Just a random thread on photographing tigers in the wild. Rule number one - photographs are all & only about light. There are no other rules rules as such.
Don’t do this ever - try to stay low that all my fight is about. Why would I stand up 🤦🏽♂️ Stay as low as possible generally speaking. That means parking the vehicle accordingly as you can’t get lower than the floor of your vehicle
Eye contact is cool, approaching the camera is cool. Wait for one of the leg to move ahead - step out. Don’t ever rely on the cameras motor drive to ‘get it all’ as it can’t possibly do that. Timing is very important
I have been a serious still photographer for plus 20 odd years now. For the first decade I used camera equipment made by Canon. In 2008-09 I exchanged all my Canon kit with someone for Nikon equivalents. Around 6 years ago my friend @SandeshKadur got me to start shooting videos..
Shooting videos with a #Lumix - initially GH4 and then the awesome #LumixGH5 that shoots 4K on log at 10 bit on 422 - I still don’t know what it means but apparently this is the least that most broadcasters will work with. It shoots pretty decent stills though I rarely do that
Still photography for me is #Nikon and now the awesome camera that the #iPhone has. Nikon still does not have 10 bit internal video recording. They just got it on the ‘what looks’ awesome Z9 - I need to sell some land. But the humble Lumix is bloody mind blowing
Ndutu conservation area in Tanzania is in the region where Homo sapiens first made their appearance on this play. Large wild short grass plains with some trees in between. Our guide Silas parked us facing this. It made for a nice picture…..
…..But Silas our friend and guide was not watching the vista. He found the first tree intriguing and we started driving towards it. Silas is good, really good
He drove around the tree in a huge conservation area with little tracks, an off road Mecca then. And then we realised how good Silas is.
Dhonk or Anogeissus pendula in the most important tree of Ranthambhore. A very slow growing, hard wood and highly drought resistant species. It’s small leaves start drying in early winters and are shed by the onset of summers. The leaves are great food for ungulates here.
Sambar and even Spotted deer can reach the lower branches, even if they have to stand on rear legs. Or they eat the leave that are shed on the ground. Spotted deer also follow langurs who drop a lot of leaves.
Once the Dhonk shed their leave totally by mid or end March the forest starts looking like this
There is a lake called Rajbagh in Ranthambhore national park. This. In my opinion one of the prettier parts of Ranthambhore. Adjoining the other side of the shore of this lake, behind the palace in the background is a large open flat area where you park your jeep.
It’s called very creatively ‘the platform’ - and this is the best way f all the spots in Ranthambhore for photography. The vistas are stunning in all the directions and there is a lot happening. You have a clear uninstructed view in all directions. If you look west in winters:
Towards the east there is a big patch of Vetiver or Khus grass called ‘Badi ghas’ again very creatively named. Can you see the cat?
For the panorama I have ‘stitched’ together multiple pictures shot on portrait or vertical orientation in all the pictures on this thread.
A group of tigers is called an ambush. It’s a beautiful sight. Once in a while you find an ambush in good light & it’s jackpot time for photographers. #ThePhotoHour#IndiWild
But what comes to my mind when I hear the words ‘tiger’ and ‘ambush’ in the same sentence is this - the art of stalking prey. A 250-300 kg, +9 feet long, orange coloured ‘striped’ cat goes into stealth mode for hours, if required
Once a prey is targeted, one individual - more often males, then the orange giant cat has to get close enough to get within charging distance. This often involves clearing some open patches without been no seen nor heard by any animal. Wild Cats are brilliant at it even huge ones
There is a campaign started by #RajasthanTourism & #RajasthanForests where they want you to post a selfie taken in Rajasthan’s wilderness. I am not a selfie person but let’s show them my favourite wilderness in Rajasthan - Ranthambhore. It looks stunning before dawn
Meet a tigress called Arrowhead from Ranthambhore. This picture is from 2015 when she was still a cub. Her brother Pac-Man is running behind -(I named him after a Pac-Man video game mark on his head). It’s story time
Arrowhead, Pac-Man and another sister called Lightning were born to a legendary tigress called Krishna or T19 her official number, in early 2014. The four of them crossing the ‘land bridge’ on Rajbagh lake here in summers of 2014
By the year 2016 Arrowhead had established her range around the lakes - an area gifted to her by Krishna who captured a new territory and had another litter there. The lakes were no Arrowhead’s
On #WorldTourismDay let me tell you about my favourite place on this planet - the area of the three lakes in Ranthambhore national park. It’s a stunning place. I will take a few minutes of your time but it may brighten up your day. 🙏 #ThePhotoHour
The overall backdrop is stunning because of a plus 1000 years old UNESCO World Heritage site Hill fort from which the park gets it name. It’s just too imposing. #Rajasthan
There are lots of pretty places but few where our countries glorious ancient past mixes with raw nature is such a mind blowing manner. Hundreds of years ago people actually prayed in this mosque. Monuments here are a classic mix of Rajput and Mughal architecture #IncredibleIndia
Since leopards of Chambal are show stoppers these days courtesy @manishariprasad - Here is a leopard from Ranthambhore which for those who didn’t know touched River Chambal.
