Responsibility, respect, rapport–wildlife photographer Deepak Shankar on the occasion of World Environment Day

In our photo essay on this outstanding wildlife photography exhibition, we address the urgency of protecting the beauty of nature.

Responsibility, respect, rapport–wildlife photographer Deepak Shankar on the occasion of World Environment Day

Sunday June 04, 2023,

7 min Read

Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 700 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festivaltelecom expomillets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.

Led by the United Nations Environment Programme, World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated on June 5 each year, and has been held annually since 1973. It has emerged as a major global platform for environmental outreach.


On the occasion of WED 2023, we feature the outstanding works of a nature photographer, who also conducts workshops and tours on nature photography in India and East Africa. See also our earlier compilation of proverbs and quotes on WED, titled Conversations about Conservation.

“Photography, to me, is a profound means of storytelling and a way to capture the beauty and essence of the natural world,” explains wildlife photographer Deepak Shankar, in a chat with YourStory.

“It allows me to connect with nature on a deeper level, to observe its intricate details, and to share those moments with others. Through my lens, I aim to convey the emotions, the fragility, and the awe-inspiring aspects of the wildlife and environments I encounter,’ he adds.

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Photography is not just a profession for Deepak. “It's a passion and a way of life that allows me to showcase the magnificence of our planet and inspire others to appreciate and protect it,” he affirms.

To expand his creative horizons, he also captures landscapes, cultural traditions, and architecture. “While nature and wildlife remain my main expertise, experimenting with various styles allows me to grow as a photographer and continuously refine my skills,” Deepak describes.

“Throughout my journey as a wildlife photographer, I've been fortunate to witness and capture incredible moments in nature,” he describes. These include big cats like lions and tigers as well as elusive predators like leopards and cheetahs.


“I've also documented the grace of birds in flight, the power of elephants and rhinos, the fascinating behaviours of primates, and the delicate beauty of marine life,” Deepak enthuses.

One of his memorable captures is titled The Flying Hunt, showcasing the speed and agility of the cheetah while it hunts an impala. “The photograph captures the essence of the chase—the tension, the speed, and the adrenaline-fueled pursuit,” he describes.

At the same time, there are also challenges that wildlife photographers face, and ethical considerations they must respect. “Respecting animal habitats, maintaining a safe distance, and adhering to ethical guidelines are essential to ensure minimal disturbance and protect the welfare of the animals,” Deepak emphasises.

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Photography is a competitive field. “Building a unique style, marketing one's work effectively, and finding opportunities for exhibitions, publications, or collaborations require perseverance and continuous self-improvement,” he adds.

The pandemic was another challenge for photographs and exhibitors, but creative solutions emerged. “One of the key ways I coped was by hosting online tutorials for post-editing,” Deepak recalls.

“This allowed me to stay connected with my audience, offer valuable learning experiences, and inspire others to continue pursuing their passion for photography,” he says. He explored new ways to tell stories through his photographs.


“Exploring and photographing nearby wildlife and nature became a way for me to maintain my connection with the natural world and keep honing my skills,” he adds, pointing out the need to appreciate and protect local environments.

“Despite these challenges, the rewards of wildlife photography—capturing breathtaking moments, sharing the wonders of nature, and raising awareness about conservation—are what drive me to overcome obstacles and continue pursuing my passion,” Deepak affirms.

In this photo essay, we showcase some of his photographs on display at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath in Bengaluru. Deepak’s works are priced from Rs 15,000 to Rs 2 lakh, depending on factors like size, medium and exclusivity. Choosing the right price can itself be a challenge.

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“It requires finding a balance between setting prices that reflect the value and effort put into creating the photographs while also considering the market dynamics and the preferences of potential buyers,” Deepak explains.

“Ultimately, the goal is to find a balance where the prices reflect the artistic merit and uniqueness of the photographs, while also allowing collectors and admirers to invest in and appreciate the beauty and storytelling captured within the frames,” he adds.

Deepak is working on a range of new projects, including capturing landscapes that depict the habitats of various animals.


“Building on the inspiration and experiences from my exhibitions, I have gained fresh ideas on how to compose shots that not only showcase the animals themselves but also provide a broader context by highlighting their natural habitats,” he explains.

“These landscape compositions aim to create a visual narrative that emphasises the intricate relationship between animals and their environments,” Deepak adds.

This includes landscapes like mountains, rivers, forests, and other natural features. “I seek to portray the beauty, diversity, and fragility of these habitats,” he says.

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Deepak hopes to convey important messages about art and nature through his work. “Photo and art appreciation are essential in our lives. They transcend language and cultural barriers, evoking emotions and sparking meaningful conversations,” he says.

“Appreciating photography and art opens us to new perspectives and fosters a deeper connection with our surroundings. It promotes empathy, challenges stereotypes, and builds bridges between diverse perspectives,” Deepak affirms.

Photo and art appreciation contribute to advocacy, inspire positive change, and bring joy and inspiration to people’s lives. “Let us embrace the power of photo and art appreciation to enrich our lives and create a more compassionate and interconnected world,” he urges.


Deepak offers tips for aspiring photographers as well. “Photography is an art form that requires dedication and genuine passion,” he says.

“Follow your heart and focus on subjects and genres that truly inspire you. This will fuel your creativity and help you develop a unique artistic vision,” he advises.

Regular practice and inputs from the community greatly help. “Seek feedback from fellow photographers or mentors who can provide constructive criticism. Embrace feedback as an opportunity for growth and improvement,” Deepak recommends. 

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“Learn from both positive and negative feedback. Use it to refine your skills and develop your unique voice,” he adds. It is also important to enjoy the process of capturing key moments, expressing creativity, and telling stories.

Deepak wraps up with important messages about nature and wildlife. “I urge you to embrace the beauty of nature and recognise the utmost importance of preserving it,” he says.

“Foster a deep connection with the natural world by immersing yourself in its wonders and appreciating its intricate details,” he says.


It is important to support conservation organisations and initiatives that work towards preserving nature. “Educate, collaborate, and engage others, advocating for sustainable practices and instilling a sense of responsibility and commitment towards the environment,” he adds.

“By collectively appreciating and protecting the beauty of nature, we can ensure its preservation for generations to come, forging a harmonious relationship between humanity and the environment,” Deepak signs off.

Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and do your bit for our precious environment?


(All photographs were taken by Madanmohan Rao on location at the exhibition.)

See also the YourStory pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups,’ accessible as apps for Apple and Android devices.