Welcome to Rathika Ramasamy Photography blog

Subjects/courses to study for Wildlife/Nature Photography

February 21, 2021  •  1 Comment

Hi
Common regular question I was asked, what subjects/courses to study for wildlife photography /wildlife management.

For wildlife photography 70 % subject knowledge and 30 % Technical knowledge.

One can gain technical knowledge doing photography course,any short time course or photography workshop .

Sharing information from , Hindu Tamil direction in yearbook 2019 F. What to study as IFS, State Forest Officer? The full version of article published on the topic of natural security based courses " (page 287-297).

Natural Safety based courses can be divided into four categories.

Wildlife Science , Environmental Science, Forest (Forestry), Marine Biology


Natural Protection Biology is a department introduced in India at the end of the 80 s. This Department cannot be easily define. This includes more than one fields of natural science, social science and natural resources management. Courses about this can be classified as wildlife sciences. You can learn how to know the connection between environment and the living beings living in it, and how to protect them.

Although the department of environmental science (Environmental Science) has also included in an introducing the debut it is about how to prevent air, water, water, land pollution, how to evaluate and handle them.

How to manage forestry or forestry (Forestry) Department of forest based resources, protecting forest resources that are used for human beings, the fire, disease (for trees and forests) etc. It will be trained in this field like protecting them, if it comes, protecting resources, protecting resources, human-Wildlife Management, chilling natural areas etc.

Marine Biology  ,It is the marine biology to know about the creatures that live in the sea, and the connection between them and the sea, the biology of the sea, and the weather. This is a brief explanation. There are many more interiors in marine biology. For example, shrimp breeding, Marine living creatures are abundants for human food.

Apart from this, many more departments can be considered as natural protection. Most of these natural protection may be straight or small. We can see some of them.

Degree courses on environmental, Dental Protection Act (environmental law)
Ecological, Biology (ecological and bio information)
Natural, Environmental Education (Nature, environmental education)
Courses for nature, environmental protection policies (policy)
Wildlife Medicine (Wildlife Veterinary). This Department is still very backward in India. Only one college in India, it is given post graduate degree in this field.

Those who engage in the field of psychological department, especially non-human primates (Non-human primates) will help those who engage in the field (animal behavior). I have listed all types of courses collected in Google Sheet. If you knew any details not on this list, please comment here in comments.


Please click here to see the goolge spreadsheet

All the information provided in this information is received from the official websites of those colleges, universities, educational institutions. Until this article was completed (3rd November 2018) the lists of these websites were functioning properly. I am not responsible if these don't work in the future. Just like that, they did not list the details about the credibility and reputation of colleges, universities and educational institutions which provide here. After knowing the courses given here through this article, readers are asked to review the above details and then asked to decide later.

Original Source : இந்து தமிழ் திசை இயர்புக் 2௦19 ல் “ஐ.எஃப். எஸ்., மாநில வனப் பணி அதிகாரியாக என்ன படிக்க வேண்டும்? – இயற்கைப் பாதுகாப்பு சார்ந்த படிப்புகள்” (பக்கம் 287-297) எனும் தலைப்பில் வெளி வந்த கட்டுரையின் முழு பதிப்பு. நன்றி: உயிரி .Thanks to கானகக் கல்வி,Dr.Mr.Praveen Kumar for the compilation of the information.

 

Best Wishes

Rathika Ramasamy

Morning-Keoladeo National ParkMorning-Keoladeo National Park

 


Rathika Ramasamy Masterclass experience by Mr.Ananthakrishnan Srinivasan

June 01, 2019  •  3 Comments

Rathika Ramasamy Masterclass experience by Mr.Ananthakrishnan Srinivasan

FROM HAVING DREAM GEAR TO TAKING GOOD PHOTOS

Forewarning : This is not meant to be a blog on Rathika Ramasamy’s workshops but about my journey. However the impact of her teachings is such that it is very tough to not mention either my Guru’s name or her ways of teaching in every paragraph. Please bear with me for this.

It all started sometime in July / August 2016 when I was gripped with the urge to buy a “good lens” and a full frame camera. Mind you I had no inkling what I will shoot but I was certain that getting better equipment ( I had D90 and kit lens and was shooting on auto)will make me take the perfect picture that will catapult me into a famous photographer. So I got this Nikon D750 and Sigma 150-600 c lens after lot of YouTube watching only to leave them in the cupboard for few weeks!

