Admire the beauty of nature – but respect and protect it too: MN Jayakumar, forester and photographer
In Part II of our photo essay on the exhibition at Sublime Galleria, we showcase more of the outstanding displays on wildlife, along with artist insights on conservation
PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 210 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festival, telecom expo, millets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.
In Part II of our photo essay on Sublime Galleria’s exhibition this month, titled ‘Birds as Art,’ we feature more works of forester-photographer MN Jayakumar. He has published the coffee-table books Encounters in the Forest (with TNA Perumal, showcasing the bio-diversity of Karnataka) and Life in the Jungle: Memoirs of a Forester (a collection of his stories and photographs from the jungles of India).
Jayakumar was the Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Member Secretary, Zoo Authority of Karnataka. With over four decades of active service, he is known as an advocate of wildlife protection and conservation of natural resources.
“I first got into photography when a friend told me it was surprising that so many visitors to my wildlife parks were active in photography, but I wasn’t involved in it myself,” Jayakumar recalled, in a chat with YourStory. That remark spurred him to actively document the beauty of the wildlife that he was privileged to access so regularly and at such close quarters (see Part I of our photo essay here).
At the current exhibition, some of his photographs are printed on canvas and given a digital finish to make the prints look like paintings. “Photography gives you a unique and long-lasting connect to nature,” he says.
It also reminds you that this natural beauty is a precious resource that needs to be respected and protected. “Karnataka is doing well in terms of conservation of tigers, elephants, leopards and macaque monkeys. But the great Indian bustard is in danger of extinction – there are only an estimated 250 bustards left in India, and only about three to five in Karnataka,” he explains.
The act of photography should also be respectful of nature, Jayakumar adds. “Go for a good picture, but don’t forget to care for the subject also. Don’t obstruct or intrude on birds and animals in their habitat. Use ethical practices only,” he signs off.
Now what have you done today to admire our precious wildlife heritage, but also minimise our damage to the natural world?
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