There are 4 main pillars of wildlife photography. Passion, Patience, Perseverance & Practice. All these 4 qualities are essential to become a whole wildlife photographer. By arrangement
Bhasmang Mehta is an Indian industrialist turned professional wildlife photographer based in North Carolina, USA. He runs a wildlife tour company in India & USA where he specializes in customized wildlife tours to India & South America...!!!
1) Different people want different things out of their lives, so balance means different things to different people. What does it mean to you?
Back in the day when my passion wasn’t my profession, balance to me meant to do justice to both of them. However now thankfully my passion is my profession, so I don’t have to worry about keeping a balance anymore!!!
2) What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?
I would definitely say, more knowledge of animal behavior. Having a good knowledge of animal behavior is one of the keys to be successful in wildlife photography. However it takes many many trips to the forests to master that.
3) How did you get good at wildlife photography?
There are 4 main pillars of wildlife photography. Passion, Patience, Perseverance & Practice. All these 4 qualities are essential to become a whole wildlife photographer. My journey started with a passion for wildlife. I started visiting various National Parks and spent countless hours watching & photographing wildlife, that takes lot of patience. It seldom happens that you will get that perfect shot in your first attempt so to get that perfect composition I had to visit jungles more often, that’s when the perseverance came in. And last but not the least, more you practice better you get at photography. So all these 4 factors made me evolve as a photographer.
4) What gears do you use and recommend?
Well, I believe "the best gear is what you can afford". You can start with whatever gears you have and then upgrade them. My journey started with Nikon, and in these 20 years I’ve changed a lot of camera bodies & lenses but brand has remained the same.
5) What essential item you take for your shoots apart from camera and lens?
Extra memory cards, binoculars , bean bags & tripods are always there with me on all my trips.
6) What's your workflow like?
For me it’s like visiting various National Parks, exploring and tracking the big game, photographing them. And once I come back to the hotel, I would go through the photos that I’ve taken, would straight away delete the photos that I don’t like. Be it because of composition or anything else. Then, I will select the best pictures and store them in a separate folder to be processed once that trip is over.
7) Whose work has influenced you the most?
There are many to be honest with you. Thomas Vijayan, Shaaz Jung, Russ MacLaughlin & Shannon to name a few.
8) What tips would you give to young aspirants in the field of wildlife photography?
a) Patience is the key:
The most important thing to be a wildlife photographer is to be patient. It is all about the perseverance that counts. There will be times you will get the best shot in the first safari visit and there will be times when you might not get the perfect shot even after 10 visits. In either way, remember to never get disappointed.
b) Explore wildlife to the fullest:
As a wildlife photographer, you should enjoy the entire process of exploring the forest. Don’t just explore the forest and the wild creatures, but also get fascinated by appreciating the beauty of Mother Nature. Having said that, don’t exploit nature during your journey. The best way to know wildlife is to go out and spend time with those creatures. The animals need utmost love just like humans.
c) Do it with all your love:
It’s most important for a wildlife photographer to be a wildlife lover first. Don’t enter this field if you are attracted to the glamour, name and fame that comes with being a wildlife photographer. Be passionate about your work, make wildlife a part of your life and go out to click some amazing shots in the forests with taking proper precautions.
d) Never destroy animal habitat:
One of the important tips for all the wildlife photographers is that do not become selfish for your own sake. Do not disturb or harm the animals to get your perfect shot. Just like you stay peacefully at your home, let the animals stay peacefully in their homes. Also, do not frighten the animals by invading their comfort zone.
9) How to choose wildlife photography as a career?
If I talk about India, if you have to make a living only by selling your wildlife photographs, it’s quite difficult to do so at the moment. Most professional wildlife photographers today have had a job or business before they took to professional wildlife photography. So I would say take one step at a time, learn the intricacies of wildlife photography and keep it going as a passion while you do your usiness or job as a profession. And once you feel that now you have that expertise and financial stability to survive in the field of wildlife photography, take the plunge. It is difficult but NOT IMPOSSIBLE!!!
Disclaimer: No Deccan Chronicle journalist was involved in creating this content. The group also takes no responsibility for this content.