An Administrator by Profession, A Photographer at Heart
- Bhakti Kothari
- Published on 27 Nov 2022, 9:00 am IST
- 4 minutes read
- Divisional Commissioner of Shahdol, Madhya Pradesh, Rajeev Sharma, is a talented wildlife photographer.
- He loves to capture nature and its scenic beauty through his lens, but his special focus has always been birds.
- As he started capturing the beauty of trees with his lens, he began getting attracted towards the birds sitting on these trees.
- Representative image
IAS officer Rajeev Sharma is a mine of talents. In addition to being a dedicated senior government officer and a writer, he is also a talented photographer with an eye for the natural world. His love for wildlife and nature has enhanced his skills for photography as he has photographed over a hundred species of birds, which he exhibits in his famous exhibition called ‘Birds of Bandhavgarh’.
Indian Masterminds spoke with Mr. Sharma, who is the Divisional Commissioner of Shahdol, Madhya Pradesh, about his interest in photography.
DISCOVERING HIS TALENT
Mr. Sharma believes the credit for helping him discover his talent for photography should go to the Government of India for offering him numerous postings in areas close to forest divisions and regions.
He started his career from his posting at Damoh, Madhya Pradesh, a region surrounded by beautiful forests. It was during this time only that he discovered his love for wildlife photography. He started capturing the beauty of nature and wild animals through his lens and hasn’t stopped since.
He has captured the majestic beauty of the tigers of Bandhavgarh, the lions of Gir, and the crocodiles of the region through his lens.
INTEREST IN DIFFERENT FACETS OF LIFE
From his childhood days, Mr. Sharma has had a keen interest in various artistic and cultural hobbies, the credit of which he would like to give to his parents. They enrolled him in several extracurricular activities such as music classes, Urdu classes, photography classes, etc., which further increased his interest in building his hobbies.
“The spectrum of life has seven colours; then why should a person be stuck at just one? You are unfair to yourself when you get wrapped in just one activity and do not explore and experience other facets of life,” he said.
CAPTURING NATURE’S BEAUTY
Coincidentally, when he joined the service, he received posting in regions like Mandla, where there is Kanha National Park, home to several tigers and numerous birds; Balaghat, another half of the Kanha National Park, and Umaria, home to the very famous Bandhavgarh National park.
“I have spent more than half of my life in these forests. While everyone was busy capturing tigers, I had a keen interest in the hundreds of species of plants, shrubs, and large trees. Together, they combine to form these forests, the beauty of which is unmatched. The differing hues of the trees, the multiple shades of green, the patterns of the leaves… I absolutely love them and can’t resist capturing these unique marvels of creation,” Mr. Sharma told Indian Masterminds.
As he captured the beauty of trees through his lens, he started getting attracted towards the birds sitting on these trees. Thus arose his love for photographing bird species from around the state.
Mr. Sharma visited the Bombay Natural History Society and went through all the books written by the great Sálim Moizuddin Abdul Ali, an Indian ornithologist and naturalist, sometimes referred to as the ‘Birdman of India’. Salim Ali was the first Indian to conduct systematic bird surveys across India and wrote several bird books that popularised ornithology in India.
“Since I didn’t find anyone who concentrated on the birds of Bandhavgarh, I decided to go for it. I focused on the birds and their varied species and tried to capture them through my camera,” shared Mr. Sharma.
Apart from birds and animals, he also loves to capture sunrise, sunsets, flowers, water bodies and the beauty of nature. Here are a few photos from his album:
END OF THE ARTICLE