By day, Raj Mohan works a corporate job, but in his spare time, he is an award-winning wildlife photographer who loves exploring India's rich biodiversity. For nearly a decade, he has traveled around the country and developed his aerial photography. One recent adventure included documenting the annual flamingo migration at Pulicat Lake in Tamil Nadu. His aerial images of this incredible migration are a feast for the eyes.
Every January, tens of thousands of flamingos make their way to this large body of water, which is the second-largest brackish water lagoon in India. Mohan was one of many photographers to arrive for the event, which is also promoted by local tourism authorities. Thanks to his aerial images, we can see the beautiful geometry of these flamingos as they spread out in clusters, creating different formations.
“Looking at this never-ending sea of pink due to the tens of thousands of flamingos in the lake was dreamy,” Mohan tells My Modern Met. “Also, the flamingos are social birds and they stay in flocks/colonies and stick together for various reasons. Their behavioral traits were impressive and while capturing them from an aerial perspective, the movement of flocks forming different shapes was nothing less than art.”
In particular, one of Mohan's photographs shows the flamingos clustered together in a heart formation. This image was singled out as a jury selection by the 2022 Nature inFocus Photography Awards. It's easy to see why Mohan's photograph captured the jury's attention, as the eye-catching pink formation pops against the green waters.
It's moments like these that inspire Mohan to continue his creative journey. Whether it's showing India's own local fauna or capturing exotic species like the flamingos, who find temporary safe haven there, he's happy to create awareness and educate people.