Women birders flock to host their first wildlife photography exhibition in Pune
The exhibition Elakshi 2020 will showcase work of 50 city-based wildlife/nature photographers from the age group of 7 and 75
It is the passion for birds, wildlife and conservation that binds these women who come from different professions and different age groups.
Their love for feathered creatures has translated into the first-of-its-kind Pune Ladies Birders group (#PLB or #puneladiesbirders) which began as a WhatsApp group initiated by Preeti Sonje, an avid bird-watcher and an entrepreneur, to hold their first wildlife and nature photography exhibition from March 8 to March 10. The exhibition also marks the International Women’s Day on March 8. The social group started in March 2019 has over 100 members.
Calling it Elakshi 2020, the exhibition will showcase work of 50 city-based wildlife/nature photographers from the age group of 7 and 75.
“Elakshi means one with divine eye and when you look at this motley group of women, they all have a passion to photograph nature in total. Hence, the idea to bring them together on a single platform, which introduces them to new friends, companions for going for birdwatching together and planning trips,” said Sonje.
There are four categories in the exhibition which will highlight photographs clicked of birds, mammals, landscapes and macro (close-up photography of small subjects, including living organisms like insects, bugs and flowers).
The idea came to Sonje when she and her fellow birder Gayatri Pimple, an entrepreneur, were selected as part of the 20 women photographers from India for the Pink Bird festival organised by the Uttarkhand forest department in 2018. It was by invitation only where even amateurs were given a chance to showcase their photographs. Hence, taking a cue from this experience two years ago, they planned the photography exhibition.
“This is the first time that we have organised a women’s nature and wildlife photography exhibition, which will be inaugurated by wildlife photographer Jainy Maria Kuriakose who is an inspiration to many of us. The photographs on display are from across the world, and clicked on point and shoot cameras, amateurs as well as by professionals, but all are brought together on a single platform because of their passion for birds, wildlife, and nature conservation,” said Pimple, who has been a birder for eight years.
During the photography exhibition, the Pune Ladies Birders have also organised knowledge sessions on birding and bird photography, role of women in wildlife conservation and photography, Indian festivals, nature conservation and wildlife crimes, and wetland birds and their identification.
Capturing wildlife behind lens
Elakshi women’s wildlife photography exhibition
Date: March 8-10, 2020
Time: 10.30 am to 8.30 pm
Venue: Raja Ravi Varma Art Gallery, Pune
My journey in birding and bird photography by Jainy Maria Kuriakose (March 8, 3 pm-4 pm)
Role of women in wildlife conservation and photography (March 9, 5 pm -6 pm)
Indian festivals, nature conservation and wildlife crimes (March 10, 3.45 pm-4.45 pm)
Wetland birds and their identification (March 10, 5pm-6 pm)
(Exhibition and sessions are open for all)