On Wednesday, we had Clement Francis talk to us about bird photography. He shared with us the photographs he had taken over nearly 2 decades of what he calls a deadly addiction (!). But what I took back from this nearly 2 hour interaction is something he said at the end. And that is: care about your subject. And this is especially true of birds, animals and nature photography.
If you are just a detached observer trying to get the ‘best shot’ then you might land up with an award winning photograph, but that’s where it ends. Whereas, if you care about the subject, study its environment, make an attempt to know more about the species/surrounding and then capture it on film – you will have achieved much more than just clicking a picture.
He gave us the example of photographers going to extreme lengths to get photographs, thus disturbing the natural environment of the animal or bird. This is in absolute disregard to the subject you are trying to capture. Clement is passionate about bird conservation issues (he has been associated with conserving the Bonnelli’s Eagle) and it shows in his work and his passion for these creatures. He’s involved in other efforts too (all this while maintaining his full-time work). Without these kind of folks who work so hard towards conserving nature and wildlife, we probably won’t have much of it left at all in a few years to come.
The other day I was talking to someone who told me he has no hobbies. Absolutely none, he admitted. I seriously did not think it was possible for a human being to be not interested in anything! It made me even more thankful that at the other end of the spectrum, there are those who do their best to make the world a better place to live in, in whatever way they can. And associating and listening to folks like these is so much more inspiring and satisfying. It makes me want to do a lot more in terms of giving back. Most of us take so much from our environment and nature and spend so little time or energy giving back. Perhaps, it’s time to do a little bit of that too along with our busy lives.