A wild passion: Amal George
Amal George, 35, hailing from Cherthala and currently based in Bangalore, working as an IT Infrastructure Project Manager with Technicolor, has been building his repertoire as wildlife photographer too, since the past few years. Having spent more than 10 years exploring nature, he ventured into wildlife photography, to follow his passion. He is photographer who loves to capture wildlife as candidly as possible, in their natural habitat. “I believe in the philosophy of ‘responsible photography’ and ensure that my pictures speak for themselves. Responsibility does not end when you trip the shutter, it actually begins then. One cannot ensure fruitful conservation of nature without judicious use of the lens”, he tells KTE Editor Deepak N Nair in a chat.
I urge all photographers to use their work as a tool for conservation so that the future generations can also enjoy the wildlife around them.
When did you get into wildlife photography? Who taught you? What was the trigger?
I was a traveller since my college days and one boring weekend at Bangalore , I googled for nearby places to visit and selected Bandipur National park as my destination. I took my first wildlife safari there and was lucky to spot a tiger but I didn’t have a camera to click. Reaching back home, I searched the internet for wildlife pictures and got inspired by the brilliant work of some photographers and decided to buy a camera and start exploring wildlife from close quarters.
Are all your weekends spent in the forests? How do you balance your career as an IT professional and your hobby as a wildlife photographer?
Not all weekends, but some weekends Indian Wildlife & Nature Conservation Trust (IWNCT) - the NGO that I run, has some programmes scheduled like snare combing operation, interaction with villagers regarding man-animal conflicts, fire rescue works, tribal youth empowerment, education for tribal kids and such. So I need to be present physically at jungle and adjoining areas. As am based in Bangalore, it is easy for me to travel, as the jungles are just 3 hours drive away. I usually dedicate two weekends to spend time with my family and remaining two for wildlife photography and conservation activities.
List some of your most memorable moments in the forests while taking photographs?
Sighting the elusive Black Panther from the woods of Kabini and filming a small documentary on new born Tiger Cubs who were hardly a few months old.
What camera equipment do you use?
Nikon D850 + Nikkor 500 mm f4
Whats the scope for wildlife photograpy in Kerala?
Kerala has less wildlife tourism when compared to other states. But, we do have a big scope for wildlife photography, if the authorities were to initiate some steps, to promote wildlife tourism, like in some other states of India, that have gypsy safaris for enthusiasts to venture into the forests and explore wildlife from close quarters.
Kerala has less wildlife tourism when compared to other states. But, we do have a big scope for wildlife photography, if the authorities were to initiate some steps, to promote wildlife tourism, like in some other states of India that have gypsy safaris for enthusiasts to venture into the forests and explore wildlife from close quarters.
What’s your advice to other wildlife photography enthusiasts?
We are living in the century where many species of animals are becoming extinct due to poaching or losing their habitat as humans expand their colony into forests. I urge all photographers to use their work as a tool for conservation so that the future generations can also enjoy the wildlife around them.