Wildlife Conservation Photographer Balamahesh aims to preserve nature
27th May 1975
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Arts - Photography
Nature is the most priceless phenomenon of our mother earth and as humans, we must put all our efforts to preserve it. Balamahesh is one such example of being a protector and an admirer of nature. His photographs are an amalgamation of technique and art. While having conversations with him, very beautifully he conveyed this message aimed to preserve our trees –
“Human being breathes oxygen equivalent to three cylinders in a day. Each oxygen cylinder on an average costs Rs 900, so in a day one uses Oxygen worth Rs 2100 and for a full year it is Rs 7,66,500. If we consider an average life span of 65 years; the costs of oxygen we use become a staggering sum of Rs 500,00,000. All this oxygen is derived free of cost from the surrounding trees.... Save our forests to save ourselves !!”
Balamahesh has contributed his work in educating children about forests and wildlife. He also conducts master classes at DCP Expeditions. We as humans are proud of such worried individuals protecting our mother nature! Such passion for art and nature can surely sustain our environment.
We are really keen to know; how did your journey begin?
I was always passionate about capturing nature, landscape, flowers, etc. during early days by using one of the hotshot film camera. Later my younger brother brought a digital camera from Canada where I can see the images immediately on the screen after I click! That inspired me the most to continue photography. After starting to work in 2005, I purchased DSLR camera with basic lens and started travelling. Became even more serious about photography after photographing the majestic Tiger in Nagarhole Tiger reserve for the first time in 2008 at the close vicinity.
Know me Beyond Photography
“Life without Hobbies – Art or Music, is incomplete. Give equal importance to your hobbies”
Andy Rouse and Dhritiman Mukherjee
I draw inspirations from:
The photographs of Andy Rouse and Dhritiman Mukherjee
Food I Love
Food I Don't Like
Had I not been a Photographer then
I would probably be working in forest services.
Like Vacations at
Any place during Monsoon season.
Favorite Pass time
Playing flute (Bansuri) or watching YouTube videos about Photography and its techniques.
Favorite Movies / Series
The Edge (starring Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin)
Favorite Actor / Actress:
Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio
What were the hardships / hurdles you have encountered during your journey? How did you overcome them?
I belong to a typical lower middle-class family where buying camera equipment was a very big hardship. Hobby of being wildlife photographer is expensive. But eventually I made it.
What's your success mantra?
Passion, Patience and Hardwork. I strongly believe in this. Be at the right TIME at the right PLACE!
Success is incomplete without its share of setbacks. What advice do you give to others about handling the setbacks?
Failure is the unit of measuring success. You will not be able to understand the success without failure. Be patient and learn from the mistakes. Never give-up!
Do you think photography and its learnings can be helpful in life even if one does not want to consider it as a career goal?
Photography is a great hobby. Your mind will be always thinking out of the box and creative. Every photographs of yours is an inspiration to do better in future. Photography will makes our life beautiful
Who has been the main influencers in your journey & how?
My mother. She always understood my journey and passion of photography. Always supported me to pursue and encouraged me to do more. Secondly, during initial time, say around 2002, popular website “India Nature Watch” and later I joined DCP expeditions group who influenced me in the journey.
Which was "that" moment when you considered yourself as "I Am The 1"?
I have hardly sent any images to the competitions. Because I feel, the photographs, which I have captured, could have been even better. However, when I received a call from my friend, who was traveling from Delhi, called me and said, your photograph is been published in the inflight magazine – GoAir. That was the wow moment and made me feel “I Am The 1”. Later on, lot of other images were published in Sanctuary Asia, Better Photography magazines etc.
Did you get any formal training in Photography? Kindly tell us about it…
Self-learning, I learned by my own mistakes. Since I have a Physics background, understanding of light (Optics) and its properties was easy. After all photography is all about light. This helped me to understand the exposure in detail. Great learning was by observing the images captured by experts. Especially composition of the image. I always wanted to do Manual exposure, which is challenging and risky on the field. Chances of over or under exposure will be more. Now a days, we have YouTube to watch videos and it’s easy to learn.
What are the pre-coaching essentials e.g. right age, mindset or anything else?
There is no age limit for me. I have seen lot of youngsters winning international awards with great composition and exposure. Passion and hunger to learn new techniques are the key essentials. Age is just a number!
Technology is changing the way people get trained in Photography. What's your take?
Absolutely! Concept of training has changed. Classroom training is getting diluted for various reasons. Now it’s digital world. People can get training through Skype, Webinars, online/offline videos etc. Social network like Facebook or WhatsApp groups are quick way of clarifying any doubts or sharing new techniques that you have learned with others. Therefore, technology is changing and in-fact helping the people to get trained.
What qualities must one look for in a 'Guru' for training in Photography?
Listening skills. Both Guru and the student should have this skill to learn photography. As a Guru, he/she should understand the requirement and make the basics of photography strong. Guru must also have patience to share the knowledge with others and understand the enthusiasm of student.
If you were to bring one big change in the way people get trained in photography, what would that be?
As a Wildlife photographer, I would love to encourage people to observe the behavior of species whether it is big elephant, small bird or a tiny frog. It will help us to adapt some of the key features or behaviors into our lives. Conservation of nature is very important. We should save nature for future.
What do you suggest for better accessibility of Photography training in remote parts of India?
Everyone has smartphones and internet connections. I think, social network mediums like YouTube, websites like imd1, etc. will help the people to get trained on photography even though they are located in remote parts of the country.
Your piece of advice to parents and new generation especially when some people are skeptical about career in extra curriculum…
Encourage your kids. Extra curriculum activities like photography, music etc. are very important in life. I myself would want to my son to do something along with academics. Gone are the days when medical and engineering were only considered to be the best of the professions.
One thing which you feel you want to change from the past while you walk down the memory lane…
Going back to 20 years, wish I could have taken “Indian Forest Service exam” more seriously.
How can one identify & encourage talent in the family?
It’s time for parents to identify the talent and encourage their children. To be a good human being is default. Compared to those days in 1990’s, the world has changed now. Concept of learning, upskilling and demonstration of talent has changed. Identifying children’s creativity and interest is every parent’s responsibility.
Any other thoughts you want to share…
Do follow your passion and hunger to learn. You will never feel that you are working. “I Am The 1” is an awesome initiative. This platform will help others to improve their talent in Music, Arts, Dance & Sports. I wish you all the best!