Friday Review » Art

Updated: October 7, 2013 08:16 IST

Braving jumbo to win award

Radhakrishnan Kuttoor
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IN CHARGING MOOD: The photograph taken by Benny Ajantha that won the first prize in this
year’s wildlife photography contest of the Kerala Forests and Wildlife Department.
IN CHARGING MOOD: The photograph taken by Benny Ajantha that won the first prize in this year’s wildlife photography contest of the Kerala Forests and Wildlife Department.

Shooting wildlife is a thrilling but risky job, says Benny Ajantha of Pathanamthitta, who bagged the first prize in the wildlife photography contest conducted by the Kerala Forest and Wildlife Department this year.

This time, the “sharpshooter” captured a lone female wild elephant charging at him in the Muthanga forests of Wayanad to win the contest held in connection with the Wildlife Week celebrations.

Benny told The Hindu in Pathanamthitta that the elephant was in a violent mood when he, accompanied by a forest guard, came face to face with it.

Though shaken for a moment, he aimed his camera, fitted with a 100-400 mm lens, at the animal. Five action frames went off in a burst, before the two took to their heels.

It was one of those frames that has now brought the first prize to Vilavinal house of Benny near Catholicate College in Pathanamthitta.

He had won the second prize in the contest last year. A perfect shot of a sunbird in the Konni forests, about to drink nectar from a bunch of flowers in the middle of a “threat” from a humming hornet, won him the second prize.


This photographer, who runs a photo studio in Pathanamthitta town, has kept as his masterpieces rare stills of a ferocious leopard that had strayed into a human habitation at Angamoozhy attacking a man and a fierce fight between two tigers in the Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary.

Photography awards instituted by the Kerala State Biodiversity Board and the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment and a photography contest held as part of the 25th Science Congress were the other major achievements of this 43-year-old lensman.

Being in the field of wildlife photography for the past eight years, Benny has a treasure of wildlife albums with rare stills of elephants, including one he calls a pygmy elephant (Kallana), different types of eagles and other birds, monkeys and reptiles.

Beautiful pic, and so natural. Hopefully youngsters of Kerala, who think photography is clicking chained wild animal forced to hold his head high, could learn something from Benny's wildlife pics.

from:  a jacob
Posted on: Oct 7, 2013 at 11:56 IST

Binny's Dare Devil Wild Life Photography,needs wider publicity, like
publishing in National Geographic Magazine or getting recommended for
National Award etc..Kudos to Binny for his love for life risking,
adventure spirit, in "Shooting"!ferocious, violent, wild animals by
clicking his camera, encountering, in close quarters..

from:  V.V.Subramanian
Posted on: Oct 7, 2013 at 09:32 IST

Our salutations to the brave photographer in staying some seconds longer
to get this extra ordinary shot of the female elephant.Has the Forest
department commended him or given a special grant to his studio in
Pathannamthitta in Kerala?

from:  subbanarasu Divakaran
Posted on: Oct 7, 2013 at 03:13 IST
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