed the first issue. We did a lot of work with the forest department in wildlife reserves and nearby villages, setting up interpretation centres and teaching photography to folks from the forest dept. were a few of those initiatives.

With CEE and MOEF (Ministry of Environment and Forests) one of the most fulfilling projects I worked with was the Science Express. This train, a mobile exhibition of  bio-diversity hotspots of India toured across the country, showcasing Western Ghats among other hotspots through photographs to people all over India. Children from local schools and people who might not have ever known of the existence of western ghats could finally see and partly get an idea of the natural wealth we have. Over 2 million people have over a year seen this mobile exhibition.


While these are projects I continue to do, I now wanted to focus on the second problem. Taking the content to mass media in a not-so-serious way. The though was to take the content to people in ways that they are already comfortable with and like. Music was one such medium. With the launch of Karnataka Anthem, which was broadcasted over 6 kannada channels and got a viewership of more than 2 million, we were able to showcase our rich bio-diversity to people across Karnataka in their local channels through an Anthem, in the hope that they will remember the natural wealth every time they hum the song. The most common response we heard was that people wouldn’t  believe that all the animals show on the video were found in Karnataka!

This was the essence of the article in Education times today. Working on a very interesting project on the same lines. Watch this space for more soon!

6 Comments

A new journal

17/07/2009

So I did try be lazy and pushed the unavoidable but anyway here it is my new journal http://amoghavarsha.com/journal

I will still cross post to LJ until it works.

Also I haven’t put up any images lately though I’ve shot a ton. Here’s one for starters

In the summers, elephants spend a lot of time close to water. When we came to a waterhole expecting a tiger, we saw this guy playing without a care in the world. He was no farther than 200ft.

1 Comment

The Band theory

18/06/2009

It was a cold august night in 2006 at the army base in Leh, and after biking for more than 4 days I was spending that time resting in my room. I was sharing my room with an army officer and every evening we would discuss quite a few things and he’d tell me quite a few tales. And this is one of the most important things he told me that night:
its preachy, beware!

18 Comments

Welcome Maximus

13/05/2009

My new ride, a 4X4 Safari dicor EX – mountain green. Been wanting this for a longtime for all my jungle travels, with 4 wheel drive and green color its just perfect for the forests. With 140bhp under the hood and a refined 2.2 ltr engine, its powerful and more fuel efficient. And ofcourse I’m not selling the zen

14 Comments

Decisions easily made…

16/04/2009

Yesterday we were at a protest to save lalbagh, whose walls have been illegally demolished and trees illegally cut.

The only election candidate to make a presence there was Capt. Gopinath, where were the others? Busy in coffee day?

Some decisions are easily made. Capt Gopinath atleast has served the country, has had a vision to make air travel affordable and showed up for a cause which south bangalore is fighting for. For me having a “cool image” + “foreign education” + “cool dressing” doesn’t just cut, ofcourse lets not even talk about BJP

16 Comments

What’s been keeping me busy?

6/04/2009

Quite a bit of travel, Was shooting for JLR, traveling through all there properties, loads of photographs to process. Hopefully sometime soon I should put up new pics. Some more travel ahead. You can catch more updates on my twitter

Also do any of you know of a good 3d/2d freelance animator?

4 Comments

Citizen matters article

26/12/2008

Here’s the citizen matters article on me that recently wrote.

http://bangalore.citizenmatters.in/articles/view/688-amoghavarsha-wildlife-photography-photography

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Have they lost it or have they yet not got it?

17/12/2008

“May we live in interesting times” – The chinese curse I think has come true. The R-word has made its way across the board to everyones lives. So in these times when everyone’s try hard to keep up business, even 5 star hotels are slashing prices by upto 40%, we have some geniuses who have either lost it or yet not got the news.

1. French loaf on church street is a small little bakery shop which charges an average of 900/- for a kilo of cake, really are you selling gold?

2. via prashanthks, the prices of movie tickets and DVDs are still crazily high, I’ve stopped watching movies on weekends

3. Airline prices are still high, if they cut down their costs atleast they can make up their losses in quantity than just flying 10 ppl per flight

4. Some folks in kerala also hasn’t got any clue yet, the cgh group of hotels had a stall for food near volvo ocean race media center and a sandwich (sucky ones) costed 200/- plus tax

Can all these guys please go ahead and get a life before they shut shops?

5 Comments

Life update

23/10/2008

A lots been happening. For starters I’m no longer with asklaila. It has been a very hard decision to quit a company where I started from day 1 of the company. Well I’ve moved on to fulltime photography and filmmaking. I’m working part time with felis. Its a new exciting phase of life I’m moving on to, where most things are new.

My last few trips to the jungles have been mostly to the western ghats, and to Agumbe. Was with the filming crew of the Nat-geo King Cobra documentary with sandesh, also got to see the hatching of king cobra babies!!! Will post a pic or 2 on that later. A photo-expedition to Agumbe went really well. I couldn’t post the details as the seats were filled even before I sent out a mailer. I’m planning to do another one soon, and will keep you guys posted.

Haven’t had time to process photos but here is the Bush frog and the Beddome’s cat snake I photographed at Agumbe.

15 Comments

I’m showcased on Better photography…

11/09/2008

This month’s issue of better photography has showcased me and my work as a wildlife photographer. Its their nature photography special edition…

10 Comments