Spotted owlet (Athene brama) ©Mr.Ananthakrishnan SrinivasanSpotted owlet (Athene brama) ©Mr.Ananthakrishnan Srinivasan

One day I decided I needed to start wildlife photography and was browsing for workshops on wildlife photography as I already knew that I had good equipment and I was ready to produce award winning photographs but only needed to know where to start.

I turned to the trusted  “Google Chacha”. I was presented with exotic and expensive tours and workshops mainly Masai Mara and couple of India destinations. This is when I stumbled upon Rathika’s workshop announcement in Bharatpur in November 2016. I knew about Rathika Ramasamy’s work and class and needless to say I was really surprised that the cost was very affordable (especially compared to the ones I looked at earlier). I got myself registered and got included in an exclusive whatsapp group of participants. This is when reality stuck me that I am going to bring into the workshop my total lack of knowledge of photography and birds. Those were the days when my bird species list started with crow and ended at Dove. Any small bird was a sparrow and scaly breasted munia was a very rare bird!

Spotted deer_D505618 ©Mr.Ananthakrishnan SrinivasanSpotted deer_D505618 ©Mr.Ananthakrishnan Srinivasan

I took the courage after few weeks and revealed to my Guru that I know nothing of photography expecting that I will get a cold mail rejecting my participation and that would be the end of my producing those BBC-worthy photos. To my surprise I got a call from Rathika telling me that she will run an exclusive session on skype to bring me upto the mark before the workshop!! That one hour session ensured that I did not make a complete fool of myself at the workshop.

Cut to Bharatpur – My individual education session complete and here I go into the Keoladeo Ghana National Park Bharatpur on a cold misty morning. Rest is full of memories and photos.From the workshop I remember Rathika madam somehow managed to spend quality time with each of the participants during every session sharing invaluable insights about the nitty-gritties of photography. I must say I was pleasantly surprised that a top photographer was willing to share her experience without any inhibition with everybody equally.

I still remember (if you have been to Bharatpur you will know this and I am sure this is a familiar scene there) the first sighting was a group of Red Crested Pochards (female) swimming  and I was capturing it (as you guessed right) sitting on the rickshaw. Suddenly comes this voice from behind “ Anantha get down and lie down on the bank! Get to level” ; a tip which I haven’t forgotten till date.

Red-crested pochard (Netta rufina)_D503939 ©Mr.Ananthakrishnan SrinivasanRed-crested pochard (Netta rufina)_D503939 ©Mr.Ananthakrishnan Srinivasan

I know at that time I was beginner enough to miss the reflection fully. But then imagine this photo taken from a Rickshaw seat level!As a beginner you tend to click everything and  think you have done extremely well if you happen to get the subject in focus. You end up with several hundred may be more than thousand shots in a day and you do not want to delete any hoping that somehow over time the out of focus shots will manifest into very sharp images. But then Rathika Madam ensured that you get into the discipline of reviewing your images the same day and delete mercilessly. I must say I still ended up bringing home 3000 odd pictures from 4 days of workshop and after 2 years I still have 200 odd left though I know there is probably 2 pictures that are worth showcasing in the context that it was my first outing of wildlife photography.

Turtle ©Mr.Ananthakrishnan SrinivasanTurtle ©Mr.Ananthakrishnan Srinivasan Indian darter (Anhinga melanogaster) ©Mr.Ananthakrishnan SrinivasanIndian darter (Anhinga melanogaster) ©Mr.Ananthakrishnan Srinivasan

 The daily evening review sessions for all participants with Rathika Madam is something any beginner will look forward to I am sure for the richness of learning this provides. She provides frank feedback and gives you useful tips to correct the shortcomings. The best part is you get opportunity next day to practise your learning and an immediate feedback on site since the mentor is always available on field to clear your doubts. Focus always used to be on Composition. Our Guru insisted on Original Composition and not rely on cropping and post processing. Several times getting original composition means extremely quick thinking. This comes with focus (pun intended) and practice.

