Abhishek Pagnis - Behind and Beyond the Lens
“Myself Abhishek Pagnis, I am an amateur wildlife photographer and pursue it as a hobby. But, it wasn’t until June of 2019 when this part time hobby of mine became a forever passion. While on a vacation with my family, I went to the Tadoba Andhari National Park. During the safari ride, we had to stop our vehicle all of a sudden. We heard the calls of the monkeys and dears who usually send an alert signal to other animals whenever a predator like a lion or a tiger is nearby. And as anyone in my shoes would do, I had my camera ready!
However, we did not expect to see the black panther. He (the leopard) is really shy compared to ones (the black panther-leopard couple) in the Kabini Reserve, Karnataka. I was astounded to capture the cat in its glory!
What made this event even more memorable for me was the fact that it was only 20 feet away from me and stayed there for almost half an hour. Unlike the classic beliefs, when I looked at that leopard, I wasn’t scared at all. Infact I was thrilled and completely overjoyed to catch that view. He is a rare sight and really bewitching. I remember, we had waited for around 2.5 hours in that area just to spot him and I am glad we did. The wait was worth it.
On my way back, I asked myself ‘should I pursue wildlife photography as a career or let it stay as a hobby?’ And while I was still dicey about the decision, the picture went viral. To top that, it was even published as an article in Indian Express.
Life since that picture has been amazing. I met quite a few fellow wildlife photographers who knew me as ‘that lucky guy who clicked the Black panther’. With all the overwhelming responses I often get asked, if I’ll pursue wildlife photography full time. Well, I haven’t arrived at a decision yet, Photography is still a hobby but definitely a future career option. For now my thoughts on it are a bit hazy. But, no matter how muddled my thoughts are; no matter how often or rarely I pick up the camera; one thing’s always gonna stay intact – the wildlife I capture.”