Wild life Extravaganza with Vikram Potdar
Vikram is a wild life photographer and a avid traveler. He has traveled to more than 20 countries and photographed spectacular pictures from all over. We are glad to bring you the pages from his travel diaries and the stories behind his stunning photographs.
Gaurav : You have clicked amazing pictures in more than 20 countries,120 locations worldwide and 2 polar regions. It is a pleasure to know that you have traveled so much for your passion of taking pictures, what is more exciting, travel or photography ?
Vikram : Both are equally exciting for me. I am equally passionate about my two hobbies. Photography has give a unique perspective for my travel. Actually i like to get away from the rest when I travel, I try to get away from the monotonous parts of the cities like the glass faced buildings , malls, modern airports, even country roads for that matter and instead hit the forests. Each country has its own unique type of forests, flora & fauna , and habitats and this is what I look for when I travel. So in a way, I visit the best parts of the country which is seldomly repeated by someone.
Gaurav : There are very few who could spend 90 hours in -48 degrees for that one picture. What keeps you motivated to push your limits ?
Vikram : The 2-2.5 months old polar bear cub coming out of den for the first time is a very rare sight and is a spectacle to watch. I live for such moments. The anticipated ecstasy kept me motivated all the time. Moreover I don’t expect miraculous sightings in every trip of mine, so I enjoy just being there. I like the fragrance of the wilderness, the tranquility and the sound of silence. I am more into enjoying the moment and I carry the camera with me to try my best to record such moments in photographs.
Gaurav : After so many awesome pictures and a lot of recognition, which picture of yours is the closest to your heart ? what’s the story behind that picture ?
Vikram : There are many and it is difficult to single out any one. But I have a special mention of this image that I would like to share.
Kamchatka Bearscape – Pot of gold at the end of rainbow
Location – Kamchatka
Story behind the image : This image was made at Kuril lake in Kamchatka peninsula in far east Russia. Kamchatka is a Siberian region with 29 active volcano’s. I was shooting this Mother bear with 2 cubs with tele lens from a lake shore and then suddenly I saw the rainbow being formed. It was magical. I felt like I have been blessed to witness such an occurrence.
I immediately thought of a Bearscape image with a rainbow and grabbed the wide angle lens and rushed at the top of the 20’ high viewing platform. After clicking few images I said to myself, what if the Bear comes below the rainbow I would have an image of a lifetime. My wish was granted in the next minute. Somehow the bear heard the voice inside me and walked into the rainbow and the result is displayed here. This remains one my most memorable wildlife photography moment.
Gaurav : What is that one thing you are always hoping for when you set out for a shoot ? Something that you pray should not hinder in your process of coming back with what you want on your sensor ?
Vikram : It is quite natural to have series of expectations when I set out for photography. Firstly I expect to witness a natural wildlife moment. That is what I always look for and then I want to get a decent image of that moment and if possible a “video “, but these are just expectations and even if the outing goes dry, I don’t feel as bad because I enjoy the outing itself.
Gaurav : One iconic picture of yours that you will always be proud of ?
Vikram : Resplendent Quetzal – This was photographed in Costa Rica. This bird was high on priority in my Costa Rica trip while planning. To photograph this bird I had to climb a steep 80 m hill with 20 kg of camera gear. I was ecstatic when I saw this avian wonder. For all three days this bird appeared in front of me and allowed me to take good pictures. This is a national bird of Guatemala and so it is printed on their currency. During my Jehangir Art Gallery Solo Photography Exhibition a Guatemalan resident bought this image and gifted it to Guatemala Embassy in India. This image now adorns the wall of the Embassy. The Consul General of Guatemala was very happy to see this and wrote me a special appreciation letter. So this is one of my all time favorite image.
Gaurav : What is your next travel destination for more amazing pictures ? What are your other photographic interests other than shooting wildlife pictures ?
Vikram : I am really excited about Sulawesi. Indonesia is my next destination. I don’t have any other photographic interests other than wildlife and nature. This is where I feel the most contended with.
Gaurav : Your followers would like to know what’s coming next from Vikram’s hat ? what are your future plans ?
Vikram : I am going to concentrate on a single bird species and will be photographing that species throughout the world. This is another thing which is giving me sleepless nights these days. Another thing which is I really want to get to the core of.
Gaurav : What is that one thing you recommend / advise to aspiring photographers who look up to you for motivation ? For all those who are in awe of your pictures ?
Vikram : Nowadays I am observing a disturbing trend in nature photographers that many of them do not have the required dedication and willingness for hard work. All they want is fast recognition and some awards. They also tend to buy expensive gadgets regardless of their affordability and requisite passion and patience to click pictures. In the process they forget that this is a passion by choice and not a compulsion. I would advise them to start learning to enjoy nature and wildlife first and then vie for other trivial things.