White-throated kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis) ©Mr.Ananthakrishnan SrinivasanWhite-throated kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis) ©Mr.Ananthakrishnan Srinivasan

As a beginner you tend to click everything and  think you have done extremely well if you happen to get the subject in focus. You end up with several hundred may be more than thousand shots in a day and you do not want to delete any hoping that somehow over time the out of focus shots will manifest into very sharp images. But then Rathika Madam ensured that you get into the discipline of reviewing your images the same day and delete mercilessly. I must say I still ended up bringing home 3000 odd pictures from 4 days of workshop and after 2 years I still have 200 odd left though I know there is probably 2 pictures that are worth showcasing in the context that it was my first outing of wildlife photography.

Would like to share few images from the workshop and video.

Egret ©Mr.Ananthakrishnan SrinivasanEgret ©Mr.Ananthakrishnan SrinivasanAK

Sarus crane (Antigone antigone) ©Mr.Ananthakrishnan SrinivasanSarus crane (Antigone antigone) ©Mr.Ananthakrishnan Srinivasan Cormorant Fishing ©Mr.Ananthakrishnan Srinivasan

Thank you for reading my first bird photography outing experience.

Happy Clicking!

Ananthakrishnan Srinivasan

*** Photographs & Video @Ananthakrishnan Srinivasan

 

                                                                           

 

 

 


Wildlife photography field tips

April 14, 2019  •  2 Comments

Wildlife photography field tips

 

Would like to share few important field tips to remember in wildlife photography

Tip 1: Watch the body language of the animals/birds. For action photography  you have to anticipate their action, before pressing the shutter. When you read and understand about the behaviour of the species, we can anticipate their moves.

Sarus crane (Grus antigone)_D4S0076Sarus crane (Grus antigone)_D4S0076

Example : Sarus crane  have a fascinating mating ritual, starting with making a trumpet call followed by an elaborate courtship dance, which symbolizes a celebration of love.  This particular image was taken few years back at Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur.  While shooting ducks, this pair suddenly landed on a small mount just ahead of me.  I found them calling in synchrony and performing a well- choreographed salsa dance.   Just after the courtship call, the pair usually jumps up in the air happily and then started dancing.  When you look to capture action shots, give some space while composing.  As they may be jumping and running, if you frame too tight, part of the subject may get cut off in the image. 

Tip 2 :  Expect the unexpected. Keep your gear ready at all times at a game reserve until you come out. You will never know what you may come across.

Predator and preyPredator and prey

 On one of my trips to the park few years back, I could not get any Tiger sighting for three days, though I came across many alarm calls of Deer.  On the fourth day, when I was on my way out from the park in the evening, I suddenly spotted a movement in the roadside bushes.I found a Tiger coming out, though I hadn’t heard any alarm calls.  It walked down the side of a stream that was crossing the road.  At the same time, a herd of Deer that was grazing on the other side of the stream set eyes on the tiger.  I expected the Tiger to hunt and the herd to dash away and waited with bated breath. To my surprise, the Deer stood still and the Tiger was oblivious.  I was waiting and hoping that the Tiger would turn its glance towards the Deer.  It did do so for a second, and I got a memorable moment to capture a predator and prey looking at each other.  The entire sequence got over in no time. I was supposed to pack, but as always I remember keep my gear ready with me, until I come out from the park.

Tip 3 : Use 360° rule. If you are shooting a subject, look around your surroundings as well. You may unexpectedly come across other interesting wildlife.

The attack_D4R1732The attack_D4R1732

When I was shooting Ducks, I took my eyes off from the viewfinder for a second and looking sideways, I came across this scene. Sometimes, you get the most amazing shots when you least expect it.   I was once shooting migratory fowls in Keolodeo National Park, Bharatpur.   While I was kneeling on the ground to shoot them, all of a sudden, I saw something hurrying towards me.  I turned my lens to see what that was.  I was astonished to find a Monitor lizard running for its life as a pair of Parakeets was fiercely attacking it and trying to bite its tail. Here the Parakeet pair was driving away the lizard that was looking to steal the eggs.

Tip 4 :  When you shoot action scenes, shoot continually until action lasts. Don’t stop after you got a few good shots, thinking that it is enough.  This action may happen again, and when it does, try to improve the shots. If you are in a bird sanctuary, find out the vantage point that has a good background, lighting, and ample bird activity, and spend more time there.

