Home/ Industry / Nature In Focus festival to kick off from 8 July in Bengaluru

Bengaluru: A photograph can take you places. It can guide you deep into a verdant forest or let you survey the vast span of the ocean or enable you to surge through the sky. It offers you glimpses of the lives of the creatures that inhabit these ecosystems and tells you their stories. And perhaps even elucidate why these stories matter so much.

The third edition of Nature In Focus, a nature and wildlife photography festival that will be held in Bengaluru on 8-9 July, is all about stories culled from the natural environment. Talks conducted by some of the world’s most eminent conservationists, scholars and photographers including marine biologist Cristina Mittermeier, wildlife photographer Dhritiman Mukherjee, primatologist Dr. Anindya Sinha, tiger conservationist Hans Dalal and Green Hub Fellow Sital Dako will address issues from how best to effectively convey movement and actuality in a wildlife image to flying mammals, Western Ghats ecology, moments in a raptor’s life and the untamed frontiers that the marine ecosystem holds.

“My inspiration came from seeing similar events in other parts of world," explains organizer Kalyan Varma, adding that this is a great forum to expose and sensitize people to the amazing biodiversity present in the world today, “They will be inspired to go and save it," he says hopefully.

Marine conservationist Siddhart Chakravarthy agrees, “There is great imagery from the wild that comes into spaces and it is only when our largely urbanized audience visits the wild, can they understand its beauty," he says, adding that this not just builds awareness but sparks that necessary dialogue on how to balance both growth and the environment.

The winner of the Nature In Focus awards will also be announced at the festival, “Eighteen images have been nominated," says Rohit Varma, also part of the organizing team, adding that more than 2,000 entries had been received from all over the world. “The concept of photography has evolved so much that it is not good enough to have a great image—the story behind it needs to come through," he says.

And it is not just the image that can tell a good story, but the process itself that can garner a fantastic one. Some of his most endearing stories have been while shooting in the wild, says Kalyan, recalling a brush with an elephant he had encountered, while shooting in the forests of Valparai four years ago. “I had spent days and days following the same elephant and she had gotten used to me by then," he says.

So much so that when she spotted a crowd of people who had come too close to her and her calf, “she left her calf with me and went to shoo away the rest of the people", says Kalyan, “I was so touched by it."

Tickets to the festival can be booked by logging on to https://www.natureinfocus.in/

Preeti Zachariah
"Preeti Zachariah is a National Writer with Lounge and edits its health section. She holds a degree in journalism from Columbia University, New York. When she isn't reading fiction or worrying about her own writing, you will find her lifting weights, cuddling a cat, meandering through a park, obsessing over Leonard Cohen or catching up with friends over coffee (or ice cream, if feeling particularly decadent). "
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Updated: 07 Jul 2016, 07:10 PM IST
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