Hira Punjabi

Glimpses of nature through the lens of a benevolent photographer

Prolific photographer, Hira Punjabi uses subtle nuances in his art along with a deep empathy towards the wild, to showcase Indian natural history in its unforgettable hues.



An international, award-winning photographer from Mumbai, Hira Punjabi’s love for nature began right from his childhood. He is the member of many nature organizations including Bombay Natural History Society and WWF. Hira believes in photography that fights for the cause of protecting endangered species and places. He regularly contributes articles and photographs to several national and international publications. To see more of his work, visit https:


Mountain Imperial Pigeon (Ducula badia)

Camera details: Nikon D3 camera with 600mm VR II lens plus 1.4 TC on Gitzo tripod.

Exposure 1/800 sec @ f8 and ISO 1600.

Amongst the largest of the pigeons, the Mountain Imperial Pigeon is a rarity to see as it is very choosy about its habitat and its food, which largely comprise of fruits and berries.



Black Francolin (Francolinus francolinus) male calling

Camera details: Nikon D200 camera with 500mm Tele-lens, supported on a beanbag. Exposure 1/500sec @ f4 and ISO 400.

With the advent of its mating season, male Black Francolins choose a vantage point in their grassland habitats from where they call out to prospective mates.


Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) in action

Camera details: Nikon D3 Camera with 200-400mm VR lens, handheld. Exposure 1/2500 sec @ f5.6 and ISO 1000.

A large wading bird, the Grey Heron patrols shallow water bodies for food, which may be anything from fishes and snakes to other aquatic life forms. The prey can sometimes make the job more difficult than it seems.


Smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) in KazirangaSmooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) in Kaziranga

Smooth-coated Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) in Kaziranga

Camera details: Nikon D300s with 500mm tele lens plus 1.4TC, supported on a beanbag. Exposure 1/ 160 sec @ f 5.6 and ISO 800.

Romps or rafts of smooth-coated otters patrol the waterways along the Brahmaputra river. Working in groups, otters prey on fishes and other aquatic beings.


Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris) watching

Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris) watching

Camera details: Nikon D3 camera with 500mm tele lens plus 1.4 TC and beanbag support. Exposure 1/1250 sec @ f5.6 and ISO 1000.

An apex predator and also our national animal, a Tiger in the wild is one of the most captivating sights to behold and photograph.


Siberian Cranes (Leucogeranus leucogeranus)

Siberian Cranes (Leucogeranus leucogeranus)

Camera details: Nikon F5 camera with 500mm tele lens and film is Fuji Provia, on Gitzo tripod.Exposure 1/1000sec @ f5.6.

These angel like avians are now a part of a bygone era in our wildlife. 2002-03 was probably the last year when the Siberian Cranes visited India. I am fortunate enough to have seen and photographed this epoch in India’s natural history.


Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala) with frog

Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala) with frog

Camera details: Nikon D3 camera with 500mm Tele lens and 1.4 teleconverters on a Gitzo tripod. Exposure 1/2500 sec @f8 and ISO 800.

Aquatic resident, Painted Storks are catholic feeders and no life form escapes their snapping long beaks. This large Bullfrog learned a lesson on carelessness at expense of his life.


Blackbucks (Antilope cervicapra) sparring

Blackbucks (Antilope cervicapra) sparring

Camera details: Nikon F5 camera with 500/4 mm tele lens, on a tripod and Kodak VS 100 film. Exposure 1/1000 sec @ f5.6

Male Blackbucks fight it out for establishing their dominance in the golden grasslands of Taal Chhapar, Churu in Rajasthan.


Elephant (Elephas maximus) with Monitor lizard (Varanus bengalensis)

Camera details: Nikon F5 camera with 300mm tele lens and beanbag support, and Kodak VS 100 film.Exposure 1/750 sec @ f8.

This matriarch (female head of an elephant herd) from Corbett National Park was famed for her uncanny fascination for killing monitor lizards and using the dead reptiles as her toys.


First Published: Saevus Magazine (April 2014 Issue)

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About the Author /

India’s premium wildlife and natural history web portal and magazine It was somewhere out there in the wilderness that an idea was born. An idea called Saevus. A dream, a vision to bring India’s amazing bio-diversity to every home. To celebrate the bold, beautiful and dynamic India, much of it unseen and unexplored. It was the coming together of seasoned entrepreneurs, ace photographers, naturalists, and storytellers to captivate your imagination and arouse your consciousness.

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