We are thrilled to share our latest interview with a photographer series with you. Supreet Sahoo takes center stage who specializes in tropical birds in the Rainforests of South America with well planned photos strongly composed with great color. Without further ado we present the next installment of our interview with a photographer series featuring Supreet Sahoo!
Cotton Carrier: Where do you call home?
Supreet Sahoo: Technically Austin, but I spend most of my time in the rainforests of Costa Rica, Colombia, Brazil & Ecuador to name a few.
CC: How long have you taken photographs for unprofessionally and professionally?
SS: All my life really, starting with my dad’s 35mm Yashica back in the 80s to fully professional Canon equipment now. My passion for photography started back in India and now continues in the rainforests of Latin America.
CC: How would you define your style as a photographer?
SS: I would term it as exploratory. I have always enjoyed being in the wild and spending time with wildlife in their natural habitat. While I take a lot of profile shots of birds mostly for social networking my favorite images are the ones of wildlife especially birds in their habitat. Spending all the time in the rainforests observing bird behaviors, recording, and photographing them is a priceless experience.
CC: Have you ever gone to photography school?
SS: No, I am completely self-taught. I have had the pleasure of learning from experienced photographers on and off the field. Digital photography is ever-changing and dynamic and there is always something new to learn! Thanks to informative resources like YouTube, the information is available at the click of a button.
CC: Where is your favorite place or thing to shoot?
SS: My favorite place to shoot is the Amazon river that passes through several countries in South America, but the best ones are in Ecuador and Brazil. Although, with the help of local guides, we have a general idea of what birds/animals we would find in a specific region, but when you are in the Amazon it is hard to predict anything. It is this unpredictable nature of the place that draws me.
CC: What Camera(s) / Lenses do you use?
SS: I’ve been a Canon guy all my life. My go-to camera gear is my trusty Canon 1dx mark ii and the 2nd generation 600mm F4. I also use a backup Canon 5D Mark iv, a 70-200mm Tamron lens, 100 mm Macro lens.
CC: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to get “The Shot”?
SS: There have been many instances where I had to tread forests, climb mountains and lean on cliffs to get that target shot, that normal people would consider crazy. One such instance would be the Rufous Potoo shot from the dense rainforest of Ecuadorian Amazon. My guide informed me of a spot deep into the forest, where his dad has seen a solo Rufous Potoo perched a few times, far from where we were. The sighting was not confirmed, and the bird behaviors are very unpredictable, but I thought of taking a chance because that was one of my lifer birds. We travelled 2 hours by boat, hiked into treacherous rainforest trail, crossed temporary log bridges for over 1 hour each side, bruised and tired to finally see this beautiful Potoo sitting deep within a forest cover. It was pin drop silence and I was able to observe, photograph and document this rare and beautiful bird on that memorable day.
CC: Who has inspired you as a photographer?
SS: Growing up not too far from national parks in India was the start of my journey. Spending time in the forests was inspiration enough when my dad introduced me to the world of photography, but the real dream started when I bought my first digital camera in 2003. In
India Dr. Salim Ali, a pioneer in birding and I follow Mr. Tim Laman very closely and adore his work.
CC: What advice would you tell an aspiring photographer?
SS: Be original, work hard, and spend time learning about your subject than worrying about the latest camera in the market. spend as much time as you can to record behavior. A lot of research needs to go into learning birds/wildlife of the region you want to visit and working with locals helps.
CC: Can you share a photographic resource you personally use?
SS: I personally learn a lot of photography technique via YouTube, Tutorials by well-known wildlife photographers and read a lot of books on birds and their behavior from the subcontinents I wish to visit.
CC: How has photography shaped your day to day?
SS: Immensely I would say! I frame things in my mind all the time, the way I perceive things is more artistic and balanced. Photography, especially bird photography requires a lot of patience and persistence and that has helped me instill those values in my day to day life as well.
CC: Where has photography taken you, and made you experience?
SS: I have travelled over 9 countries across Asia, North America and Latin America for my wildlife photography and the list keep growing. Experiencing the varied fauna, forests, terrains, and stunning places you’d never imagine along with the bonus of experiencing the closeness to nature and local flavor is the highlight of my love of wildlife photography passion.
CC: Any exciting photographic events in coming up you’d like to share?
SS: Well apart from my tours that are on hold due to the pandemic, I am looking forward to spending a month in Colombia and then looking for some of the rarest birds found the Brazilian amazon in 2021 and I am extremely excited about it.
CC: Anything else you’d like to add?
SS: I would like to add that Rainforest conservation is the need of the hour and is imperative we save and spread awareness about this subject as much as can. Wildlife including birds depend on these forests and it is our responsibility as a citizen of the world to make sure we document, educate and help local conservation efforts to do out part.