Candid With Pixean - Deepak Shankar
Wildlife Photography
Pixean
December 6, 2019

We have been writing about Wildlife photography at Pixean for this week.

While browsing through a lot of profiles we stumbled upon a gem, who was superb at high action wildlife photography. His pictures left us speechless and we thought of interviewing him for our readers.

He is none other than Deepak Shankar. Let’s know more about this snapper who freezes a cheetah in midair. We would also like to tell our readers that Deepak Shankar was the runner up at 'The greatest Maasai Mara - Photographer of the Year 2019' event. 

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Deepak was born in Mysore and has lived most of his life in Bangalore.

His primary job is at Print360 Bangalore where he is the Managing Director.

He has done his MBA from ICFAI Mumbai and later he founded print360 in 2011.

 

Here is what he has to say when we asked him a few questions.

1. Deepak, How & when did you realize that Wildlife photography excites you? 

I first picked up an SLR in 2009, I had done a lot of people shoots but it didn't challenge my skillset, on a safari at SriLanka in 2015 I realized wildlife was one of the most challenging forms of photography. Ever since I have been a regular to the wild.

 

2. Were you self taught or did you get any formal education in photography? 

I am a self-taught student of my own trial and errors. It's thru errors and a lot of persistence that I have mastered this skill.

 

3. When asked to Deepak as to what cameras does he use most of the time? 

It really depends on what I'm shooting. If I go birding I would like an 800mm lens with a full-frame.

To Africa, I carry 2-3 bodies and a varied set of lenses. My current favorite in the bag kit is the Sony A9 with a 200-600 lens.

 

4. Tell us about one of your favorite lens and why? Which is your dream lens to shoot on? 

The Canon 400 F2.8 is a brilliant lens to do wildlife, but really we are so spoilt by companies these days that the options are too much. In some cases, I wouldn't even have got my hand on the lens.

 

5. What Inspires Deepak to Photograph? 

I want every frame to narrate a story, powerful and with the message of life.

 

6. How would you describe your photography style?

I am more of a portrait, close up & action shot photographer right now, but I am looking at picking up some landscape narratives in my upcoming tours. 

7. Deepak, tell us about your favorite accessories / Book? 

Most often I try to pick a local birding and wildlife book from the place I'm visiting. During the safari, most of the time is spent looking for angles and better compositions.

 

8. What challenges do you face while capturing wildlife photography?

The biggest problem is the vehicles in the backdrop & some annoying tourists who create a scene on spotting a Cat.

Most people who do safaris have no respect to either wildlife or the animal and their behavior disturbs the environment and animal usually leaves the scene.

 

9. Which photo are you currently proud of?

I hold pride in all my photographs, I really can't pick on one picture. 

 

10. What are your favorite subjects and locations to shoot?

Right now I'm doing a lot of Big Cats. Maasai Mara is a superb place to shoot. I do enjoy doing birding at Lake Naivasha. In India Kabini, Bhadra and Pench tiger reserve are favorite places to go.

 

 

11. What is your biggest inspiration? Who do you look up to in the industry? 

There are so many people out there doing a fantastic job. Kalyan Varma does some outstanding work in the field. I love the stories Shaaz Jung comes up with.



12. When we asked Deepak "THINGS I WISH I KNEW" When he had started photography.

I should have known I was getting into a very expensive hobby. The intent to do more and better work always comes at a cost.

 

13. Top tips for aspiring wildlife photographers. Would you like to share any experience or warnings with us for budding young photographers?

Most people and new kids on the block want to know which camera's I use. My suggestion for someone new to photography would be to first pick a basic camera and see if you can master it, renting is also an option. Creating a career in photography is a long, slow and extremely competitive battle. One must have the patience and outlook to create unique stories to get ahead in this race. 

 

Wildlife Photography
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