Rathika Ramasamy Wildlife Photographer

Rathika Ramasamy (Wildlife Photographer)- Age, Wiki, Biography

Rathika Ramasamy is arguably one of the Indian foremost Wildlife photographers with 20 years of experience in photography. She is passionate about birds and specialist in bird photography and documents birds and animals through her photographs using a blend of technical excellence and a captivating story. She received many accolades for her photographs and was called the “First Indian woman to strike an international reputation as a wildlife photographer”. Loves to shoot Indian forests, as she believes India has one of the best Fauna & Flora.  She has travelled to most of the National parks in India and national parks in Africa to document indigenous species and wildlife.

Rathika Ramasamy HD Images
Rathika Ramasamy HD Images

Rathika Ramasamy Career :

Rathika was born in the village Venkatachalapuam near Theni, a town in southern India. She has a degree in computer engineering and an MBA and worked as a software engineer for several years before becoming a full-time photographer. After her marriage, she lived in New Delhi. Now she is based in Chennai and operates as a freelancer photographer.

Her first click was shooting pictures of trees and flowers through her uncle’s (an amateur photographer) camera.  In 2003 she visited the Keoladeo National Park in Bharatpur and took pictures of birds. She began visiting the Okhla Bird Sanctuary regularly, studying the behaviour of various types of birds. Thereafter, she took to wildlife photography as her professional interest and visited many national parks in India, Kenya, and Tanzania. She is a Nikon Professional Member (NPS). Founder of the RR foundation for Wildlife Conservation (RRFWC). She has travelled across most of India’s national parks and wildlife sanctuaries and has also been to some wildlife reserves in Africa. For her, wildlife photography is not only a passion but is also a powerful medium to connect and conserve nature.

She clicks every picture with the motto:

“Every time I press the shutter, it’s one step closer to Mother Nature”. – by Rathika Ramasamy

Rathika Ramasamy - Wildlife Photographer
Rathika Ramasamy – Wildlife Photographer

Achievements :

Rathika’s wildlife photography published at the “Clean Ganga Campaign” held on September 2005 at the India International Center, New Delhi. In 2007, her bird photographs were featured in Jawaharlal Nehru University’s annual calendar. In 2008, the “Birds of India” chose her as one of the Top 20 best photographers in India. She was one of the founders of the Photograph Art Association of India PAAI in 2005. In 2009 her famous Sarus Crane dance image was selected for cover image of “Helm Dictionary of Scientific birdnames”.

In 2015 Rathika has been conferred the inspiring Icon Award from Sathyabama University, Chennai. She has been conferred the “International Camera Fair” ICF award for her outstanding performance and achievements in wildlife photography. In 2018 she has been awarded the “Inidhu Environment” Award. In 2020 she received the Women of wonder – Realistic Award. She received many more accolades and recognition for her outstanding performance in wildlife photography.

Rathika Ramasamy Images Download
Rathika Ramasamy Images Download

Rathika Ramasamy’s Interview :

How did you foray into this creative field? You are often credited as the first women wildlife photographer from India.

Rathika Ramasamy: My interest in photography started as a hobby in school. Since then, it has developed into a passion. My father gave me a film camera when I was in high school. I would shoot everything — my home garden, flowers, trees, and even the candy my parents bought! My camera was my constant companion whenever I would travel. I was interested in all kinds of photography but the experience of being outdoors in nature led me to specialise in this genre, particularly bird photography. It’s challenging, captivating, and interesting to learn also.

What were some challenges you faced while getting into this field, particularly as a woman?

Rathika Ramasamy: Fortunately, animals are not gender biased. Our forests are safe, so photographing the forests is a smooth ride. But, of course, if you are mentally and physically strong, there won’t be any problems. [One challenge is that] it’s not a nine-to-five job. It is also challenging to adapt to places where only basic amenities are available. Extreme weather conditions can be tough, too. There’s a lot of equipment that you need to carry for long hours. Initially, it was very tough to be in the field full day. Once you get used to it, it’s fine. Being a homebody, being away from home and travelling a lot is also difficult. It’s all a part of the profession. When people get to see your portfolio of work, and if you’re good, no one sees you as a ‘woman’ or ‘man.’

Wildlife photography can be a lonely profession that requires hours of patience. How do you cope with this mentally?

Rathika Ramasamy: The basic pre-requisite for wildlife photography should be a passion for nature. Sometimes, you won’t meet anyone in the forest for hours. During these hours, one should enjoy the surroundings otherwise it will be very tough. I like nature and I feel blessed to be in the forest. Enjoyed getting chances to watch animals and be in close quarters with them. I see photography as a medium to connect with Mother Nature. For me, it’s like meditation. I feel calm and focused. Being a nature-loving person, I don’t see it as a problem. Wildlife photography is not meant for someone who cannot be away from the hustle-bustle of city life. I can manage even 30 days!

Tell us about some of your most challenging shoots in the wild. Where and how was it shot? 

Rathika Ramasamy: Most bird photography requires a lot of walking. Choosing one challenging shoot is tough. One that comes to mind is from a few years ago when I was shooting in Sikkim. I think we were 7,000-8,000 feet above sea level, trying to capture the Himalayan Monal. On the first day, we were 5,000 feet above ground level. After that, the oxygen levels also dropped. I was carrying my 800-metre lens as well. We finally reached only on the fourth or fifth day! The place didn’t have a proper hotel either. We weren’t sure whether the homestay would have food or not, let alone space to take a proper shower! It was very draining.

Rathika -Wildlife Photographer
Rathika -Wildlife Photographer

Books / Works Published :

Rathika Ramasamy has published many books and calendars with her images some of them are given below.

  • Published “Birds of JNU” Jawaharlal Nehru University calendar 2007.
  • National Geographic Traveller India, August 2012.
  • WWF wall calendar, the Year 2012.
  • Published her own book named ” The Best of Wildlife Moments” in 2014.
  • The tiger trail, Travel and flavours magazine (April 2014).
  • Moments from the wild -The best of Indian Wildlife Photography – Published by Better Photography.
Rathika Ramasamy - The best of wildlife moments
Rathika Ramasamy – The best of wildlife moments

Workshops :

Rathika Ramasamy regularly conducts wildlife photography workshops and addressed many universities and colleges. Some of the inspiring workshops are mentioned below.

  • “The art of bird photography talk” Photographic Society of Madar, Chennai April 2010.
  • “Wildlife conservation through Photography” talk- “Birds of Orissa”,Bhubaneswar, Feb 2012.
  • Wildlife Photography Workshop, Shilong International photo festival.
Rathika Ramasamy- Biography
Rathika Ramasamy- Biography

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Wildlife HD Images – Rathika Ramasamy

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