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Shooting for a cause

Sudhir Shivram's exhibition of photographs, Fauna Around Bangalore, captures our feathered friends at their best


IT IS another typical case of a hardcore professional pursuing a hobby, which is totally unrelated to his work. While the software job at a multinational company keeps him busy during the weekdays, Sudhir Shivaram eagerly waits for weekends and holidays to sling his camera on the shoulders and walk into the wild.

Bitten by the shutterbug since his college days, Sudhir has slowly chartered his way from "generally shooting anything" to focusing on wildlife. A graduate of the Malnad College of Engineering, Hassan, Sudhir is holding an exhibition of photographs, Fauna Around Bangalore, at Time and Space Gallery, displaying an array of birds in their natural habitat. Also seen among the 50 or so images were the profiles of a sambhar fawn in close up, a solitary blackbuck, a glaring nilgai, a giant squirrel atop a tree, and a sharply lit garden lizard seen against a dark background.

Clearly, Sudhir's forte is capturing the avian species on his Canon digital camera. Many of his "models" perch on branches, rocks and nests, like the cattle egret donning its snow-white feathers, the kingfisher showing off its awesome colours, the bulbul proudly flaunting its red whiskers, the spotted dove atop a branch as if waiting for its mate, the upright blue-faced malkoha with its elongated feathers, the green bee-eater hardly looking like a hunter, the purple-rumped sunbird delicately balancing itself on a branch. Particularly alluring are the sights of a brown shrike perched on a dry branch with its parted beak as if it were in a musical mood, and the pied kingfisher in flight — a picture of grace and focus — with its outstretched wings and keen eyes set on its prey. It is not just the kingfisher but other birds like the buzzards, eagles and vultures, which are captured in their graceful flight.

Sudhir's photographs catch the viewer's attention thanks to the tight composition and pleasant moods they convey. All his beautiful creatures were shot in Savandurga, Thippagondanahalli, Kanakapura, Bhimeshwari and other locales near the city.

It is also heartening to note that the young photographer is not just concentrating on his craft but trying to grow beyond it. For one, he candidly confesses to being on the learning curve in the study of wildlife. He also takes time to hold regular photography classes for his colleagues; the fees collected are promptly given away to charitable causes, including conservation of wildlife. An interesting aside is that his employers too are involved in social contribution and match Sudhir's contribution by an equal amount from their side.

Part of the proceeds of this will be donated to Namma Sangha, Bandipur. Sudhir sees himself getting involved in more and more wildlife protection and related projects in the years to come.

Sudhir's profile and photographs can be viewed on his website thejunglelook.com. The exhibition closes on July 20.

ATHREYA

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