Walks and talks: What keeps this wildlife photographer from Odisha occupied during the pandemic

Barun Rajkisku hailing from Baripada in Odisha is busy travelling and birdwatching, pandemic notwithstanding. Here's how the youngster got interested in wildlife photography and art as well
Barun | (Pic: Barun Rajkisku)
Barun | (Pic: Barun Rajkisku)

Just two weeks ago, Barun Rajkisku and Co spotted the pied harrier, an elegant migratory bird, while on one of their languid daily walks in Baripada. Such is life after the lockdown and after his graduation in Visual Arts from Dhauli College of Art and Crafts, Bhubaneswar. Last month, the 33-year-old spotted the Indian peafowl and jungle fowl while on his morning walk and then a shaheen falcon too. As a wildlife photographer, who goes nowhere without his trusty camera, he promptly clicked their pictures for posterity.

Barun is a practitioner of ethical photography, he doesn't use flash nor does he disturb the creatures while photographing them. He also likes his pictures au naturale, sans the editing or effects of any kind. "I connect with animals through pictures and the camera is my medium," says the youngster who left his job as a Quality Engineer at Tata Motors in 2013 to aspire for a government job. But life had other plans for him. Since 2016, he has been into photography, conducting nature walks and indulging in his creative side through painting. In fact, he has exhibited his artwork at the Regional Museum of Natural History, Mysuru, more than once, the most recent being last year. Kudos!

He is a self-taught photographer though he did receive some training from conservationist Satyesh Naik

Barun is also an avid traveller for whom travelling is second nature. Apart from exploring the surroundings of his hometown of Baripada extensively, he has been to Kerala, Uttarakhand, Gujarat and many other states as well. "As a child, I used to walk to our farm with my father. Somehow, via that short trip, travelling became essential for me," says the explorer who says nothing has changed except that now, he carries a tent instead of sleeping directly under the night sky. He even shares his knowledge by conducting nature walks every year on November 1, 2 3 and to the waterfalls of Mayurbhanj as well, except this year of course."We do it only for a small group of students and have been doing this since 2016. We usually conduct this in the permitted areas of Similipal National Park," he says.

The pandemic thwarted many of Barun's plans, including starting water sports and attending the necessary classes to get the right license and permission for it. But those will have to wait. For now, he has his walks to keep his spirits up.  

Dwellings of Barun
- Baldiha Dam
- Railway bridge of Mayurbhanj
- Arikul Dam
- Chaulibhaja waterfall

For more on him, check out facebook.com/barun.rajkisku

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