This pandemic has given people lot of time to reflect and one thing I have been reflecting on is, how did I develop an interest in wildlife and nature? I really don't have a clear answer.
My dad used to buy lot of books on wildlife for me, from Bangalore Tract Book Society (BTBS), when he did some work for them. The occasional trip to Ooty, Mangalore and other places. The wildlife documentary on Doordarshan. Not many young folks would have heard of Doordarshan, no it is not a brand of binoculars, it is the government TV channel. There was a time I used to watch wildlife documentaries on Sundays and would paint scenes from the documentary, in my drawing book. Even after all these years I recall the fishing Eagles of Sri Lanka documentary. An army relative who told stories of wild encounters with snakes, cobras rolling up under his bed, during the cold months in Shimla, not sure these stories were real or fake. Guess it was there within me always.
Moving on when I had the means to do wildlife safari's I started paying attention to the nature and wildlife around me. The occasional sighting of a leopard on Bandipur Highway, while going to Ooty. Those days seeing wildlife wasn't easy, at least not for me. I was thrilled if I saw a peacock. Nowadays you can see lot of wildlife by the road in the evenings, things have definitely changed over the years.
Then the wildlife photography started and this transformed many things for me, from a point & shoot camera to owing DSLRs with fancy telephoto lens. One thing has remained constant the passion to see more wildlife and visit new places. As I showed my pictures to friends and colleagues, I suddenly realized I had a good picture but didn't know much about the subject, so started researching and learning more.
I have started writing wildlife travel blogs and was featured in an article on Eco-Tourism, Green Newsletter at work. I am positive that some folks will visit these places after reading my blog. I also took a few colleagues to visit a nearby wildlife reserve and they have developed an interest, and are doing wildlife photography. I show wildlife pics to younger folks as well to help them see, understand, and develop an interest in wildlife.
To all wildlife photographers grow your passion, make it stronger, but don't let it die with you make other around you also develop an interest and passion for wildlife by sharing, talking and educating them. Power to change the planet is within each one of us.