From jumping into the river to hanging by a cliff, wildlife photographers don’t have it easy. After all, they are the ones who help us truly recognise and appreciate the sheer vastness and the variety of flora and fauna that Mother Earth shelters and nurtures. From amusing to startling and even grotesque, these wildlife photographers have carved their name and continue to be remembered even in this fast-paced digital era. Here are a few whose shots have left our jaws on the floor. By Shubhanjana Das
The wildlife photographer with as many as nine awards to his credit in the last seven years in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the year, Rouse’s pictures are spellbinding and give goosebumps at the very glance. His style is unique and his work speaks of boundless praises for nature as a whole.
The first Asian photographer to be awarded NOGI by the American Academy of Underwater Arts and Science, Michael Aw has established his signature visual style and is known for his saturated colour imagery. He was also recognised as one of the most influential wildlife photographers in the world by Outdoor Photography besides having 65 international photographic awards to his name.
Founder of India Nature Watch, an online community for wildlife photographers which went on to become the largest online portal for aspiring and upcoming wildlife photographers in Asia, Kalyan Varma has also worked for various Nat Geo and BBC projects. His work extends beyond only the visual and zooms in on the journalistic and artistic appeal of the images. Varma has also teamed up with scientists to work on nature and wildlife conservation projects.
Once you set your eyes on a Karen Lunney image, it is difficult to both look away and to get it out of your mind too soon. Lunney is a contemporary photographic artist and her work is focused on states of transition and luminal space, the fine line between the beginning and the end of something. In doing so, she investigates the impact of cultural transitions and westernisation on the natural world and climate change.
Smith is one of the few wildlife photographers who has been successful in etching his visual creativity in the vast outdoors. His portfolio, “A Parallel Universe: Windows Beneath the Waves” included a set of images half under the water and half above. Not to mention, it won him various international accolades and wide-spread recognition in the community of wildlife photographers, thanks to a style unique to his creative excellence.
The aim of wildlife photography is not to simply showcase or present a certain animal, its habitat, actions, or mood. The image should also be able to inspire the spectator to be able to feel the “beingness” of the animal. Jon Cornforth, with his painstaking attention to detail in every image, has been able to induce just that among his viewership. He uses his images as a medium to raise awareness for environmental conservation and is widely recognised for his unique composition and style.