Meeting Steve Winter of National Geographic

By Mridula Dwivedi January 30, 2011 12 Comments , ,

Steve Winter, National Geographic Photographer
With Steve Winter from National Geographic

How do you feel after you have watched 200+ pictures of Steve Winter and heard the stories behind them? Well you end up hating every picture you ever took and you want to smash your camera. Till you write this to Steve himself and actually get a reply from him saying, “All our photos hold emotion for ourselves and others.” After reading that, I decided I am not going to break the camera after all.

If you visit his website you will see most of the pictures that we saw plus we got to see some more. But It was the stories behind the pictures that made the workshop most compelling.

Two things from the workshop are going to remain with me forever. He told us that these days the definition of a good picture is to zoom into an animal or bird and get a sharp picture but he does not like that. He prefers shooting at F11 to F22 as it gives a chance to show the animal in its habitat.

The second is that each of those pictures required a lot of planning and hard work, they did not happen by chance. For example this Flamingo picture, he was telling involved travelling in bullock carts, the place was full of mosquitoes and as soon as he moved a step there were three to four thousand Flamingos who would move a step back as well! Every picture had a story like that behind it that was told with passion. And he highlighted that these pictures involved working in close cooperation with the locals.

And then there are his Snow Leopard pictures! He was telling they landed up in Delhi with 33 piece of baggage that was full of equipment! All of that was transferred to Leh and then to the actual site where they pitched camps. I always thought that the pictures came from actual sightings. But Steve was telling that they set trap cameras which will capture a picture through its sensors every time an animal crossed it! He said it took 6 hours of walking to check out if everything was working with his 24 or so trap cameras. And it took months and months to get those pictures. No wonder he got the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award in 2008 for his Snow Leopard picture.

Here is their video of getting charged by a Rhinoceros at Kaziranga National Park. He too says if someone stops him to show a bird on the way in a jungle, he remarks, “We are not birding, we may miss a tiger!”

You can see from my ear to ear grin how much I enjoyed the workshop organized by the Skoda Yeti ROWE team.

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12 thoughts on “Meeting Steve Winter of National Geographic”

  1. Wow, there’s nothing better than learning form the pros…even if it can be daunting :) My grin would be as big as yours! You two are dressed like twins 😉

  2. This is great…I loved his pictures! The leopard as well as the Tiger ones are just superb…his work speaks volumes about his hard work and dedication. You were very lucky to have spent some quality time with him :)

  3. I saw snow leopard programme on the BBC, it’s such a beautiful animal. You have really been having an exciting time, I loved your article and photos. Well done for winning the trip!

  4. Thanks Sankara, I know I got lucky! 😀

    Thanks Chitra, yes you will rarely find me beaming like this in front of the camera.

    Anshul, I can try but there are better resources like http://www.digital-photography-school.com/ give it a try.

    Thanks Meena it indeed was super.

    Fida that was the Skoda jacket which was given to all the participants hence the identical twin look! 😀

    Yes Siddhartha Steve Winter’s pictures are smashing! And it was indeed a lucky chance to get to listen to him.

    Thanks Qaminante and it was great to see your updates.

    Tarun visit Steve Winter’s site and enjoy.

    Kuffir good to see a comment from you after such a long time on this blog.

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Travel Tales from India

I started 'Travel Tales from India' in 2005. It has become an anchor for my travel writing. My blog was once linked at BBC and The Guardian. All my stories published at Gonomad can be viewed from my writer profile page. In December 2010 I featured in a National Geographic Skoda Yeti Video. You can write to me at mridulablog at gmail dot com For advertising queries please check out my advertising page.

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