There are so many nature lovers in Belgaum and Belgaum and its surroundings have numerous flora and fauna. Birds are very common and Ram Mallya is one amongst the many nature lovers of Belgaum who has captured many images of various kinds of birds in and around Belgaum.
Ram has captured all these images from Kuwad, Khanapur, Rakaskop, Uchgaon, Bhootramati and its surroundings. Ram started to click photos from 2006.
ASIAN KOEL, GREY WAGTAIL, ASHY PRINIA, BEE EATER, LONG TAILED SHRIKE, COPPERSMITH BARBET, COPPERSMITH BARBET, YELLOW WATTLED LAPWING, BRAHMINY KITE, ORIENTAL MAGPIE ROBIN these names of birds are fascinating and the most fascinating part of all the is so many of them are found around our city.
See the photos taken by Ram here. [http://www.indianaturewatch.net/view_cat.php?tag=RAM%20MALLYA]
Some excerpts of the interview with Ram:
1) How is that you started to take pictures of birds?
I have always been a nature lover since childhood and had a passion for photography.
First camera I got my hands on was the hot shot which was gifted to me by my sister when I was 12. Since then I have been taking landscape, scenes.
Earlier it was an expensive hobby as we did not have any digital cameras in the year 90 to 2000. So every click counts. So I had to wait for long to get my hands on a digital SLR.
Finally in the year 2005 I got a brand new Canon 350 d Digital SLR. IN 2005 I got an opportunity to join some professional photographers for a trip to Leh-Ladakh through a photography magazine. After this trip I started getting the hang of an SLR and started thinking more seriously about photography.
But to photograph birds I needed an expensive zoom lens to capture birds more closely so finally got a Canon 100-400 MM IS USM Lens in the year 2006 and later started photographing birds.
I was also inspired by Mr. Niranjan Sant of Belgaum who is a well known bird /wildlife photographer in India. He is a good friend of mine and I always take his advice while choosing my equipment. You can view his captures here.
2) Have you taken any training in the same?
I haven’t taken any training for photography. I have learnt photography with experience only.
I always use to fiddle with my uncle’s Canon mark 2 a pretty old camera (Now it must be a collector’s item).
3) Photographing birds are different but also knowing the birds is very difficult. So how did you study about birds?
Earlier when I just started photographing birds I never knew the names of birds other than sparrows and crows. So I used to mail all my bird pictures to a friend of mine, he used to identify the birds for me.
Later I found a very good book on birds “Birds of the Indian subcontinent” By Richard Grimmett. It has covered more than 1300 species found in the Indian subcontinent. Now I always carry and refer this book for birds.
4) You have a business right, tell us more about it.
We have a family owned business. It is a cast iron foundry and machine shop “The Allied Founders Pvt Ltd “established in 1968. My father, Mr. Ramanand .R. Mallya is the chairman and the managing director of the company.
It is one of the oldest foundries in Belgaum. We manufacture all types of industrial cast iron and ductile iron machined components. For further details visit www.alliedfoundersindia.com
5) When do you find time for all this as it requires a lot of patience and time?
I and my wife Sheetal make it a point to leave early morning by 6 am every Sunday or on public holiday for photography along with my friends if they are willing to come along. So we never miss an opportunity for bird photography. Sometimes we are out photographing birds all day.
6) How is that your love for birds come up?
I started knowing the birds only after getting close to them with photography. As and when we started spending more and more time looking for different birds in and around Belgaum you will automatically fall in love with birds.
7) Do you remember the first bird you captured in your camera?
Yes I do, I had captured a common stone chat in Nanawadi when I bought my zoom lens.
8) Narrate any memorable incident while taking photos?
According to me every trip to the woods is memorable. Every time we find something new. If we are lucky we get a lot of verity of birds and sometimes just crows sparrows. Once I had been to Tillari with my friend Gautam we found more than 10 verities of birds at one place some of them were nesting. But when we visited the same place after a month we found almost nothing.
9) Does your family support you in this adventure?
As I already mentioned I go for photography along with my wife Sheetal , She also plays a important role in my bird photography by sighting birds with her binoculars and identifying birds.
She developed this hobby of bird watching when she started getting along with me for the bird photography. Sometimes I take my niece and nephew along and even they have developed interest in bird watching.
10) You also are crazy about Karting?
Yes as a mechanical engineer I have had love for automobile since child hood. I used to discuss technical stuff about a car with my father as he had a lot of knowledge as he worked for FIAT in early sixties in Mumbai before he shifted to Belgaum to start his business. After college when I joined business in 1998, I thought of building a kart and finished building in almost 2 years as I had to find spare time in our work schedule.
11) Also heard that you have created a cart by yourself, tell us something more about it.
Engine: Yamaha RX 135
Tyres: Imported Tubeless
Brakes: Hydraulic disc brakes ( Maruti 800)
Transmission: 4 speed (same as Yamaha)
Drive: Chain drive at the rear
Steering mech: Rack and pinion
Max speed: 90Kmph
12) Any tips for upcoming bird lovers?
Please follow these birding ethics
♫ Support the protection of important bird habitats.
♫ Avoid stressing birds or exposing them to danger, exercise restraint and caution during observation, photography, sound recording, or filming.
♫ Avoid chasing, repeatedly flushing, excessive use of squeakers and “phishing”.
♫ Keep well away from nests and nesting colonies, roosts, display areas, and important feeding sites to avoid disturbance and exposure to predators.
♫ Do not photograph nesting birds as this encourages poor ethics and draws attention of predators to nests.
♫ Use artificial light sparingly for filming or photography, especially for close-ups.
13) What do you think about this site?
It is a very good site for all Belgaumites. As we can get instant news regarding Belgaum whenever required.
Thanks to Uday for his thoughts on building this site.