There are 75 species of birds in the book, ranging from Sunbirds and White-eyes (among the smallest of birds, standing at only about 10 cms) to Ostriches (giants of the avian world). (Image: DC)
When he’s not overseeing Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd., Venkateswar Prasad Gunupati, Co-Chairman & MD spends his time clicking photographs.
How does someone so active and busy in his work life find time to indulge in photography? "Building Dr. Reddy’s has been my primary passion in life. On the other hand, wildlife, and in particular, the photography of birds, is also a passion — a hobby that lets me switch off and find a different kind of fulfilment," says Prasad.
A successful entrepreneur, a passionate champion of sustainability, and a nature enthusiast, his book Birds and Beliefs, is a collection of images of birds he has taken over the years, as well as the principles that have inspired his work at Dr Reddy’s. "I would like to think that this book is a combination of my two most important passions in life," he says adding, "Although there is no set order, I have tried to merge the wisdom of the words with the images and the insights I've received from the birds. While the images are mine, many of the quotes are from books and leaders, as well born of my own experiences."
There are 75 species of birds in the book, ranging from Sunbirds and White-eyes (among the smallest of birds, standing at only about 10 cms) to Ostriches (giants of the avian world).
"Actually, it is my third book – I have brought out picture books on Alaska and Spiti Valley earlier. I am now working on a book on organisational buildings, but I don’t expect it to come out for another year at least," says the 62-year-old conservationist and entrepreneur, who has been photographing birds for more than 10 years now.
Captivated by natural beauty
"I have been interested in nature, forests and wildlife since I was very young. Later, I developed an interest in birds and went on birdwatching trips around Hyderabad," says Prasad, adding, "Birds are the most common wildlife we have around us today. I like photography because it helps me capture the memory and the beauty of the moment. I have visited many National Parks across the world. While I photograph all wildlife, birds are of specific interest to me. It has been a very fulfilling journey so far!"
Bird photography is almost always about the action. Freezing amazing positions in the midst of fast action requires a combination of field craft and technology.
"Unlike many other birders, I don’t really keep a count of the number of birds I have seen or photographed. Every bird, even the most ordinary, fascinates me. I’m not sure if I have a favourite species, but photographing Bald Eagles in Alaska was an incredible experience," says Prasad. "Photographing penguins in Antarctica was also an unforgettable experience. The cold, the difficulty of capturing subjects against the glare of ice and snow, and the shaky boats from which we shot all added to the adventure," he says.
It all started with simple bird watching and enjoying Nature. Slowly, he started capturing the scenes for posterity. "I also started making notes of words that inspired me throughout my career. In this book, I’ve transcribed those notes alongside the photographs I’ve shot from all over the world, ranging from my own home and farm to Alaska and Antarctica. Everything is unique," he shares.
Through a special lens
Talking technicalities, Prasad says, "Earlier, I was using Canon DSLR gear with large prime lenses. I have now switched to Sony Mirrorless — my favourite lens for birds is the 200-600 zoom lens, it is light, flexible and easy to carry around. I use the Sony 400 mmF2.8 prime (sometimes with a 2X convertor) when I don’t have to carry it for long periods."
Building Dr Reddy’s has been my primary passion in life. On the other hand, wildlife, and in particular, the photography of birds, is also a passion – a hobby that lets me switch off and find a different kind of fulfilment" — Venkateswar Prasad Gunupati, Co-Chairman & MD, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd.
Actually, it is my third book – I have brought out picture books on Alaska and Spiti Valley earlier. I am now working on a book on organisational buildings, but I don’t expect it to come out for another year at least" — G V Prasad