Immerse into the thicketed world of Achintya Singh, a fast-evolving naturalist and wildlife photographer. Raised by a forest officer parent, Achintya's interaction with the wild began when he was only 4 years old. Ever since, he has volunteered for wildlife rescue programs, awareness drives and educational projects in collaboration with the Wildlife Institute of India, the Corbett Foundation and the Turtle Survival Alliance. Although at 26 he associates most with his cause as a naturalist, Achintya's accompanying camera lens kit opens up a fascinating world from the tiniest insects to big cats and everything in between.
SPECIES OF FASCINATION
Achintya Singh (AS): I am fascinated by reptiles and the smaller world. I shoot everything, from insects to birds to big cats.
FAVOURITE WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY DESTINATION
AS: India's Western ghats and the lesser-explored rainforests of India are no less than a visual treat to the eyes. They are also home to not so common animals and some very rare and endemic species live in these beautiful rainforests. In fact, new species of frogs amongst other wildlife are being discovered till date, which proves how bildiverse and unexplored these habitats are.
MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY
AS: Not knowing whether you will get to see your target species at all. Several times while looking for wildlife to photograph, we don't even see our target species, leave alone taking good photos, but that's all part of the game, however, when we do see our subjects in favourable light or atmosphere, the adrenaline is just sky-high.
FAVOURITE PART OF THE GENRE
AS: Finding the animal while looking for something rare or unique, be it snow leopards in the Himalayas or a critically endangered frog in Western ghats, there's a story behind finding the animal that makes each shot unique in itself. It is easy to spot animals in capitivity, such as zoos and biodiversity parks, but that wouldn't be as wonderful an experience as finding ans photographing species in their natural habitat.
Sometimes, we experience vert thrilling moments in terms of animal behaviour.
I once saw a leopard take down a newborn Nilgai calf and offer it to her sub-adult cubs. Another time I saw a snow leopard call out her cubs in a snow-filled gorge in the high-altitude Himalayas. In all, the whole experience of visiting different national parks, different forests and habitats is what makes the genre so interesting for me.
AS: Im a Canon user , I currently use the following equipment :
Camera bodies :-
Canon 1DXmark 2 , Canon 5d mark4, Canon 7d
Canon 600mm f4 , Canon200-400mmF4 , Sigma 150-600mm f5.6
Sigma 70-300mm f3.5 ,Canon 70-200mm
Tokina 10-17 fisheye
Tamron 90 mm f2.8 macro
I use different camera bodies and lenses depending upon the situation and the kind of image I want to capture.
GO PRO HERO9
BEST WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY KIT IN THE MARKET TODAY
AS: There are new cameras from Sony and mirrorless cameras that have changed the way photographers are shooting. Investing and getting new gear is a good thought, but acquiring skill and perception is even better. New technology keeps coming as time passes by, but as a photographer, I really like the current set of gear I own and aim to master my equipment to the fullest.
ARE MIRRORLESS CAMERAS A MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHY WORLD?
AS: Of course, mirrorless cameras have changed the game for wildlife photographers, however many of these camera bodies are compact and not as sturdy as our old DSLRs
I've seen a lot of mirrorless cameras die and fail on rough use on field days. Like I always say, no matter what equipment you shoot or own, you must learn how to use it to its maximum capability and take good care of your camera gear, there's nothing such as a "bad camera". All that is just a myth, its more to do with whos shooting rather than what it's being shot with.