Water Dance_D4S8884Water Dance_D4S8884

A memorable fight that I managed to capture is between two Indian darters (Anhinga melanogaster) at Keolodeo National Park, Bharatpur.   On opposite sides of a lake popular among Darters for fishing, I noticed two of them perched on trees, drying their wings and calling out loudly. They kept looking at each other.  In a sudden instant, both dived into the water.  After swimming close to each other for a couple of moments, they started fighting, splashing water all around.   They fought for a short while and then returned to the trees.

Tip 5 : Keep a safe distance from animals like Tiger and Elephant when with their babies as they are extra alert to any disturbance. We should strictly refrain from taking photographs of nesting, except in case of breeding colonies such as that of Painted Stork, which do not get disturbed.  If you find animals with their babies, spend time with them to capture their different playful moods.

Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)_D4S8616Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)_D4S8616Asiatic elephant (Elephas maximus),Jim Corbett National Park ,Uttarakhand

Tip 6 : To capture more than one subject with good details, increase the depth of field.  Always keep a good distance to be able to shoot them without intruding.  Use a Zoom lens to capture the images.  Prime lens may result in tight framing and cut off some part of the subjects.

Asiatic elephant (Elephas maximus)_D4R5569Asiatic elephant (Elephas maximus)_D4R5569Asiatic elephant (Elephas maximus),Jim Corbett National Park ,Uttarakhand

Tip 7 : For bird photography take the help of a local guide, who can help direct you to the right locations.  Make sure you talk to your safari driver about what you want, as he would help in getting the best point of view.

Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)_D4R2624Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)_D4R2624

Tip 8 : After shooting usual profile shots, do not take your eyes off from the viewfinder. Make sure to increase your ISO and shutter speed to freeze the action.  Be alert as the movement may be unpredictable. 

Blackbuck_D4R1890Blackbuck_D4R1890

 

Tips 9:  Local saying goes that if you respect the forest and wildlife, they won’t disappoint you. As a wildlife photographer, having in-depth knowledge of subjects, their behavior patterns and habitat help in getting such images.

Sambar Deer_D4S8258Sambar Deer_D4S8258

Happy Clicking!

Rathika Ramasamy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Review-Wildlife photography workshop ,AAZP, Vandalur, Chennai

April 12, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

Hi

Happy to share my workshop review by one of the AAZP wildlife workshop participant, Mr.Lakshmanaperumal.

Arignar Anna Zoological Park(AAZP)-Zoo school organises various programmes now a days. As a part of it, the AAZP zoo school organised two days workshop on Basic wildlife photography and Post processing techniques on April 06 and 07. India's one of the leading wildlife photographers, Rathika Ramasamy conducted this workshop and nearly 75 participants which includes Professional photographers, Working Professionals, photography enthusiasts, hobbyist photographers and even children took part in the workshop.

Personally, I was eagerly waiting for this workshop since the day I registered for it. We all have seen Rathika and other wildlife photographers' photos but we all would have thought at least once, "How beautiful this picture is and how do they take it!". I would say finally I got the answer.We all knew Rathika as a professional wildlife photographer. But, it was a big surprise when she started lecturing on Basics of wildlife photography because she is a good teacher too. Her way of communicating with people is really lovable and her energetic and enthusiastic voice drove us into the wild.

AAZP-Workshop5AAZP-Workshop5

 

In this workshop, several topics were covered like Basic photography terms, Field Identification, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife photography composition, Ethics of wildlife photography, wildlife habitat, Bird photography and more. The best part of the workshop is that Rathika shared her experience in the wild which added a flavour to the workshop and it was really useful for the participants to know how the wildlife photography trips would be in reality. Listening to her life experience in the wild was really awesome and I was tempted to visit the "wild world" with my camera to feel it. For every topic covered, Rathika Ramasamy showed the pictures of her work and explained "how to" and "how not to" take a photograph. And she had given some tips regarding booking tickets for National parks, when to visit which national park, where to find some rare species and so on.

Even during the break time, so many people approached her but she never tried to avoid anyone. She answered everyone no matter it is regarding technical aspects or work-life related questions.

