Like in the movie 3 Idiots, Farhan Qureshi, an engineering student found his calling in wildlife photography; we have Aarzoo Khurana, juggling two very diverse professions, Wildlife photography and Advocacy. Aarzoo started her journey around eight years ago with street photography but ended up pointing her camera towards the wilderness.
"It happened during my graduation. I picked up a DSLR, clicked a few shots of birds, and I knew this is something I need to explore," she says.
It was through this phase of exploration that she realized her passion for the wild.
From clicking a few images here and getting her pictures published by Natgeo, Discovery and BBC, it has been a long journey.
Aarzoo's clicks are a stunning display of light and showdowns that one finds in the wild. It separates her photography from the rest and stands out on its own.
Recently her picture of one of the most celebrated Elephants in Corbett National Park called "Laal Kaan", Hindi for "Red Ear", was also featured by Discovery on all their social media pages. This picture beautifully captures the elephant in a meadow surrounded by trees when the sunlight gently escapes through the clouds, and the best part about this image is the gear. It was clicked with a mobile phone camera.
"Photography is not just about the gear. I mean, gear has a role to play obviously, but if you don't know how to drive, a Ferrari won't win you a race," she said.In wildlife photography, certain risks are always present. However, Aarzoo believes that things get dangerous only when one is not watchful or disturbs an animal or its natural surroundings. She says that if one will follow the decorum of the jungle, they'll be fine. Aarzoo also shares her experience of wildlife photography and how she chooses the right moment.
She says, 'It just takes some understanding of the typical behaviour with a generous dose of patience to find such moments. Give the creatures a while; you will be amazed by the behaviour they display. So, my choice of the subject is based on the kind of behaviour I can expect, and of course the lighting conditions.'
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Aarzoo also discussed the challenges that every wildlife photographer has to face to get a perfect shot. It is both mentally and physically challenging as photographers have to work in extreme scorching heat or freezing cold for long hours and heavy gears. But the result is rewarding enough to forget about these challenges.
Aarzoo shares that one does not need an expensive genre to explore to pique the interest of upcoming wildlife photographers. To start, one can take amazing pictures of wild animals with their cellphone or even rent gear. Aarzoo herself used to rent a canon 100-400 and practice in Sultanpur and Okhla bird sanctuaries. She says that they should pick up any camera they have and start clicking if one is interested. There is a learning curve to wildlife photography that comes with time if one is patient, keeps practising, and respects nature.