E Hanumantha Rao

F.W. Champion of the Imperial Forest Service started wild life photography in the beginning of the 20th century, photographing tigers in the jungles of central India. Many legendary Indian photographers carried the legacy forward, E Hanumantha Rao, is one among the foremost. His nephew, A.K. Raju, a Bangalore based photographer, tells Ashish Saraf  about the life, photography and achievements of this jungle-explorer.

Eshwar Hanumantha Rao is one among the most celebrated doyens of wildlife photography across the world. Born in 1930 in an elite business family, Rao was fond of photography from his early childhood. While still a kid, he started shooting objects in light and shadows with a basic camera that he got as a gift. It was in his scouting days that he discovered his ardour for wildlife and that was the time when he came close to nature. Though his father was sceptical about his hobby in photography, he preserved all the pictures that Rao had shot.

Rao was quite obsessed with wildlife and he did not shoot much of other genres. “I started shooting wild animals when I realized that I am not good at pictorial photography” he once said. In fifty years of his photographic career, he travelled across the country nearly seventeen times and shot in thirty sanctuaries and tiger reserves including the Bandipur National Park and Tiger Reserve, Corbett Tiger Reserve, Nagarhole National Park, Nandadevi National Park and Sunderbans National Park and Tiger Reserve, just to name a few. In his long, awe-inspiring career, he shot an enormous variety and rare species of mammals, birds, insects and reptiles. Rao worked with the medium format Hasselblad cameras, the most difficult ones to shoot wildlife.


Tags: photography, wildlife, E Hanumantha Rao, Corbett Tiger Reserve


Jayasankar Oct 17th, 2010 08:30 PM

Having seen and admired his pictures, in late '70s, I could find only this post in the net, i don't even know whether any other collection of his works available!

Purab Feb 12th, 2010 11:39 AM

hey Ashish, I have read ur several articles in Better Photography, but these I dont see it anymore...

Sheela Paul Nov 01st, 2008 02:10 PM

Mr. Rao has been an inspiration for us. We have grown up looking at his pictures. Finding him on internet was a surprise though.

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