  AAZP-WORKSHOP2AAZP-WORKSHOP2
 

After the lecture, the participants were taken to the field, inside the zoo, to practice on the topics covered. The participants were guided to take photos of birds and animals in the zoo. The photos were reviewed immediately on the field and given feedback. The next day, Post processing technique workshop had been conducted and Rathika taught the participants to use Adobe photoshop and Lightroom softwares. The participants were trained to edit their own photos taken on previous day and were reviewed.

 

AAZP-WORKSHOP4AAZP-WORKSHOP4

 

 

I would say this was the most valuable training I have ever attended in my life so far. I know Rathika conducts some workshops and Master classes often and I am already checking her website to lock my seat in the safari. Without any doubt Rathika can be your "Guru" as she is mine now and you will surely get the world class training in her workshops.

And During the Q&A sesssion, Rathika Ramasamy cleared all the doubts of the participants that were very basic and as well as professional.The workshop was really interesting and very useful to know about the wildlife photography. On the other side, the Zoo administration was so good in organizing the workshop. Finally, it was really amazing to work along with India's renowned photographer for two days and now I am waiting for my second chance to attend one more workshop from Rathika Ramasamy Ma'am. I won't miss it.... Would you..?

- Lakshmanaperumal Subburaj

 

AAZP-WORKSHOPAAZP-WORKSHOP

AAZP-Workshop6AAZP-Workshop6

 

 

 


Basic compostion tips for wildlife photography

April 05, 2019  •  4 Comments

     Composition tips for wildlife photography

Subject isolation : Profile shots avoid clutter, keep it simple. Long tele lens gives you shallow depth of field. Red Avadavat(Amandava amandava)_D4S0814Red Avadavat(Amandava amandava)_D4S0814

Flowers and leaves enhance the frame of this Sunbird.

Purple sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus)_D4R7829Purple sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus)_D4R7829

Though the background looks completely camouflaged, it is not distracting in this Tiger shot.

Peek-a-boo_D2X0116Peek-a-boo_D2X0116

 

Wait for birds to sit on a natural perch. When birds are perched on wires birds you can shoot just for  documentation. Avoid keeping your subject dead center, off center works very well, unless the subject is looking straight to the camera.

Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca)-Juvenile _D4R5832Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca)-Juvenile _D4R5832

Magpie robin_DD34129Magpie robin_DD34129

Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), I composed in the center, as it was looking straight into the camera.

Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus)_D4S0892Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus)_D4S0892

Leave some space in front and top of the subject. Don't keem them in tight frame.

Isabelline Shrike (Lanius isabellinus)_D4R4254Isabelline Shrike (Lanius isabellinus)_D4R4254

When shooting birds, try to catch light in the eyes.

Red wattled lapwingRed wattled lapwing

Don't cut any main part of the subject. Head turn is important in bird photography. Try to get eye contact.

Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax)_D4R5883Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax)_D4R5883

Grey Crowned Crane (Balearica regulorum)_DD32154Grey Crowned Crane (Balearica regulorum)_DD32154

Background makes a difference, try to get green background for the birds. Try different points of view to get the best background.

Sarus crane (Grus antigone)_D4S9880Sarus crane (Grus antigone)_D4S9880

If the sky is blue then it is fine, avoid feature less sky.

Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca)_D4R6788Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca)_D4R6788

Try different perspectives, use different focal lengths of your lens.

Eland_AFR3683Eland_AFR3683

Elephant herd at Dhikala, Corbett National park, taken with 70mm focal length

Elephant herd_D2X9698Elephant herd_D2X9698Jim Corbett National Park

Same herd taken with close up 200mm focal length.

Asian elephants_DD38468Asian elephants_DD38468Jim Corbett National Park

Try to capture them with natural framing.

Framed_D4R4501Framed_D4R4501

Baby elephant_D4S29081Baby elephant_D4S29081Asiatic elephant (Elephas maximus),Jim Corbett National Park ,Uttarakhand

Spotted Owlet (Athene brama)_D4R4488Spotted Owlet (Athene brama)_D4R4488

These are some basic composition tips. Framing is subjective, so try to get out of box composition, and try your own style of framing.

Experiment a lot, enjoy making the images.

Happy clicking.

Rathika Ramasamy

 

 

 

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