Art lovers and photography connoisseurs are in for a treat this month. Nistar PS, a photographer from India, will be showcasing his mesmerising wildlife photography at an exhibition at the British Club, Adliya. He tells Farrah Saville about his journey as a photographer.
Nistar PS has amassed a following of over 247,000 on the social media platform Instagram thanks to his spell-binding imagery, some of which will be exhibited at the exhibition on April 26. “I will showcase wildlife photography from parts of Africa, India, Papua New Guinea and more. The pictures have been aesthetically-designed to be ideal showpieces in people’s homes,” he explains.
Nistar first got into photography in the late 80s when he was a college student. “I would photograph landscapes and people with a film camera, which is when I realised I had it in me to pursue this hobby,” he reminisces.
“I started wildlife photography in the early 2000s and in 2005 my hobby took a big leap as I bought my first DSLR and lens. I started with bird photography by clicking pictures in the backyard of my hometown in Kerala and by 2010 I had transgressed from just birds to including a variety of mammals,” he adds.
Soon enough, Nistar was travelling across oceans to photograph specific animals around the world. His hobby had grown to be an escape from the stress of corporate life. “I lived in Dubai at the time and so it became my play area. I would explore the flora and fauna in the desert in my customised Jeep till I knew the vast expanse like the back of my hand,” he says.
“In doing so I specialised in capturing desert creatures and various species of owls. I even overcame my crippling fear of snakes as I developed an interest in herping,” he adds.
Over the years, the fauna-rich Masai Mara in Kenya has grown to be a favourite location for Nistar. “I have visited nearly 10 times by now as its wildlife scene is extensive beyond compare to any other place I have visited. In addition, the versatility of Indian forests makes them another favourite, especially when it comes to capturing tigers,” he says with enthusiasm.
The pursuit of the perfect shot has got him in a predicament on occasion with the first instance taking place in Dubai. “I was driving by myself through the dunes, following an owl, when I found myself hanging over a massive dune and nearly had my car flip over. It was extremely hot and I was on my own so the situation was spine-chilling. I had to eventually call my friends to rescue my Jeep from toppling over,” he narrates.
To conclude, he shares an incident which took place in Papua New Guinea while he was exploring the forest with friends and an indigenous guide. “We were trekking uphill in search of the birds of paradise when the tribal people stopped us and threatened to attack us with their axe. At that point, we had only heard of such stories and were terrified,” he says. “Fortunately, our guide communicated with them and it only took a sum of money being paid to turn them from foe to friend as they proceeded to help us find the birds of paradise.”