By John Sekunder:
In the face of stark reminders and urgent newsflashes of our vanishing heritage of wilderness, most of us are content to shake our heads and shed only a moment’s concern before dismissing these thoughts in favour of more pressing issues. The protection of our nation’s forests and natural reserves is, after all, in the capable hands of seasoned professionals. That is certainly true, but any deliberation on just how low the number of these professionals is and how much responsibility is entrusted to their overworked hands offers a very bleak image of India’s possibility to sustain its reputation as one of the last few places in the world where wild beasts still roam.
Thankfully, where official planning may fail, solutions often invent themselves. And as we have seen, with a bit of luck and a geo-economic situation that has brought an unprecedented influx of foreign goods along with rising disposable incomes, an unlikely band of vocal individuals has collected to defend our green legacies – they are a generation of Indian wildlife photographers, and they seem to be getting younger, and better, all the time!
The duties these photographers have taken upon themselves are unenviable, as along with answering to the technical complexities of their passion, they are also purveyors of the last remaining vestiges of wilderness in our country, and must act accordingly. Their work and their voices must work in unison to educate us about the myriad issues affecting the natural world, and express the desperation and hope, the horror and beauty of what they witness themselves. Their photographs must be a plea for our attention, consideration and responsibility, and present us with an honest reason to give a damn. And for the most part, they do.
Here are 4 brilliant young photographers that have coloured the internet with their voices and their work. If it is true that you must be the change you want to see in the world, these youngsters, and many others alongside them who have not been featured here, are the living example.
Featured in XXLPIX’s list of Top 20 Wildlife Photographers on the web, Ali is a 16 year old from Lucknow with a penchant for capturing serene landscapes dotted with exotic wildlife. His images exude a unique personality, charm and the nuance of observation paired with an lively writing style that brings his rambunctious adventures to thrilling life on his one-of-a-kind WordPress blog.
New Delhi local Ayaan Vaid’s forays into the wilderness have brought him face to face with some of the most magnificent creatures that still breathe in this world. Thankfully, this young fellow’s intuition for timing (and shutter speed!) has let him capture these living wonders at their most exhilarating moments for the rest of us to witness.
The captivating images taken by this young photographer are sure to stun many seniors of the field with their imagination and technical prowess. Daksh’s charismatic portraits effectively capture the mysterious lives of his subjects without resorting to electronic embellishments, and form a marvelous portfolio that cannot be missed.
This 20-year-old’s photo and video work reveal an individual well versed with the vast nomenclature of Indian wildlife. An undergraduate student at North Carolina’s Wake Forest University, Suyash’s experimental photography is a refreshing addition to his more traditional (but no less compelling!) body of work.
What makes these photographers tick? Why do they undertake the burden of conservation upon themselves? The answers, if indeed the youngsters understand them themselves, may be elusive. But the need for these talented individuals to continue their documentation and commentary on the wildlife of our nation is absolutely critical.
Go ahead guys, keep making us care!