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Palani Mohan Interview

ePHOTOzine talks to Palani Mohan, who won third place in the recent Sony World Photography Awards Nature and Wildlife Category.

| Interviews
Palani Mohan Interview: Kazak Eagle Hunter
'Kazak Eagle hunters03' by Palani Mohan.

Palani Mohan recently won third place in the Sony World Photography Awards Nature and Wildlife category. Here, he talks to ePHOTOzine about himself and his top tips for photographers looking to enter the competition this year.

How did you get into nature photography?
I didn't really mean to get into nature photography. I started off as a newspaper photographer in Australia, I did everything from sport to news. I was a sports photographer for many years and conservation is something that I fell into. It was something that I saw all around me, and it moved me as a photographer. I've done a lot of work with elephants, eagles and camels and I love being out in nature. It seemed like a good fit to me and it seems that it is an important thing to photograph. They are things that we feel are important and important to the world too.

You came third in the Nature and Wildlife photography section of the Sony World Photography Awards, what advice do you have for other photographers entering this year?
Sony is really up there with the top two or three awards in the world right now, so think carefully about what pictures you enter and how you edit them. Remember that the judges have seen so many pictures in front of them before, and yours needs to stand out. Keep your edit really tight, and think: "Is this photo actually adding something to my portfolio or can it be taken away?" Take advice from people you trust, edit your work well but never over-do it.

Palani Mohan Interview: Kazak Eagle Hunters 01
'Kazak Eagle Hunters 01' by Palani Mohan

In your eyes, what makes an award-winning nature photographer?
It's difficult to answer that question. It's just moments and is very similar to photographing people. You're looking for light, something that moves you, something that says 'wow', and grabs your heart. You're looking for something different, something that moves you.

Why did you enter the photo you did to the competition?
The eagles are a long term project that I've been working on for many years, and I think it's a very important topic. The conservation of these eagles is very important as there's only about 50 or 60 left in the wild now, and I felt this responsibility to document them, before they all die off.

Do you have 5 essential tips for a nature photographer?
  • Patience.
  • Think about what you're doing and why.
  • Don't get carried away with Photoshop and Apps.
  • Spend your time getting the image right in camera, not on the computer. Judges will look at pictures and within two seconds, realise what you have done. Try to keep true to photography as after all, you are a photographer not a digital artist.
  • Do research and spend time with the people and the animals you are going to photograph, if you do that, you will get a better result.
For more information on Palani, visit his website,

If you're interested in the Sony World Photography Awards 2013, visit the World Photography Organisation website.
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