The Importance of Wildlife and its Conservation – A Talk with Sivaguru Noopuran

The natural wonders of our world which maintain our ecological balance and helps the world to thrive is on a crisis. Humanity and its elements have destroyed nature and wildlife in such a heinous way that a 16-Year-old girl, who should be enjoying her teens is instead in a global fight against world leaders to save the future generation. Alarming data and reports are pouring in every day and the numbers look seriously bad for the planet Earth.

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What are the biggest emerging opportunities and threats the coming year holds for efforts to conserve biodiversity?

Among the latest advances in assisted reproduction is the development of an artificial “biobag” womb that can be used to carry developing foetuses through to full term. Although still in its early stages, such a device could potentially be used to increase reproductive capacity of endangered mammals in instances where the availability of females to gestate the next generation is a limiting factor to recovery. Yet to be explored are possible behavioural and immune system implications and other unintended consequences of bypassing the mother’s natural accommodations.

Traditional Asian medicine is flying high these days with inclusion in the World Health Assembly’s International Classification of Diseases in early 2019, a growing market push by the Chinese government, and booming sales in countries involved in China’s Belt and Road initiative. Whether or not that’s good for human health, implications for endangered species are a concern because some treatments require harvesting threatened species. Not only that but the Belt and Road development could enhance access to hard-to-reach sources of such species, further increasing opportunities to harvest high-demand plants and animals.

The distributed tracking technology known as blockchain is finding an increasingly broad array of applications, including managing energy and other natural resources. With no universal standards or oversight, however, it opens to door to disconcerting applications such as a Germany-based demonstration in which a forest was essentially empowered to sell its own timber. The lack of convention and regulation could create impacts on biodiversity outside of existing political and regulatory structures. At the same time, the technology could be used to improve governance of natural resources, protect indigenous land rights and more.

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Source – The Guardian

On this note, we are trying to do a series of talking more about Wildlife Conservation by interviewing Wildlife Photographers who are making a difference with their work.

Today we are talking with Sivaguru Noopuran, a hobbyist wildlife photographer who follows his work with great passion and dedication.

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P.S. All the pictures and videos are owned by ©Sivaguru Noopuran and reproduction in any form, without prior permission, is prohibited

Sivaguru Noopuran

Q: Would you kindly introduce yourself to our reader? On which project are you working currently?

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This is Sivaguru Noopuran from Bangalore, working fulltime as a product manager in a semiconductor company and a hobbyist wildlife photographer. As for wildlife photography, my projects are basically my trips to wildlife parks and mountains. Currently, I am planning a trip back to the Himalayas in the coming months for photographing some colourful species of birds there; I would consider that as my next major project..

Q: What attracts you to your genre? Whose work has influenced you most in your early days? What inspired you to choose wildlife photography in particular?

Well, who doesn’t like wildlife? To me, they are the most interesting subjects to photograph and the colours in the wild have made me stick with them. In my early days, I looked up to Mr. Sudhir Shivram’s work mostly as he was firstly a great teacher with most of his posts on Facebook or Instagram just teaching techniques even back in 2012.. it’s these basic techniques that matter and help in learning photography especially when you start out..

Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Yet to achieve something that I would like to call as my ‘greatest’ 🙂

Q: Is it important to have any professional training to be a photographer? Did you have any at the time you set of your journey? 

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I didn’t have any professional training, however my dad is also a hobbyist photographer since a very long time (from the SLR days) and there has been a lot of knowledge transfer from there I would say. I think this depends entirely on the individual whether one needs professional training or not..

Q: Which is your preferred lens and why?

For wildlife and birding, I use the Nikon 600mmF4 which helps in photographing the subjects from a safe distance and record the behaviour. I also enjoy the 24-70mm lens a lot for my landscapes and portraits. Lastly, my phone (!) which has an ultra-wide-angle (equiv 12mm!) offers some amazing perspective of the habitat.

Q: What are the main challenges that you face as a wildlife photographer? How do you plan a shoot?

For me the main challenge has always been ‘time’! in order to dedicate time for planning a shoot, I need to plan this much ahead due to my otherwise busy corporate life.. besides that we also need to travel a bit (at the right seasons) to get to some of these parks/mountains, which also adds to the cost of the shoot.

Q: What are your views on ethical methods for photography, when it comes to photographing animals in their natural habitats?

I enjoy photographing animals and birds in their natural habitats, while there so many views on the ethics of wildlife photography, I feel that shooting from safe distance is one of the most important methods to be followed (even though I may have not followed it strictly in the past, I always ensure to remind myself to be strict here); this ensures that both the subject and us are in their own worlds not disturbing each other.

Q. Kindly enlighten our readers on the importance and your views on the conservation of Wildlife. Why is it important, how does it impact climate change?

I think we are at a point in time where conservation should be the top priority for our government. India being so rich in its natural resources deserves to be protected and conserved. I also think that there are a lot of great organizations coming up these days which are quite active in conservation, and happy to see them work out! And a good number of photographers also working on creating awareness to the citizens is certainly helping I would say..

Q. Can you say about the current trends/status of conservation of any particular animal that you love photographing or have photographed extensively?

I would pick a bird here – Great hornbill -> I would say is the bird of my dreams, and is in great need for conservation.. In this case the species’ survival is entirely dependent on the habitat conservation where they need long stretches of undisturbed forests.

Q: What is your favorite picture that you have clicked and why? Could you explain the background story behind it?

There is not a single favourite picture I guess (that would apply to most wildlife photographers) as there are so many moments that would stay forever in our hearts.. there have been moments with tigers and leopards, as well as hornbills and flycatchers in the rainforests which top into my favourites list.

Q: How important is editing in wildlife photography? Which post processing software you use for your pictures?

To me, post-processing is one of the most important tools in wildlife photography. Although the cameras these days produce excellent results, post-processing provides the individual to put in his thoughts beyond what was going on in the scene.. this matters a lot when you want to tell a story with your photograph.. and once you start becoming proficient in post-processing, your mind starts to think about it even while you are in the field shooting..  I use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop for all my pictures (even the ones I shoot on my mobile phone, it would still be processed in Lightroom mobile for example..)

Q: What advice would you give to young photographers who are just starting out and considering pursuing a career in wildlife photography?

Since I am not a fulltime professional wildlife photographer, I can only comment/advise from a hobbyist perspective. I would say one has to truly enjoy the subjects and habitats they choose to photograph, always try to be creative in framing them as that’s what makes a photo different and grabs the attention. A photograph is essentially a painting done with light, isn’t it?

Q: Lastly, any message for our blog? Thank you for your time!

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Blogs like yours are really helpful in spreading awareness for such issues and also a great platform for budding photographers like us to share our views. I really appreciate your effort and good luck in keep this going!

Thank you, Sivaguru, for such valuable guidelines and knowledgeable information on various aspects of wildlife photography and conservation of nature. We look forward to your projects and wish you all the best for the future.