Wildlife Photographer Hardik Shalat Waited Eight Hours To Capture A Dreamy Shot Of A Hulking Lion Drinking From A Water Hole.
Taken in Gir National Park, Gujarat, India, a lion bends its head to drink water and stares at the camera in the scorching heat of the forest. Hardik Shalat, the photographer of this work, says that lions generally like to stay in camouflage. So getting a chance to photograph their drinking water in an open area is an exceptional and rare opportunity.
The Indian photographer captured this magnificent lion with a 500mm lens and his Canon 7D Mark II camera.
We waited in the woods on the opposite side of the water hole for about eight hours, making sure we were camouflaged. We needed not to be easily seen so that the lion could come and drink water in the scorching summer heat in the forest, which was over 46 degrees Celsius. The image captured was definitely worth the wait.
The patient Indian photographer explains:
The main challenge I face when working on big cats is their large size; They are very elusive and camouflage well with their natural colors. We can see the big cats in the forest but photographing them is challenging; lions never pose in their natural habitat. Therefore, we must wait hours and sometimes even days for their heads to turn towards the camera.
Waiting for eight hours to photograph a lion drinking water was the Indian artist’s dream photo that was worth the wait in the end.
Raised in the state of Gujarat in the vast expanses of grasslands and dense forests, Shalat has trained his lens to photograph an array of extraordinary creatures. Tigers, leopards, and foxes have all been caught on his radar.
I have visited different forests, national parks, sanctuaries, and various wildlife photography locations. I see these places regularly.
The young photographer is passionate about biodiversity and hopes his images will spread awareness about India’s stunning wildlife. Shalat adds:
I work to protect endangered and unique life to create the ideal balance for growth on Earth.
More works of this Indian artist can be seen on Hardik Shalat’s Instagram page.
We hope you enjoyed watching this episode of Shutter. What do you think about Hardik’s picture? Did you enjoy his photos of Indian wildlife?