The Cats Cavort while the Cameras Covertly Watch: Magal Sanjeev
Not often does one get to evidence the roar of tigers getting endearingly reduced to murmurs of a celebration that humans fail to fathom. But our long-time Patron, Magal Sanjeev, did.
Do not blame us if the picture makes your jaws drop in awe, with the cats flouncing around with their paws extended.
A wildlife enthusiast, Sanjeev has more than 18 years’ experience in the IT industry. As a child, he was immensely inspired by the works of professionals featured on Nat Geo, Discovery, Animal Planet and other such channels. Currently working in the HR department of a reputed IT firm, Sanjeev has never missed an opportunity to explore the world of cats with his camera.
He humbly admits that it was only after travelling with Toehold professionals that he started to see those worlds in a new light. He has thoroughly enjoyed all his Photo Tours with Toehold, but Kabini and Tanzania have been his personal favourites as they have allowed him to comprehensively explore the mammalian world he is obsessed with.
In his own words: “Clearly, Toehold demonstrates how power is gained by sharing knowledge; not hoarding it. The Skippers are global human beings, I can say, and they do not evade any question that might even compel them to share the crux of their trade. The passion and proficiency with which they work leaves you inspired, and what tops all of this, is their incredible humility.
“Toehold demonstrates how power is gained by sharing knowledge; not hoarding it.”
“When I look at the pictures I’ve taken over the years, I observe a gradual change in the making of an image. There is a certain sophistication to the way I now compose images and treat the environment around the subject. I now understand the role that human elements play in certain types of pictures one takes.
“There is a certain sophistication to the way I now compose images.”
“There is no end to the process of learning, and certain clichés are too dear to ignore. I am the Ekalavya whose experiences as a photographer and wonderer of the wild are enriched by the Dronacharyas of Toehold. If you have negative criticism, they take it positively and put you at ease if you are having a hard time articulating it.
“Of all the 13 Toehold Photo Tours that I’ve been on in the past three-and-a-half-years, what has never ceased to amaze me is the immense patience of the Skippers. You can abruptly throw a question at them right in the middle of a safari, even when they are busy framing a shot, and they attend to it until you are left with a convincing answer.
“Also, the individual attention every Tour participant gets is simply overwhelming. They make sure that you never miss a frame that begs to be captured and taken away. And they help you shoot it the best way possible, even if it means that they have to sacrifice that shot while instructing the participant.
“I can give these guys a random call and still have a warm little tête-à-tête with them. I can shoot the same question time and again and still get credible answers without hearing any sort of complaints. I am indebted to them and wish them the best, always.”