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.