Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], May 10: Nature is amazing and there are many secrets out there to unfold. And Wildlife photography is an adventure unto itself. There are fewer women in wildlife photography majorly because most don’t try. We come across one such young and expert woman wildlife photographer who creates unique and astonishing images of her time in the lap of nature.
With a penchant for photography since her young days, Aarzoo had been clicking domestic cats and eagles in flight for a long time. She then turned the lens to the streets to capture some of the most happening places and moments. Subsequently, she again ventured into the wild and since then Wildlife has been my preferred subject for photography and she has been creating breathtaking visuals of the same. She is a Lawyer by Profession and a Wildlife Photographer by passion.
From her experiences, Aarzoo has learned to always respect wildlife and listen to nature and it will give in its secrets. As photographers are expected to sit peacefully at a place, observe and click the wilderness in its natural form, she also learned to become part of the landscape. There are risks, of course. But things get dangerous only when one is not watchful, or disturbs an animal, or its natural surroundings. But as Aarzoo puts it, ‘If you follow the decorum of the jungle, you’ll be fine.’
As a wildlife photographer, Aarzoo uses the medium of photography to capture the beautiful things she witnesses in nature, like a pair of Sarus cranes calling out to the heavens on a misty winter morning, or a baby langur frolicking in its mother’s lap. Shares Aarzoo, ‘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.’
This lose-yourself-to-nature approach enables her to get close enough to capture the animal’s beauty and behaviour which both feature strongly in her style of photography. These are some of the skills, she has developed, in wildlife photography over a period of time and with her encounters with the wild.
Talking about the challenges she faces while shooting dangerous wild animals and lessons learned from these adventures, Aarzoo says, ‘Wildlife photography is extremely challenging both, physically and mentally. We leave for safaris early morning, and the temperature inside the forest is usually extreme. During the winters, mornings are freezing and the summer noons are scorching. Besides, you have to work with heavy gear for long hours. But all your patience and hard work pay off when you see that one awe-inspiring moment staring right at you which you finally capture with your lens.’
Many people think that Wildlife photography is quite an expensive genre to explore. But Aarzoo busts this myth for you. She believes that one can click fabulous images of wild animals with your cellphone camera or if you can spend a bit, rent the gear, and try it out.
In fact, she did not have any wildlife photography gear for the first two years of photography. She used to rent a canon 100-400 and practice in Sultanpur and Okhla bird sanctuaries.
Finally, she has a message for all the upcoming photographers as well as young women exploring wildlife photography as a career choice. She puts it this way, ‘Don’t think too much; creativity comes later and takes time. To start with, just pick whichever camera you have, or rent or borrow one, and look for a visual that might make a good picture, and click. Be patient, give it time, and don’t start showcasing your work too soon. Keep practicing. And most importantly respect nature.’