Kathmandu. Former Chaurikharka 8, Luklabazar of Solukhumbu district, now Khumbupasang Lhamu village municipality ward no. 2, Chungba Sherpa with a permanent address in Luklabazar is a familiar name in Highland Wildlife Photography lately.
Sherpa, who has been interested in wildlife photography since adolescence, has spent more than 45 years imagining and dreaming of photography. For the past 2 years, he has been actively involved in wildlife photography.
It is not easy to take photos in the highlands. Some wildlife photographers in Nepal frequently visit the high mountain areas of Nepal. That too only if a sponsor is found.
However, in Nepal, Sherpas have recently ventured into Highland Wildlife Photography. After completing a course in wildlife photography online two years ago, Sherpa became interested in photographing animals and birds living in the highlands. He searched for Highland Wildlife Photographers in Nepal, but found no regular photographers.
This made him even more excited. Eventually, he became known around the world as Nepal’s only highland photographer. Now the various photos he has taken are being published in online and photography books around the world. In a short time, his dream in youth has come true as he has been discussed in Highland Wildlife Photography.
Sherpas are not limited to the high mountainous regions of Nepal. Photographs of various animals and birds have been taken in various parts of the Tarai and in the gorges in the hills. Be it a photo of a snow leopard or a musk deer that is considered rare in the world. Whether in Koshi Tappu or Chitwan National Park, he runs from time to time to take photos.
Let’s see the edited part of the conversation with Chungwa Sherpa, the only Highland Wildlife Photographer in Nepal.
I have a good place in Nepal’s wildlife photography. I have slept for 11 nights in a tent at 4,600 meters in Manang district. To take a photo of a snow leopard. At Khumbu, I boarded a helicopter from Lukla and landed at Forche only three times. Gokyo, I have visited Kalapatharti many times. I have spent many days in Forche taking photos of weeds, musk deer and scarecrows.
No photographers in Kathmandu and the Terai have photos of animals and birds in the Highlands. And not even. Those who take photographs in the Terai and Kathmandu only have photos of animals including tigers, leopards, rhinos and bears.
More important than these are the snow leopard and the musk deer. These animals are among the rarest animals in the world. The more we can photograph these rare animals, the more we are referred to as wildlife photographers.
Taking a photo of a tiger is not so easy. The tiger runs at a speed of 40 kilometers per hour. You can’t even take a photo of him. You have to find that place, wait, and find it. To take a photo of a tiger, you can only see half of the body, sometimes deceived, sometimes in the dark and sometimes in the light. If you search, you will find many tigers, but you can’t take a good photo.
Sherpas are the number one photographer in the Highlands. It is not enough to have a good camera and a skilled photographer to take photos in high mountainous areas. Must be healthy and physically fit. Not only that, you have to be financially strong. That is why wildlife photographers are not easy in every way.
The better the camera and lens you buy for a wildlife photographer, the better. It’s been 2 years since I started photography. I am the youngest in this wildlife photography but I am no less than others in photography. I have taken more photos of rare animals in the world than anyone else. Now, after a while, I want to teach the photography I know for free to the photographers who are interested in all the wildlife photography from Highland to Lowland.
I did a photography online course. I bought the online course for just over 1,000. He used to teach from messenger by paying a person in Malaysia. I had to walk outside for practice. I had to spend a lot. That’s why I’m a little more skilled than other photographers.
The camera I am running now is called One DX Mark Three. This camera is only one piece in Nepal. I only have the lens, no one else. The camera I play with is upgraded as soon as a new one arrives. No one else has. Because there is no return money from it so others cannot do it.
At the age of 20, Sherpa was photographed by a reel-mounted camera. After that, I took many photos from the camera including DSLR. At that time, I could not devote much time to photography. At that time I was compelled. Jangir was. Due to which I started earning money. When I entered the latter half of my life, I became interested in wildlife photography.
So far I have visited the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest, 5 times for Highland Photography and Wildlife Photography. Gokyo slept one night in a tent to take a photo of a snow leopard on Fifth Lake. It is located at an altitude of 5,700 meters above sea level. I sat on the black stone for about 10 hours from sunrise to sunset and took photos.
Similarly, he reached Manang twice. The first time lasted 8 days and the second time 17 days. I slept in the tent for 11 days. The height of the place where I stayed inside the tent was 4,600 meters. Similarly, Cholangpati of Langtang went by direct helicopter. Its height is 3 thousand 6 hundred meters. Stayed there 7 days. Took a photo of a red panda. After 7 days, he chartered a helicopter again and returned to Kathmandu from Cholangpati.
Similarly, Koshi Tappu 4, Chitwan National Park 19, Banke National Park 3, Bardiya National Park 7, Shuklaphata National Park 7 and Ilam twice went for wildlife photography. I visit Shivpuri National Park and Everest National Park in Kathmandu from time to time.
Now Sherpa is also doing photo research. He has also obtained permission from the Government of Nepal for wildlife photography research. Corona virus (Covid-19) adversely affected his photography. If Corona had not been seen, she would now be engaged in wildlife photography in various countries. He plans to return to wildlife photography once the world-wide Corona returns to normal.