About Me

Wildlife and Nature Photos from India



Amit RayI was born in a middle-class Bengali family in Kolkata in 1945. That was before independence. India was vastly different than what it is today. My city – Kolkata – has changed almost beyond recognition between then and now.

My childhood and growing-up was not much different from that of the boys of my age. Life was simple – almost to the point of being spartan. At the age of 6 years I was sent to a girls’ school, where boys were admitted in the kindergarten. Being brought up in a large joint family had its advantages as well as disadvantages. You never felt lonely or left-out. There was no question of feeling insecure. You were literally swamped by aunts, uncles and cousins. The joint family system taught me to share and be fair to others. On the other hand, as a young boy in a joint family, I had practically no freedom. All my actions were closely monitored and I was taken to task for any breach of discipline.

Having finished kindergarten, I was sent to high school where I got some of the best teachers I ever had. Afterwards, four years of college life which ended with a degree in commerce.

During all these years I had very little to do with photography apart from taking a few snaps during holidays with a Kodak Brownie Box camera belonging to my father. In so far as I was concerned my father was not extravagant at all, but for some unknown reason, he was quite liberal in buying toys for me. A ‘Meccano’ set and a ‘Bayco’ building set were my favourite toys. Probably that’s what started my interest in mechanical, electrical and electronic tools and gadgets. This interest had stayed with me till today. Camera, especially a SLR camera was one such gadget I was particularly interested in. But I had no means of getting hold of one until I started my working life in 1965. Ten years and three jobs later I finally had enough money to buy an used Konika SLR with a 300mm telephoto lens and off I went shooting mostly with black and white films. Later on I bought a film developing tank and started processing my films. Finally I bought an enlarger, converted a tiny store-room into a darkroom and started making prints myself. Later on I changed over to Nikon.

Routine day-to-day office work never interested me. I started working as a part-time pro while working at the British Council in Kolkata. I realised very soon that either I will have to quit my job or forget about photography as a profession and carry on with my job. With the help and encouragement from my wife I eventually gave up my job and took up photography as a full time profession.

All the while I had a penchant for the great outdoors and the wilderness. My love for wildlife and passion for photography took me around to the national parks and and other forests in pursuit of pictures of animals and birds.

Today I am a semi-retired person. I try to devote my time for cause of preservation of nature and environment. This website is my humble way of showing the beauty of nature and why we should do our best to preserve what is left of it.

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