Interview with Environmental Photographer Adityakrishna S Menon

, June 28, 2023

Shot using a Nikon D5600 from the 19th Floor of an apartment in India, a photograph from Adityakrishna S Menon earned a Highly Recommended place in the 15-17yr category of the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. The image shows the encroachment of human waste, with taro leaves thriving on the nutrient dense areas caused by eutrophication.

In this interview, Menon outlines his interest in taking photographs with an environmental angle.

When did you start taking pictures with a DSLR and planning outings?
My interest in photography began when I was 12 year old. At that time I actually didn’t have a camera, but I used to learn online as well as through books and did research on other people’s works. It was when I turned 13 that I first laid my hands on a DSLR camera and started shooting. I haven’t planned any outings yet exclusively for taking pictures. Wherever I go I have a camera in my hand. Most of my pictures which have won in contests are taken from my surrounding space including the winning WPY photo.

Did you have an environmental interest before your started your photography? How has your thinking about the environment developed alongside taking pictures?
Yes. I first started out as a nature lover for as long as I can remember and when my interest in photography rooted, I started combining my love for nature and photography. After I set my foot into the world of nature and wildlife photography, I’ve been able to learn more in depth about the beauty as well as the issues faced by the environment and fortunately my photographs have been able to make small impacts into nature conservation.

What is your objective when on shoots? What themes are you trying to communicate, or techniques are you putting to use?
When I shoot, I want the viewers to kind of develop an insight into what I am trying to communicate through the image. I work on concept-based creative nature photography, as well as documentary storytelling about nature conservation and human-nature relationships 

How do you plan to extend your work? Are you looking at new topics, techniques, environment dynamics?
I plan on working more on wider projects that have a wider scale and impact but this needs time, proper planning and appropriate resources.

Can you comment on India’s approach to environment? How should the country or its polluted regions be thinking about the environment from now until 2030?
India needs to reset its approach to the natural environment. India has said protecting the environment is desirable. But we are yet to decide what constitutes damage to the environment and to take appropriate measures for future wellbeing. The country needs to be working on new measures to minimize the damage and restore the environment.

What projects can we expect from you later this year and in 2024?
I plan on documenting elephant tourism in the state of Kerala in this year or the next.

For more information, visit @adityakrishna_photography on Instagram