Wildlife Photography Is All About Patience - Ratish Nair

1. Tell us about your background and journey

I started my professional journey 16 years ago as a Human Resources professional in talent acquisition and a headhunting role. In the ensuing years, I have grown professionally.

I have acquired rich experience in the areas of leadership hiring, contingent hiring, compensation benchmarking, and recruitment process outsourcing with Quess Corp. Quess Corp is India’s largest business solutions company and the largest private employer.

Presently, I am designated as Vice President and Head of Sales and solution for Quess’s IT staffing business. Aside from my corporate avatar, I have always enjoyed long drives, beholding the beauty of nature, and unraveling the secrets of a starlit indigo sky.

I always had a knack for clicking pictures and my maiden tiger sighting in 2015 while on a jungle safari was a pivotal moment for me.

2. How and when did you realize your passion for photography?

My earliest memory of photography goes back to several instances a couple of years ago where I had friends and family complimenting me in delight over pictures I had clicked on special occasions or random shots of nature.

I always thought of the subject in a complete frame even before clicking the picture. I began honing my skills while learning by observation, following work, and portfolios of professionals and online videos.

The tinders of this passion for photography ignited into an inferno when I sighted the majestic tiger while on a jungle safari in 2015. I was awestruck and bewitched by the beauty of this gorgeous creation of nature and wanted to capture this beauty in a frame.

Thus, began my journey of capturing the different moods, expressions, and behaviors of big cats...

3. What are some tips you would like to share with amateur photographers?

For amateur photographers I believe there are just a few things that they need to know & follow:

It's not the camera, it's you who knows what to shoot and how. So it's important to know your camera well and be comfortable with the equipment you use. Everyone has their own combinations and what works for someone else, may not work for you.

Photography is learned by hands and not by eyes. So be out there at every opportunity and photograph as much as you can. 

Work hard to get the settings right in the field and rely less on editing. This goes a long way in ensuring that you spend more time in the field and less on the software.

Pre-visualize a scene in your mind before you shoot. Decide on the elements you want to add in the frame and those you don’t. 

Most importantly, respect wildlife and do not disturb animals. You will be amazed at the photo opportunities you get by just giving the animals their space. 

4. What are the important skills one should have to be a successful photographer?

Pre- visualization: Like I said earlier, pre-visualization is a prerequisite and this separates a great photographer from a good one. 

Patience: Wildlife photography is all about patience. You have no control over the light, place, and subject. Be patient and let the moment arrive rather than rushing in. This will provide you with ample opportunities.

Play of light - Understanding light, shadows and thereby choosing the right position is equally important. 

5. What are the various opportunities available for aspiring photographers?

I guess today one has ample opportunities to showcase talent with social media as a platform. It also helps one network with some of the best in the field, discusses ideas, participates in various contests, etc. 

However, if one is looking at building a career in Wildlife photography in India, it is extremely difficult to find a spot. Most people I know are either organizing workshops, running tours, or selling prints while pursuing wildlife photography.

6. Which is your favorite book and why?

Living with tigers by Valmik Thapar. 

This book helps understand tiger behavior with great detail. I admire Valmik for his effort and dedicating his life to tigers. It’s evident from the book that he has invested a lot in studying tigers for years together.

Instagram ID - @rattyperspective

Ratish Nair

Wildlife & Nature Photographer

Interviewed By - Sompadma Mukherjee

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