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Retro Kolkata Exclusive - A Vision Through the Lens : Interview with Venki Ramasubhramoni

Retro Kolkata Exclusive - A Vision Through the Lens : Interview with Venki Ramasubhramoni

In the realm of wildlife photography, few names resonate as deeply with the passion and dedication as Venki Ramasubhramoni. Renowned for his exquisite captures of nature's unscripted moments, Venki has traveled extensively, bringing the remote corners of the natural world closer to us through his lens. His journey is not just about photography, but about a profound connection with nature and a relentless drive to conserve it. In this exclusive interview, Venki shares insights into his motivations, experiences, and the powerful messages he hopes to convey through his work.

Retro Kolkata Exclusive - A Vision Through the Lens : Interview with Venki Ramasubhramoni

Retro Kolkata : Your passion for wildlife and nature is evident. What initially drew you to wildlife photography, and how has your connection to the natural world evolved over time?

Venki : My exposure to wildlife began at a young age, with the diverse biodiversity of Kerala providing ample opportunities for me to experience nature's wondrous creations. Over the years, I've had the chance to expand my geographic coverage to different parts of the world. What started as a visual journal of my travels has transformed me into a wildlife enthusiast and photographer.

Retro Kolkata : As a motivator, you have had the opportunity to inspire others. What key message or principle do you aim to impart to those you motivate, particularly in the context of wildlife photography?

Venki : I am blessed to experience nature's vividness and through my frames, I am striving to share the beauty of wildlife, their habitat, behaviour, and more importantly, the need to preserve and protect nature's creations.

Retro Kolkata Exclusive - A Vision Through the Lens : Interview with Venki Ramasubhramoni

Retro Kolkata : The "sound and silence of wilderness" is a unique way to describe your inspiration. Can you share a specific experience where this interplay significantly influenced a project or a particular photograph you took?

Venki : Each outing into the wild is exciting, and what makes it more exhilarating is when you capture what you visualize. During my recent trip to Masai Mara, I waited for over 10 hours to get a frame of a leopardess climbing down a tree and making her way back. I was lucky to experience the déjà vu; it’s a blend of endurance, patience, and pure luck.

Retro Kolkata : Wildlife photography can be as challenging as it is rewarding. Can you discuss one of the most difficult challenges you've faced in the field and how you overcame it?

Venki : For me, photography is like life, filled with moments of excitement, accomplishments, failures, disappointments, stops, and restarts. I have experienced and still face such moments. User error, changing light, the angle of the sun, or moving subjects can result in images not turning out exactly as I want. Yet, I enjoy the sighting or action, so I retune and try again.

Retro Kolkata Exclusive - A Vision Through the Lens : Interview with Venki Ramasubhramoni

Retro Kolkata : Your journey in wildlife photography is one you wish to continue "as long as you breathe." What keeps this passion alive and fresh for you, despite the challenges and changes in the environment and wildlife?

Venki : Nature always inspires me, so too its sounds and silence. Never a recurrence or repetition, each dawn to dusk is a package, and what I have experienced is a minute percentage. As the saying goes, "Miles to go before I sleep." Through my work, I wish to illustrate behavior, document changes, and spread the passion.

Retro Kolkata : The concept of learning "each day, each moment" in nature is powerful. Can you share a recent learning or insight gained from your time in the wilderness that has had a profound impact on your work?

Venki : Spending over 10 hours for a specific frame during my recent trip taught me to be focused, be optimistic, and to be persistent. Also, my interest in wildlife photography has connected me to many like-minded people from whom I have managed to learn a lot and treasure the friendships.

Retro Kolkata Exclusive - A Vision Through the Lens : Interview with Venki Ramasubhramoni

Retro Kolkata : In sharing the beauty of nature through your frames, you undoubtedly encounter moments of awe. Could you describe one such moment that left a lasting impression on you and perhaps changed your perspective?

Venki : More than a wildlife moment, what inspired me was the passion of an individual. During one of my trips to Mara, I met a wildlife photographer who is physically challenged with no mobility below his hips following an accident. But this hasn’t stopped him from exploring the wild. He is a regular to Africa as well as he does marine photography. Meeting this individual has been very impactful and inspirational for me.

Retro Kolkata : With wildlife and their habitats facing increasing threats, photography plays a crucial role in conservation. How do you approach the responsibility of using your images to advocate for wildlife and nature conservation?

Venki : Through the images, one could raise awareness of the beauty and fragility of nature and its creations, document the impact of deforestation, loss of habitat, human activities on the environment, contribute valuable data for scientific research, and inspire people to extend their bit in conservation efforts.

Retro Kolkata Exclusive - A Vision Through the Lens : Interview with Venki Ramasubhramoni

Retro Kolkata : The digital age has transformed photography in many ways. How do you navigate the balance between traditional wildlife photography techniques and the evolving digital landscape?

Venki : Indeed, a lot has transformed in photography over the years. The digital age has democratized photography with more people shooting more pictures than ever before. Access as well as the method of learning and sharing also contribute to the population of photographers and enhance their ability to photograph captivating moments and present them well. Albeit factors like composition, play of light, etc., remain unchanged while visualization and storytelling remain as personal traits.

Retro Kolkata : Looking ahead, are there any particular projects or goals you are passionate about pursuing within the realm of wildlife photography, and how do you plan to achieve them?

Venki : My bucket list is long, and experiencing wildlife in the Arctic and Antarctic is something I am longing to accomplish. Balancing career, personal commitment, and passion remain the key challenge.

Venki Ramasubhramoni's journey through the wild terrains of the world serves as a beacon of inspiration and a testament to the power of passion and perseverance. His work not only captures the beauty of the natural world but also plays a vital role in its conservation. As he continues to explore new territories and face the evolving challenges of wildlife photography, his lens remains focused not just on the present, but on the legacy he intends to leave behind for future generations.

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We are thrilled to announce the upcoming 'AURA 2024 - The International Photography & Art Exhibition and Grand Felicitation Ceremony', following the resounding success of last year's event. This prestigious gathering will be held at Kolkata's renowned 'Nazrul Tirtha' Art Gallery (Action Area I, Newtown, Kolkata 700156) from January 13 to January 21, 2024. The event promises an international stage for artists and photographers handpicked globally to display their masterpieces alongside the mesmerizing works of esteemed artists from over 25 participating countries, all under the spotlight of national media.

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Step into the boundless world of art with Retro Kolkata Magazine - The Global Edition. Beyond a magazine, it's a collectible tome celebrating the global tapestry of creativity. Delve into seven chapters unveiling the wonders of artistry across different mediums, uniting readers in a rich conversation that transcends borders. Embrace this cherished keepsake, a luminous narrative of human expression and interconnected art forms.

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