At the outset, I realized that ‘Wildlife Photography’ is not just the passion to follow, moreover it is a tribute to the mother nature.
Documenting various forms of wildlife in their natural habitat, and being with their environment by respecting its rules; gives us a tremendous opportunity that is much more beyond than mastering photography concepts. It is one of the more challenging forms of photography, and I was waiting for a perfect opportunity to participate in a workshop organised by professionals.
When Nikon School (India) announced an Advanced Outdoor Workshop on Wildlife Photography, there was no second thought..! Because of experienced mentors like Karthik and Raghav; a three-day workshop based at Jungle Lodge Resorts of Nagarhole National Park, which is close to Bangalore, it was a fantastic opportunity for me to pursue.
The day we checked in, there was a briefing session by mentors with all essential tips and tricks for photographing wildlife. We were also asked to submit one good photo from each safari for review. And the rule is that the picture should be directly baked in camera (not a post-processed one) – of course, that was a challenging task for me.
The Safari jeeps leave from a point which is a bit far from our rooms. Reaching that point at 5:00am… It was an exercise to carry the camera, lens and all accessories along with a bean bag weighing nearly 10 kgs.
Though we carry a lot in our hands, our mind carries only one goal.. a goal for good sighting opportunity… to spot big cats…and to get some good images.
We were in three groups into three different open jeep safaris, and the group I was part of, was led by Nikon mentor Karthik. Most in our group including me was carrying a 200-500mm f/5.6 lens.
The big cats never come and pose for us. We need to look for natural signs and listen to the ‘calls’ from some birds and animals. We made a lot of strategies and planed our positions to get the best compositions. And it is all about patience. There were instances wherein we have waited for long and didn’t spot any.
All the three groups were lucky enough to spot a wide variety of animals and birds. Most interestingly during the second day’s evening safari, many groups had a chance to spot the black panther (sportively called as blacky); which wasn’t sighted for a month or so.
At that time, our group was about 10 KMs far from the area, silently waiting for a tiger crossing. (There were prominent ‘calls’ to expect one). But when our driver got the news about blacky, he rushed to the spot. Despite the slight rain and even close to sunset, he managed to take us there safely… Kudos..!
During our return to the resort, the Jeep driver was still in that glory and he was shouting out to the village people and other fellow forest guards and officials about black panther which wasn’t spotted for long.
“hey.. we have sighted blacky..!”
I wasn’t aware that the ‘Black Panther sighting’ in Kabini Forest, such a good luck one. It was indeed a memorable sight that made our safari a great experience. Though with a wounded face after a fight, he did pose for us.
Here are some of the decent photos that I could capture.
Hope you enjoyed these snaps. Now let me conclude with a brief about the team who made this possible for me.
A remarkable experience
As a novice in wildlife photography, this workshop was a remarkable experience for me. I thoroughly enjoyed all days of workshops – safaris, review sessions, food and also had a lot of fun. It was really inspiring to socialize with many wildlife-photography enthusiasts, by sharing knowledge and experience with each other.
Thanks to the entire team members and mentors for all the assistance and support..!