Ranthambhore has a very high density of leopards though most visitors don’t see much of them. This is because tigers kill them and to stay safe the smaller cat tends to stay in areas that tigers don’t frequent like steep slopes, hill tops etc. This is a typical sight here.
Leopards in Ranthambhore are not comfortable in the valleys which is prime tiger territory. But they do have to come down to valleys esp in summers when water is short at heights. Often they would do this at the hottest time when tigers are inactive like this one at noon
Pictures of common birds from a tiny sanctuary that we call home. We bought a barren piece of land to build our house on and are slowly trying to turn it into a mini sanctuary. All these pictures are from within our compound. #IndiAves#TribeIndiAves
It’s easy to do and great fun. Every new species that we see is a ‘major discovery’ for us
It soon becomes a pretty cool outdoor studio for lazy blokes like me. No carrying heavy equipment over rough tracks cause we can shoot with a beer glass in one hand. Makes life easier
How it effected me - One man with accomplices poisoned a goat carcass that two sub adult tigers had killed and then left it for them to eat, which they did two days later. A few hours later they died miserably
Great fun taking pictures with the #iPhone12Pro in Ranthambhore. Didn’t take the heavy camera bag, just one phone in the shirt pocket. This is what we call the ‘Bada gate’ or the big gate.
Another perspective of the same gate
The phone shoots between 13 and 65 mm so one needs to be close to the subject, pretty close. It handles everything wide very well and has an awesome dynamic range. Much much better than any phone that I have used. In fact as good as good DSLRs in that sense.
When I started serious photography in the year 2000, powerful telephoto lenses were kind of unaffordable for me. I had a 70-200 mm lens for a few years. I had no choice but to include a lot of habitat in my picture.
I loved shots that included a lot of habitat and still do. It adds to the feeling of wilderness.
A walk on the wild side. A very cool set of slightly wider angles pictures come out if you get a tiger on a territory marking walk. Even better if you can get them doing this on top of a plateau, when the plateaus still have some green colour.
My good friend Dr Dharmendra Khandal of @watch_tiger and I got a tigress called Arrowhead doing exactly that, a few days ago, first thing in the morning.
Even a short wall of a couple of km generates a lot of awesome wide angles. The background keeps changing fast.
Light and angle. My story.
I started serious photography 20 years ago. My first guru was a brilliant cinematographer Colin Patrick-Johnson. His take photography is all about angle, angle, angle. I use to be kicked with such pictures (Ground Hornbill) cause of low angle.
If you have an eye level angle, your subject looks normal. A higher angle like here makes your subject appear smaller. While lower angle make the subject appear larger than life.
I went for nicely front lit subjects because back then I use to think that front lighting was the best light. A few years later, I started getting bored of front lit scenes but I didn't really understand other lighting. Back to square one.
In 2008 my wife & I went for a drive along W coast of US. Got a car in San Francisco and in the next 75 days we drove from SF North till Seattle, E to Montana, then S via Arizona to San Diego and back to SF along Highway 1. 75 days, 1 tent, 2 people, 7500 $. Some pics from then
Let me tell you a story from Ranthambhore tiger reserve about 6 wild animals – a mama Sloth bear with two babies on her back, a pair of mating tigers and an ape with a camera (me). It’s an old story from almost a decade ago. Pardon the poor quality of pictures. Read on.
I had heard that there was a mating pair of tigers in an area called Kala Paani and we went there hoping to get pictures of mating tigers. I had heard that there was a mating pair of tigers in an area called Kala Paani. We did find a male tiger Ustaad and female called Noor.
After a short wait we saw a mother bear with two young ones on her back – this is how they transport them over long distances. The curious cubs were playing with each other while the mother started walking in the towards the tigers. We thought that the bear was in serious danger.