Aparna Purushothaman did not aim to be a wildlife photographer.
It started as a pastime when her husband Ashok Damodaran, an engineer at the Sholayar power station, encouraged her to photograph the beauty of the wild forest around Sholayar.
The photographs she clicked were uploaded on her Facebook profile. “The response I got was overwhelming, which inspired me to click more!" says Aparna.
“I don't believe in disturbing the animals in their environs. I take photographs on the fringes of the forest," she points out.
Riding pillion on her husband's bike she would click photographs even from the moving bike or stop whenever she whenever saw a wild animal. She says that the hobby soon turned into a fascination to click wild animals in a more professional way.
This is a vocation not many women would venture into braving wild animals, wild leeches, and treading dangerous terrains, she says.
She soon began to foray into other forests in Munnar, Thekkady and other forests in the state, including Bandipur National Park in Karnataka to explore Nature's beauty.
'Valmikam', a collection of nearly 40 paintings by Aparna were exhibited at the Lalithakala Academy hall in Kottayam, bear testimony to the keen eye of the photographer in her wild life and land scape paintings.
She says that she strayed into the profession without a thought of taking it seriously. “I started by clicking scenery and animals which I spotted during my sojourns in the forest. The innocence of the animals and their closeness with nature inspired me to capture them," she narrates.
She began with her husband's camera, but Aparna has now graduated to using a Canon 550D camera. Her photographs range from wild dogs, monkeys, elephants, bull and Canary flycatchers along with the beauty of nature, in landscapes, and the vividness of greens.
Aparna, a plus-two teacher, is currently doing research in Physics at the MG University.
The exhibition which began on November 14 will end on November 17.