A chance encounter with a leopard on the outskirts of Jim Corbett National Park in 2012 marked my journey into the magnificent world of wild creatures. Seven years later, I found myself photographing the incredible wildlife in Kenya, in the treasure trove that is Amboseli and Maasai Mara.
As a photographer, I truly believe the saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words,’ and that we are responsible for inspiring people to come together to conserve wildlife and the environment. In fact, Kenya introduced the concept of global conservation and ecological sustainability, leading us to believe that humans and wildlife can coexist peacefully.
Amboseli National Park enjoys the backdrop of Africa’s iconic Mount Kilimanjaro, and is known for elephants with large tusks. I still find it incredulous to have photographed herds in the golden hour as they enjoyed a mud bath. Maasai Mara, on the other hand, is famed for the Big Five—elephants, lions, rhinos, cape buffaloes and leopards. The great wildebeest migration also makes the national reserve extremely popular among tourists and nature lovers. Witnessing and shooting it is best done from a hot-air balloon, despite challenges like carrying heavy gear, or having to shoot stellar movement and eye contact within seconds.
I prefer black and white shots when imaging wildlife, and used wide-angle lenses to simultaneously document the animals and their surroundings. You can see this in the elephant and giraffe pictures. For capturing the big cats, however, I selected a zoom lens going up to 400mm. It gave more leeway for experimentation, without having to physically move towards or away from the animals. Once back on firm land, it was interesting to capture wildebeests locking horns to prove their dominance, a lioness in action on a hunt, and a leopard up on a tree. It is said they survive by carefully treading between hunting and waiting.