They look like white specks from above, the spot-billed ducks wading in the still waters of Anamalai Tiger Reserve, captured by award-winning photographer K A Dhanu Paran. It is featured in a calendar that celebrates wildlife from an aerial perspective. Brought out by Pollachi Papyrus, a travel portal that documents the rich bio-cultural diversity of Pollachi, Anamalais and the Nilgiris, and curates travel experiences, the calendar features 12 images shot mostly by Dhanu Paran at Mudumalai Tiger Reserve and Anamalai Tiger Reserve.
Says Pravin Shanmuganandam, founder of Pollachi Papyrus, “The Natural world, from every angle, is alluring. From above, we are treated to a bird’s eye view of our world. Scenes that humans cannot see, but when captured in a camera, convey an idea or evoke an emotion in profound ways. We can see how shapes, colours, and contours of landscapes form intriguing patterns. And, if we look closer, we can see how the creatures that inhabit these spaces reshape our understanding of the landscape, habitat and their environment.”
Showcasing natural habitat
“All the photographs shot using a drone camera over a period of two years from an aerial perspective capture wildlife in its natural habitat,” explains Dhanu Paran. He says every image took him many hours of meticulous planning. He particularly picks the one featuring a pair of Nilgiri Tahr staring at the sky. “The Nilgiri Tahr’s is my favourite image. I shot this in October last year immediately after the rains. We keep flying the drone for a few minutes to ensure that the animal is used to the sound. Once they settled down, we moved further to click an image without any disturbance. This pair grazing on a rain-washed cliff looked up and stood still for a few minutes and I got my perfect shot.”
Along with Dhanu Paran’s images shot during his assignments with the Tamil Nadu Forest Department, there is also an arresting image of pink flamingoes in flight captured by another photographer Dhneesh Annamalai. The aerial images of tigers, leopard, and elephants showcases the vast green expanse of the reserves and the thriving bio-diversity. One of the images is that of the critically endangered white-rumped vulture, clicked at Thengumarhada jungles in the foothills of the Nilgiris. There is also an aerial shot of Asian spotbills in flight alongside a mugger crocodile that rests on the muddy soil next to the water body. Says Dhanu Paran, “The advantage of aerial photography is that we can show wild animals along with birds in their natural habitat.”
Adds Pravin, “We have chosen a selection of pictures to showcase the captivating views of our protected forests, and the creatures that inhabit them.“
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