Monday, Jan 17, 2022
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‘THE CATMAN’: Know Harsha Narasimhamurthy, An Award-winning Photographer Making Successful Strides In Capturing The Wild

The CATMAN, as he is popularly known as, Harsha Narasimhamurthy is a Legend in his field of capturing the Big Cat. As an award-winning wildlife photographer, he has scaled the success ladder with his considerable passion for the wild.

‘THE CATMAN’: Know Harsha Narasimhamurthy, An Award-winning Photographer Making Successful Strides In Capturing The Wild
‘THE CATMAN’: Know Harsha Narasimhamurthy, An Award-winning Photographer Making Successful Strides In Capturing The Wild -

Nature holds a treasure of secrets. Some here it's whispering in solitude while few others present them to the world in most schooled form. Here, photography rules the kingdom of this schooled version of representations, and it tends to reveal the hidden realities by capturing the moments. Further, justice with captured moments await the right vision, embedded skills, and it is not everyone's cup of tea.

Today, we have someone who has accomplished this art and, standing against all odds, is pursuing his passionate love for Wildlife Photography.

The CATMAN, as he is popularly known as, Harsha Narasimhamurthy is a Legend in his field of capturing the Big Cat. As an award-winning wildlife photographer, he has scaled the success ladder with his considerable passion for the wild.

Let's take a ride into his life and know his exciting journey of how he manages to capture original, thought-provoking images.

"Embedded in Passion", it's great to know the CATMAN! What earned you this title?
There is a funny narrative behind it. Usually, many people who had travelled with me had a very weird experience. They had never seen a big cat in the wild despite travelling over the years. So incidentally, one day, just out of fun, I told someone, "Come with me, I will show you a Tiger". There and then, I tracked a tiger in the Kabini, and since then, he started calling me CATMAN. So, the CATMAN became a synonym with my name or rather, I would say my name became a synonym with the cats.

Wildlife Photography is not a profession that comes with windfall gains. What persuaded you to choose this field extraordinarily?

Absolutely! Very honestly, you will not find direct gains from wildlife photography. Especially in India, the profession doesn't give you Lump sum money. But why I chose wildlife photography was because I always wanted to do something different. As a kid, I was always fascinated with nature and the animal world. This fascination triggered my chords during a Tiger Campaign in 2010-11. I realized that I wanted to do something like this, and the main thing that kept me driving through this was that when it came to photography, I used to see a lot of positive stuff hidden in nature and wildlife. Capturing this stuff in my camera gave me the ultimate satisfaction. However, the ultimate spark came in 2014 when I was selected as one of the top 8 finalists in the Competition, "Youth for Clicks" from India. This was when I decided, "whatever it is, whatever it takes, I will make a career in wildlife photography".

Your passion has indeed delivered you in the most fruitful way as much of your work has been published in leading magazines across the globe. Was this achievement that easy?

Easy journey? Definitely No! It has been one of the craziest journeys for me, the toughest! Initial two years, though, I have had tears in my eyes where I had felt very demotivated. The only person who backed me up was my mentor, Kiran Sadananda. He was the only one who had hoped on me and constantly stood by my side. Everyone, even my family, thought that this wasn't a profession to earn a living. Yes, after many years now, when I look back, I don't regret my decision. I am really happy with what my profession has given me.

Many people say that Wildlife photography comes with challenges amounting to risks and uncertainties. How do you perceive them?

Very honestly, I would say that the kind of Wildlife photography that I do is not associated with risks. I conduct photography tours; I mentor and teach people under which I take my students to safaris. So, I don't think that we are at any risk. However, in terms of uncertainties, I would say "Yes". When we have clients who come with expectations like seeing a big cat or something, and they don't get a chance to see one, it becomes a different affair and more challenging. In this case, I need to put extra effort to get every bit and the real essence of photography. I am trying to improve on these sessions and hope that I will live up to their expectations despite the associated uncertainties.

"Pictures often personify the unnoticed"; each of your clicks leaves a mesmerizing impact.What are your strategies for capturing them right?

For me, photography is a form of digital painting. People like the instincts hidden in the clicks, so I pre-visualize the shot before a final click. Even before I shoot, as soon as I look into my camera's viewfinder, I have a shot in mind linked to where I need to keep the things, where my subject is, what the exposure is, and so on. Frames should be natural as much as possible with minimum manipulation. Also, the main thing is to understand the animal's behaviour. I constantly tell people that if they want to excel as a wildlife photographer, they should have good and sound knowledge about the animals.

Did you ever happen to encounter anything strange while capturing in the woods?
There has been nothing strange, but yeah, I recall a fascinating incident. There was a tigress in Kabini who was fondly known as Tiger tank female. One fine morning we saw it and its son walking on a track, and suddenly, I saw three tiny cubs coming out of the bush on its back. I knew that they were not the cubs of the tigress. So, what happened was that the tigress was acting as a foster mother. This was pretty strange but beautiful to watch as the real son accepted and cared for them.

You have been educating budding photographers. What would you suggest to all those who might wish to explore Wildlife Photography as a profession?

For all the budding photographers, I would first say that they don't consider wildlife photography a passion and jump into it without a solid background. Dropping out of education is the most foolish thing because wildlife photography doesn't pay much. Further, for all those who are pursuing this field, to be successful as a photographer, you need to have an eye for art, a look for creativity and at the same time be sound with the techniques.

Creativity and technical soundness go hand in hand. The other thing is that people should also be good at understanding the wildlife. The main mantra is to be passionate about what you are doing. Be patient till you achieve, keep chasing your passion, learn through struggle as it is only the hard work that will yield the best results.

Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/harsha_narasimhamurthy/

Twitter
https://twitter.com/HJunglebook?s=08

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