Bird’s Eye View (Aditya Soman, Maharashtra)

Asian Paradise Flycatcher
Asian Paradise Flycatcher

Aditya is a hobbyist photographer based in Mumbai. Over the last few years, he has traveled across India and captured some really magnificent shots. His photography journey started when as a kid he wanted to try his Father’s SLR, however, his father promised to let him use it only after he had learnt on a point and shoot film camera. Since then, Aditya has been intensely passionate about photography. His work with birds is simply spectacular, and although he says he is lucky to have captured some rare species, we think it is his dedication, approach and passion that got him these shots. Besides photography, Aditya is equally passionate about gardening, biking, philately, numismatics, aquarium keeping. We had a small chat with him and he was kind enough to share some beautiful tips for aspiring nature photographers. 

Describe your photography style: When it comes to photography, I love capturing Nature: the mountains, the sea, the sun, the moon, wildlife, insects, flowers, everything that nature has to offer. My idea is to capture moments the way they are in order to reflect their true essence and wonder.  To be honest, photography is a never ending process: you see something, you try to capture it, you learn, and then a while later, you see something more and consequently discover something more.  As such, it is an evolving world in itself. I love to capture these moments irrespective of the equipment that I have. As long as I am able to capture things the way I see them, mobile phones to P&S to DSLRs, anything and everything works for me.

You have always been into birding. Any species for which you have a soft corner:  Sparrows are my favorite. They are small and really cute. Most of us have grown up seeing them and a few of us, the lucky ones, might have even witnessed their nesting. Besides sparrows, I love black kites. Like all of us, I also have these childhood memories of kites soaring high above and circling endlessly in the blue sky. I would also like to talk about the Asian Paradise Flycatcher. I first saw the bird in Konkan and ever since, its image has been etched in my mind. The elegant tail movement as they fly is breathtaking. Its funny how when I saw one for the first time, I did not know what it was called, nor did I know how to use a camera. I can now say that I have been fortunate enough to capture one.

Birds by the Water Bath
Birds by the Water Bath
Tickell's Blue-Flycatcher
Tickell’s Blue-Flycatcher

Tips for aspiring photographers: The most important thing that I would like to tell fellow photographers is that don’t lose your uniqueness in pursuit of good photographs and do not rush into things. Patience and planning will go a long way. Always try and give a thought to what you are trying to capture and portray.

In case of wildlife photography learn to use back button focus (for DSLR users) as well as continuous focusing. For people interested in birds, here is something that might be useful: approach your subject slowly. There is a high chance that the bird has already noticed your presence. So don’t take the shortest straight path and instead go in zigzag manner. Avoid eye contact as in the wild, eye contact is considered a threat. Always watch your step because you might step on some dry twigs and the sound will be enough to scare the subject. The best way is to approach and halt and then repeat. This way, the bird notices you and when you give it enough time before moving again, it no longer considers you as a threat.

Quotes that you stand by: “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” ―  Albert Einstein

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Few places that have moved you: The entire Konkan belt, Andaman and Nicobar islands and Ladakh.

Tailorbird
Tailorbird

Some of Aditya’s beautiful shots follows. Just hit next on the slider. 🙂 Besides you can find more of his work on Instagram @adityasoman

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