In this special edition of ‘Rock The Talk’, RJ Niladri had an interesting conversation with Shaaz Jung, a Nat Geo Wildlife cinematographer, photographer and big cat specialist. Shaaz grew up in the woods, and his connection with India’s wilderness dates back centuries. He is a member of the royal family of Central India, a region famed for its lush flora & fauna.
Shaaz studied Economics and Law before deciding to follow his childhood passion for wildlife. He has dedicated his life to researching and photographing wildlife, particularly leopards, and has also aided in the establishment of eco-friendly wildlife camps in South India and East Africa.
His research and knowledge have gained him a solid reputation, and his work has been widely published. Various creative and technical abilities while photographing huge cats have garnered him over half a million followers across his social media platforms, earning him the moniker “Leopard Man of India.”
Shaaz has been guiding safaris for the past decade and now specializes in documenting melanistic leopards. Never before have melanistic leopards been captured in such detail, and it’s safe to say that Shaaz’s collection of photographs of this magnificent animal is unrivalled. His foray into the realm of cinematography has given him the opportunity to hone his creative skills: he is currently the Director of Photography for a National Geographic feature film about melanistic leopards.
Shaaz’s work has always reflected the mysterious forest. His work is a unique fusion of fine art and photography, which he refers to as “environmental surrealism.” His annual shows take place all around the world and feature a wide range of breathtaking prints. Shaaz’s work aims to raise awareness and educate the general public. He also runs the Buffer Conflict Resolution Trust of India (BCRTI), a non-profit organization that addresses problems within the buffer zones of protected forests in South India, as an aspiring conservationist on the outskirts of the forest.