The Importance of Wildlife and its Conservation : A talk with Harsha Narasimhamurthy
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.
What are the biggest emerging opportunities and threats the coming year holds for efforts to conserve biodiversity?
Is harming the environment a crime? Under the Rome Statute, the international criminal court can hold individuals and governments responsible for destroying natural resources in certain situations. Efforts are under way, however, to extend the definition of prosecutable crime beyond the limits of the statute to include ecocide – harm to the environment that affect the ability of those who live there to peaceably coexist with it. Several initiatives are moving toward this goal, with potential for making common activities such as producing greenhouse gases and destroying habitat prosecutable under international law.
The United Nations’ International Law Commission recently adopted a set of draft principles aimed at protecting the environment in conflict situations. The principles not only require warring parties to prevent environmental damage but also call for including environmental restoration in the peace negotiations and repairing damage after conflicts end. With the ubiquity and damage potential of modern wars, these principles could offer a tremendous conservation benefits worldwide.
From disseminating new research to tracking the movement of invasive species and sharing threats with citizens, much of the business of biodiversity depends on access to the internet. But in 2018 the US repealed net neutrality rules that required internet service providers to give equal access to all websites. If this change spreads to other jurisdictions and results in preferential access for some clients, it could dramatically alter – for better or worse – the conservation community’s ability to advocate for and protect species around the world.
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 Harsha Narasimhamurthy
Harsha Narasimhamurthy, a commerce graduate by qualification and a wildlife photographer by profession. His passion for nature and wildlife (especially the tigers and elephants) drove him towards working for a few NGOs during the initial phase of his career. He now works for India’s premium Travel and Photography company called ‘Toehold’. Besides wildlife and nature, his other interests are cricket, music and instruments. He has completed various levels of ‘Tabla’ exams
He has trained over 1000 people in photography till date and is popularly known as ‘Cat Man’ by his clients for his acute sense in tracking the big cats.
In a short period of time, he has made a mark in society and pocketed himself a few awards.
- He was announced as one of Indias top 8 young wildlife photographer by the ‘Saevus wildlife magazine’ in 2014.
- He won the ‘Youth of Bangalore – 2014’ award by the Government of Karnataka
- He was interviewed on ‘All India Radio in 2015 and 2019
- He has won the prestigious ‘Askary Award – 2016 and a special award at ‘The Youth Photography Salon’.
- Winner of the Youth Excellence away 2019
Follow him on –
Instagram – harsha_narasimhamurthy
P.S. All the pictures and videos are owned by ©Harsha Narasimhamurthy and reproduction in any form, without prior permission, is prohibited
Q: Would you kindly introduce yourself to our reader? On which project are you working currently?
I am a passionate wildlife photographer based in Bangalore, I grew up listening to stories of tigers and lion in the Hindu mythology and that’s how the love began. I decided to pursue my passion for wildlife when I was in my bachelors. I currently work as a photography mentor for a travel and photography company called Toehold.
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?
I get drawn by nature and its beauty. There are times where I sit back and enjoy without lifting the camera. I was inspired by Mr Kalyan Varma. I used to go visit the forests and see such an amazing world, so as time progressed I wanted to preserve those moments and thus I started photographing.
Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Seeing wonderful images by people who I have trained in my workshops and Tours. Gives me a feeling of a proud teacher, haha
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?
I picked up my camera did some own learning and was very fortunate to be trained by Mr Jayanth Sharma and Mr Sandesh Kadur who were my mentors at the Youth for Clicks competition conducted by the Saevus Nature magazine in 2014.
Q: Which is your preferred lens and why?
I enjoy shooting with any lens or any brand, but one lens I would want in my kit will be Nikon 200-500 for the amazing versatility it offers for a amazing budget.
Q: What are the main challenges that you face as a wildlife photographer? How do you plan a shoot?
To be very honest I haven’t faced any such challenges, my biggest challenge will be to see a happy guest at the end of my trip. In terms of planning we pair up with our local resources and decide what to look in that specific safari. I enjoy seeing a beautiful hornbill as much as I enjoy seeing a tiger.
Q: What are your views on ethical methods for photography, when it comes to photographing animals in their natural habitats?
Unless the animal isn’t harmed or threatened, both of you benefit. Keeping a safe distance is a must and once the animal gets comfortable you get to make some amazing images of their behaviour.
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?
Its a very critical issue, we see a lot of habitat destruction which in turn makes the animals get into conflicts with humans. Its a vicious circle and we should realise we cannot survive without nature.
Q. Can you say about the current trends/status of conservation of any particular animal that you love photographing or have photographed extensively?
Overt the years there has been a lot of importance on Tiger conservation and it has definitely made their numbers grow up. However we need to stress more on habitat conservation and create more forest lands to keep them away from conflicts.
Q: What is your favorite picture that you have clicked and why? Could you explain the background story behind it?
I was leading a photo tour at Ranthambore National park and we came across this tigress who was walking on the bank of a waterhole. Somehow my intuitions said that she will cross the water and thus it happened, as she swam across she climbed on a small rock and balanced while drinking water and the photographer in me kicked and I made a wide angle image of this.
Q: How important is editing in wildlife photography? Which post processing software you use for your pictures?
Normalization of your images is mandatory as your camera isn’t as efficient to read the colours which your eyes see. I used Adobe Photoshop and Adobe lightroom.
Q: What advice would you give to young photographers who are just starting out and considering pursuing a career in wildlife photography?
Have patience, take risk and pursue your passion. Wildlife is not only about tigers and black panther, even a spider or a bird looks as gorgeous to Photograph.
Q: Lastly, any message for our blog? Thank you for your time!
You guys are champions doing an amazing job with spreading the word of nature conservation, I wish you all the best and wish to see you spread more awareness.
Thank you, Harsha Sir, 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.