Capturing the enchanting wildlife of Africa ;

Posted by-Kalki Team

Pooja Chordia, a city based wildlife and travel photographer is all set with an upcoming exhibition, Africa An Awakening, at the Art Houz Gallery. Her works will showcase the amazing landscapes of Africa and its incredible animals.

Chennai: Pooja Chordia loved every bit of the wildlife she got to witness during her recent trip to Africa. She had gone to South Africa and worked extensively with a wildlife conservation organisation there. They not only encouraged her to photograph animals for identification, but also taught her to track animals and identify radio-collared animals. She also visited Kenya and Tanzania. After coming back, she has decided to showcase all the photos of wild animals that she clicked during the trip in an exhibition.

Pooja says, “There were a lot of crazy, memorable experiences from the trip. One of them was while returning to our camp in the evening (it was pitch black around 5.30 pm), and we suddenly heard this sound of an elephant trumpeting on the path ahead of us. A glimpse made us realise that there was a small herd of elephants in the front and by our side with a newborn. Needless to say, elephants are very protective of their babies. So we were advised by our guide to maintain silence. We just hoped that the herd would move into the forest. After another five to 10 minutes, there was no sound around us and we could slowly move forward. We heaved a sigh of relief. I dont have a picture of this incident but its very fresh in my memory.” It is memories like this that encouraged Pooja to showcase her collection of photos from the continent.

Her exhibition will consist of 33 images. Pooja says shooting in Africa was a unique experience as the density of animals found on the continent is unlike anywhere else in the world. “But one needs a lot of patience while pursuing wildlife photography.” Sharing another wonderful memory from her trip, she says, “Tanzanias landscape is very different, they have a lot of grass and not many bushes. We came across a huge pride of lions, about 12-15 of young lions and lionesses. We were watching them as they waited for the elders of their pride to return as they were out fighting for their territory. Then we spotted a huge male sitting in the grass and staring at us. One of the pictures in the exhibition is of this incident.”

After finishing B.Com from Stella Maris college, Pooja studied photography as it was her passion. She went to Paris briefly to study further and then interned with a photographer there. This experience, along with travelling throughout Europe exposed her to methods of photography. After returning to India, she gravitated towards wildlife because of her love for animals. She says, “Nature has always held a special place in my heart. The thrill one gets when you get closer to nature, is something that can change your life. To spot wild animals and to try to understand them by looking into their eyes is an amazing experience. At a time when so much is happening in the world, I want to do my part. And, photography being my passion is a tool Id like to use to make a difference.”

The exhibition will be on from March 2 to 4 at Art Houz Gallery in Alwarpet

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