My first birdwatching trip

Last weekend (Nov 4 -6) was amazing and it was my first bird watching/photographing trip. Before I start with the trip itself, remember I spoke about my confusion on my gears(what to buy and what not to buy). Well, I finally settled with an used Canon EOS 40D and just before the trip I got myself a Sigma 150 500 APO HSM OS lens.This combination is awesome as 40D has some amazing ISO performance even at 1000+.

So, Now the trip.

Rather than a normal travelogue like boarding a bus, getting down there, boarding a car, getting wooed out by the sight and sounds of the jungle and reaching the resort…oops I mentioned all of them. This more of a note that I am writing about my first birding trip.

If you are still guessing, well…I went to Ganeshgudi, a beautiful jungle near the city of Belgaum in Karnataka.

Three days of ultimate awesomeness with some medium weighing gears and 12 hours of continuous walking, looking and photographing birds. I managed to record some 24 species of birds including some rare species like Malabar Trogon, Crested Goshawks and Great Horn bill(this was not recorded, all I could hear was the sound of its wing flaps..gives goose bump). My 40D went b0rked in the middle of the trip with its exposure and metering not working properly. So most of my photos were taken with an exposure compensation of -2.

Still some photos came out good and they are here

The only mammal I was able to spot and photograph was Malabar Giant Squirrel. the photo is here

So, my first birding trip with my new gear and some unexpected challenges that came out with it. I guess I am learning a lot more that I expected.

P.S : Please ignore grammatical errors and other minor mistakes.

Ranthambhore Diaries #1

June 17 to June 20 was an amazing weekend. I went to Ranthambhore again, mainly because it was raining tigers in INW and I needed more experience with wildlife photography.

But what happened on the trip was marvelous, We heard from some fellow visitors that T39(A 3 and half year old Tigress) had killed a big male Blue Bull (Nil gai) and seen near it and is expected to be there for next two three days.

Saturday was test on us as we got completely drenched in rain(No photos, cameras were kept safe).

Sunday afternoon we had superb time with T39 sitting just some feet away from us in the water but Monday morning was even better as she was sleeping when we reached the place, as time flies by she woke up, answered nature’s call, slept again, sat for some time, came down to have breakfast and like previous day went again to sit in the water.

It was a complete six hour fiesta between her and us(Photographers).

Here are two snap from the whole fiesta. More to come soon…..

T39 having water post breakfast :
Princess of Ranthambhore #2

T39 Relaxing in water after breakfast :
Thanda Thanda Cool Cool - Princess of Ranthambhore  #3

Dilemma

After over 3 years of using a Powershot, I thought of graduating to a SLR. I planned for a decent SLR but had no plan on lenses.. well I never had taken that into consideration.

Then Ranthambore trip happened. I went crazy over what to buy..from a TC for my Powershot to all possible cameras that I can buy at that point of time, finally ended up buying a Canon EOS 1000D and with some good advice, a Sigma 70 300 APO DG MACRO F4 – 5.6.

Ranthambore trip was a great learning experience, my first wildlife shot was of T39 tigress. I got so confused on either to take pic or watch the tiger go just feets away from me. So did not pay attention to details. Rest of the days in Ranthambore were good, learned a lot from wildlife photographers(Sagar Gosavi and Yogesh Rane).

Next trip was after a week from Ranthambore was Jim Corbett National Park and this time I tested my setup as a camera person . Well I found myself starting from scratch here in Corbett.

My few observation in regards the last two trips were :
1) Canon EOS 1000D is an awesome camera but not at all suitable for Wildlife photography.(1.5 fps in RAW is way too slow).
2) OS/IS/VR is somehow a requirement for early morning and late evening shots(Most movements happens in this time though).
3) ISO the more the better. Noise the less the better ( 1000D scores a good point her though).

In the last two trips I narrowed down on my short comings trying to fix them but still I need a basic setup to do wildlife photography(I might be carried away with the crowd though). Here is what I shortlisted and currently in a dilemma.

1. Canon vs Nikon : Being a faithful canon user for last three years I wanted to stick to canon but found in some cases Nikon provides exactly what i want.
2. Lenses (Sigma,Canon,Nikon ) : Sigma cheap and does great job, while Canon/Nikon are better and costs a lot

Finally these are my shortlisted cameras and lens :

Canon EOS 550D : Great camera with great feature but misses on fps.
Used Canon EOS 40D : Again Great Cam but 10MP(low resolution on high crops, ISO to 1600 only).
Nikon D5100 : Pretty much does everything but I have one or two inexpensive canon mount lenses which goes wasted if I chooses this.

I pretty much narrowed down on Sigma 150 500 F5 – 6.3 APO lens which means I need high ISO a lot of times.

Taking all into consideration I am confused like never before :-(

So please help!!!!

Post Ranathambore et.al.

My last post was on my first wildlife trip to Ranathambhore. Well it was an amazing trip, I did so many things that I never imagined to have done before.

Nevertheless I got hooked to wildlife photography, even leaving the photography part aside it is pretty amazing to watch wildlife at their best(in the wild).

I came back from Ranathambhore on 4th of April but I was so hooked to the whole thing going around me,I joined the same group again on a trip to Corbett national park(16th to 21st April 2011).

What I felt, the way I reacted been there remains treasure in my memory and there is no way I can explain that in a blog post. for that you have to be in Corbett.

Took some snaps which goes here :

My current action item is to create my own gear consisting 550D, Sigma 150 – 500 OS and a telephoto mic.

P.S : I manage to get GPS traces of about 700KM (in the jungle plus some rail track) in these two trips. Hope these goes to OSM soon.e

Enter Title Here

It has been quite a while since I had written my last post.

There’s a lot to write about since I joined the company but I dont know how to .

Right now being posted in mumbai and trying to settle down to the new.

Hope things goes well this time.

Adieu Durgapur

So. today is  my last day in Durgapur, I will be moving to Ahmedabad for next two months.

Having some mixed feelings as this is the first time I will be out of my home town for long, best song suiting the mood now is  Tanha Dil by Shaan