There is a very handful of people whom I looked up to in India when it comes to Wildlife / Photography / Conservation related work. Ramakrishnan Sreenivasan ( ramki as the fraternity would address him) was one of the top ones on my list. Had been a big fanboy of Ramki’s work and dedication towards documenting species from the earlier days of my wildlife photography journey. His Westerghats endemics work or the North East work kept inspiring me and many of us who were new to the world of birding and bird photography. Come 17-Dec-2022 we lost an earth warrior as one can call him as. He was extremely passionate about what he was doing be it documenting lesser-known bird species of NE or fighting for the Amur Falcon case or be it Hesarghatta chapter which he was very vocal about. I have had the privilege of knowing him and interacting with him for more than a decade and a half now and for people who have interacted with him, know really well how down-to-earth and simple person he was. At no time one could tell about the tech background that he came from just by talking to him about wildlife. His passion for wildlife is reflected in his work on WildVentures and also the efforts he was putting in the form of ConservationIndia. As much as he was technically and technologically forward when it comes to camera equipment he was least bothered about what it can do as a tool but believed that it’s the person who uses it and how and why it mattered. I still remember a conversation over a coffee in a coffeeshop not too far from his house in Bangalore where we kept an aged Leica and a new Fujifilm camera on the table and discussing what one can do and what another cant and etc – and he was one person who as much as was amused about the new tech believed that his Leica does what he wants it to do and he is happy with it. For a very short while I worked with him to fix a few things on his portfolio website and that’s when I got to understand the side of ramki who was equally concerned about the user-experience aspect than just dumping beautiful photos on a hosting server for viewers to see and go. I recall the numerous conversations had on the phone about so many of the projects related to wildlife that he wanted to bring to life but many couldn’t which now I can relate to why. I still can’t believe that he is no more because he definitely had several decades of fighting spirit still within him. Just want to pray that the almighty give his wife and kid and of course his beloved pets all the strength to bear this loss. The Wildlife Photography and Conservation fraternity will definitely miss him and his work a lot.
Ramki – Thank you for all that you did and for inspiring many.