I remember when I was in Mumbai and had already decided to make Wildlife Photography my career. I used to imagine, how when I go to Uttarakhand, I will set up hides, conduct workshops, expedition, all for shooting portrait of birds. That is what I had learned and seen till that time and I wanted to make the most beautiful portraits of Himalayan birds.
You see, birds are beautiful, so colourful, and up close they look really cute. The perfectly perched bird with the background blurring in the background, like butter, looks so pleasing to the eyes. On top of that, I was going to shoot the birds of Himalaya. Himalayan birds are probably some of the most colourful birds found in the Indian subcontinent.
So when I came to Uttarakhand, I spent more than a year just trying to get as close to the birds to make beautiful portraits. But coming here and spending time in the field, I realised, it was challenging, extremely challenging. To start with, Himalayan birds are small, some extremely small, and top of that they are fast, really fast. They don’t stay at a flower of a perch for more than a few seconds. Some less than that, and since the mountains are huge, the density/sq. km is quite low
Eventually, after a lot of trials, failing consistently, many times miserably and with patience, I was able to go extremely close to birds. So close that, I had to many times back off just so that my camera could focus. And once I started getting shots, I became addicted to portraits. The birds look beautiful infield, but one tends to miss the fine details nature has so intricately adorned them with.
The patterns on their wings, the gradual change of colours, the way every whisker and every feather is so detailed. The blast of colours, the iridescence, the way the colours change when sunlight falls upon them, the hundred different expressions they give. All this is almost impossible to witness in the field, but taking close-ups, one is able to witness and capture those moments forever.
Over the years, I have moved on from portraits to habitats, and most of my work is totally focused on it. But even now, I never miss an opportunity to shoot portraits if the situation presents itself . In this article, I have shared some of the portraits I have managed to shoot over the years. Hope you like them.
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