Home » Capturing Nature’s Majesty: An Exclusive Interview with Photographer Shivang Mehta

Capturing Nature’s Majesty: An Exclusive Interview with Photographer Shivang Mehta

by In-house Editor

Q. Can you share with us what initially sparked your interest in wildlife photography, and how did you embark on your journey as a wildlife photographer?

Shivang Mehta: ”I have always been an outdoor person and for me spending time with nature in the form of hikes, outdoor adventures kept me going in my teens. My love for outdoors took me to the Corbett landscape and memories of Corbett stories resonated with the woods of Kumaon. From being a tourist visiting national parks, I trained myself as a naturalist in early 2000s and photography became a by-product for me to document my exploration and experiences with the natural world”.

Q. What sets wildlife photography apart from other forms of photography, and what challenges do you typically encounter in capturing compelling wildlife images?

SM: ”Wildlife photography as genre is where the subject isn’t under your control. You have to rely on the natural light for a majority of the work you do. So this is one genre where apart from developing the technical skills one has to keep learning the art of photography and decisions have to be made at the split of a second as moments in the wild are not repeated. A moment missed is a moment gone forever”

Q. How do you approach ethical considerations when photographing wildlife, especially in terms of respecting the animals’ natural behaviour and habitats?

SM: ”A sound research and understanding of the subject, the environment and habitats and the behaviour is critical for any wildlife photographer. Knowing what can cause harm to a specie or it’s habitat is imperative and for that I would normally do a lot of planning for any project by reading about the species, talking to experts who have worked on that species and learning from any previous work done on that subject. Use of technology in today’s time enhances your productivity but knowing the boundaries of the extent to which technology should and can be used comes with this critical research and planning.”

Q. Can you walk us through your typical process when preparing for a wildlife photography expedition, from planning and equipment selection to on-site shooting techniques?

SM: ”Different expeditions and projects require different planning and preparation. A project that requires being on foot versus projects where you need to work using a vehicle. The approach would be different depending on field scenarios like dust, weather, terrain, facilities and logistics available on the field. Once all these aspects are narrowed down then I would think of the kind of equipment needed and what kind of protection the equipment needs as well.”

Q. What role do conservation and environmental awareness play in your work as a wildlife photographer, and how do you aim to inspire others through your images?

SM: ”Photography is a powerful medium of wildlife conservation. The visual form connects with the audience in an impactful way. They say that an image can speak a 1000 words and that’s what great wildlife images do – be it educating people about species, their behaviour or a conservation issue depicted through a storytelling image. My aim is to sensitise people and specially the communities sharing space with wildlife through the medium of my photographic work.” 

Q. What advice would you offer to aspiring wildlife photographers who are just starting their journey in this field?

SM: ”Consider yourself to be blessed in a country which has this unique biodiversity of flora and fauna. A country with plethora of stories of conflicts and coexistence with wildlife. Think beyond flagship species like tigers and think how impactful stories can be told through the medium of imagery”.

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