Rathika Ramasamy
Exhibit|October 2018

In a time when women were just sitting at home waiting to get married, this young lady became the first engineer to graduate from her village.

That wasn’t an end to trying out new things and taking risks in her life. This avid nature lover, now a veteran in wildlife photography with numerous breathtaking photographs to her credit has made a career by trying new things. In a conversation with Gayathri Menon, the first woman wildlife photographer in India, Rathika Ramasamy takes us through her journey.

ex: You studied to become an engineer, followed by an MBA, then how did photography happen?

I love travelling, photography started with capturing memories wherever I travel since school days. My father gifted me a camera when I was in my 10th standard. I used to click flowers and coconut trees in my garden. I used to click my parents on any special occasion. That’s how it all started.

ex: Can you describe your journey? What drew you to wildlife in specific?

I started photography as a hobby only. I was born in Theni, Southern Tamilnadu near Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, based in Western Ghat Area, basically, I love nature and outdoor. In 2004, I got my first DSLR camera. When the digital camera comes, you want to do more photography as you can see the result instantly.Photography for me was a big leap from what I was doing. I started with travel photography along with jotting down my experiences in the form of a travel blog. That was the way I started following other photographers. Before going pro, I had my share of clicking the monuments of India like Taj Mahal and all. That gave me confidence that my photographs are good and I can become a photographer. I took a break from my job in 2003. On my first visit to Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, I fell in love with birds. That was the first time I saw lively colourful birds, and it really fascinated me. After Bharatpur, I started visiting various other bird centres in Delhi like Keoladeo National Park as I wanted to see more. Usually, people start with big animals like tiger, elephant and then come to birds. Actually, bird photography is considered to be an advanced level is very difficult. But I started as a bird photographer first and then I went to other animals.

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