Another engineer whose passion for photography makes me wonder why he’s behind the computer screen coding instead of spending all his time behind the lens.
Based in Bangaluru — India’s Silicon Valley — Singhal steals time from his engineering duties to photograph birds, animals, landscapes, and sometimes even simple, yet overlooked, things like a stray patch of white in the blue skies.
He says capturing the moment allows him to relive it for eternity. “I still cherish the moment when I first saw a tiger in the wild,” he says. “I was on an elephant and the tiger was only a couple of meters away. Even after years, the image remains clear in my mind’s eye.”
His love for nature and interest in travel has taken him to different terrains — from the glaciers in Garhwal to the jungles of Africa — and everywhere he has found a plethora of subjects, still and live, to photograph.
“Everybody loves the photos, videos, landscape and the different aspects of nature showcased on Discovery, National Geographic, and Animal Planet,” says Singhal. “I was fortunate to visit the Eden of wildlife in Tanzania this past summer and create a memory book of unimaginable experiences. It was like viewing these channels live.”
How did he master the art so skillfully?
“Photography has become easier to learn and implement with the advances in technology,” says Singhal. “The Internet has made it reachable to a wider audience where different angles can be understood and experimented with. Photography is all about creativity and innovation.”
Singhal’s photos nudge me to get outdoors. I hope they will inspire you to pack your bags and head into the wild.
Singhal has a lot of photography tips to share with nature and wildlife enthusiasts, but the one thing he can’t emphasize enough is to live in the moment.
“I love photography but there have been moments when I have kept the camera aside and observed nature: birds interacting with their young ones, lions walking by, herbivores grazing peacefully,” says Singhal.
That said, here are some pointers for budding photographers:
1. Study: One needs to understand nature and its ecosystem to capture the moment, emotion and mood of the animal or bird. No one becomes a pro the first day. Be a keen observer and understand the elements for a good shoot outcome.
2. Respect: A twig or branch might ruin the photo, but do not snap/cut it for a “good” photo. Respect Nature and show it in its raw form. In my numerous conversations with wildlife photographers and workshop hosts, they have expressed grief over the lack of respect shown toward Nature by newbie students.
3. Private space: Do not get very close to the animals as you enter their private space. Animals sense danger very quickly. To prevent such intrusions, please carry telephoto lenses (minimum >=400mm). Think how you would feel if someone stuck a camera to your face. Offer the same privacy to the animals.
4. Wildlife moves fast: It is “momentary photography” supported by a lot of luck. A vehicle in front of you might have sighted a carnivore, but by the time you get there it’s hidden behind foliage. If you do not see animals, do not go into the thicket to chase them. Wait for a while, but if there’s still no luck come back on a fresh day.
5. Know your equipment: It is very important to know your equipment’s strengths and limits. Read the manual carefully. My camera manual is always in my camera bag even on a shoot.
And last, but not the least, Singhal’s message is: conserve the eco system.
Photographs should not be the only way for future generations to enjoy Nature.