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Photographer Vishwanatha Suvarna captures some rare sights during lockdown

The camaraderie between an owl and a snake was the subject of photographer Vishwanatha Suvarna’s lenses during this lockdown

This shutterbug has toured the length and breadth of Karnataka to capture a multitude of subjects. Vishwanatha Suvarna, one of Karnataka’s well-known cinema and news photographers, has now turned his lens on the silence of lockdown. “In the last two weeks, when parks have been opened to the public, I wanted to capture birds and reptiles in their natural surroundings,” says Vishwanatha.

The photographer goes on to relate a 50-minute interaction between an owl and a snake at Cubbon Park in Bengaluru. “It was 6 in the morning and I was trying to capture the sunlight through the bushy leaves of the yellow copper pod. I saw an owl flying in. Owls cannot see during the day, and this one was hopping from one tree to another, before settling down on a decayed wooden branch.”

Photographer Vishwanatha Suvarna captures some rare sights during lockdown

It was a difficult shot because of the reflections from the morning dew, says Vishwanatha. “In half an hour, a keelback (common Asiatic, non-venomous water-snake) slithered on to the same branch where the owl was. I couldn’t believe the camaraderie shared by the two. At no point was there a violent response from the owl,” says Vishwanatha with a laugh.

At Vidhana Soudha, Vishwanatha spotted parrots. He started following them around 1 in the afternoon. “I saw two to three parrots enter a huge hole bored into a large tree. They placed an egg at the edge of the hole. The parrots came out and were flying around, now and then checking to see if the egg was safe. Out of the blue, a keelback went into the hole and ate the egg. For the next half an hour, the snake tried to come out of the hole while the parrots waited outside. Finally at 6 pm, once the parrots had flown away, the snake came out.”

He has taken nearly 4,000 photos during lockdown. “I have captured deserted roads, rare flowers and trees and old women helplessly sitting by the road with their families. The bird-and-snake pictures have got the most response.”

Photographer Vishwanatha Suvarna captures some rare sights during lockdown

Vishwanatha, who hails from Mangaluru, worked with many publications and cinema journals. He retired from Prajavani in 2017 after 21 years of service. He released a coffee-table book on the forts of Karnataka, Karunada Kotegala Suvarna Nota in 2019. The pictorial narrative of 500 photos of more than 100 forts bagged the prestigious Karnataka Madhyama Academy Award, and the Best Book Award from Kannada Pustaka Pradhikara.

The perfect angle and view is important for Vishwanatha. “There are people who acknowledge my hard work. Once things return to normal, I plan to share my work at an exhibition and also put up the pictures on my website.”

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 3:55:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/here-is-what-photographer-vishwanatha-suvarnas-lenses-captured-during-this-lockdown/article31778481.ece

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