Pune based photographer recalls how he nabbed the award-winning frame of the elusive fan-throated lizard
Deodhar’s award-winning photograph. Pic courtesy/Anup Deodhar
It's a laurel not many can boast about. The Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain, one of the world’s oldest, recently announced the winners of its International Images for Science Competition, and this year, an Indian has made it to the podium. The stunning Warrior of the Grassland photograph by Pune-based Anup Deodhar, won the silver prize in the 26 Years and Above category. Judged by a panel of scientists, photographers and imaging experts, the photograph was chosen from among 100 final entries from around the world.
A finance professional, Deodhar has been pursuing wildlife photography as a serious hobby since 2011. When he visited a museum next to the Thoseghar waterfalls near Satara, a picture of the fan-throated lizard, which is endemic to the Kaas plateau and surrounding areas, caught his attention. "This lizard is seen only for a window of 15 to 20 days in the entire year. The vibrant breeding plumage on its fan is used to attract females as well as establish supremacy over other males in its territory. I knew I had to capture this interesting little fellow in my camera right away," says Deodhar.
He went up to the Kaas Plateau in peak summer last year, just in time for the lizard’s breeding season. “It took three to four days to get this shot. The creature is a shy one and I had to maintain a distance of 25 feet to not bother it by my presence. I would be on all fours for hours and my ankles hurt. But in the end, it posed like a warrior holding a twig in its arms and it was all worth it,” smiles Deodhar.