Rathika Ramasamy's Wildlife Photography: Blog https://www.rathikaramasamy.com/blog en-us (C) Rathika Ramasamy's Wildlife Photography (Rathika Ramasamy's Wildlife Photography) Tue, 27 Feb 2024 06:04:00 GMT Tue, 27 Feb 2024 06:04:00 GMT https://www.rathikaramasamy.com/img/s/v-12/u842312866-o611927231-50.jpg Rathika Ramasamy's Wildlife Photography: Blog https://www.rathikaramasamy.com/blog 96 120 Introduction to Bird Wildlife Photography: How to Start in 2024 https://www.rathikaramasamy.com/blog/2024/2/introduction-to-bird-wildlife-photography-how-to-start-in-2024 Introduction to Bird Wildlife Photography: How to start in 2024

 

Diving into the world of wildlife photography can be as thrilling as rewarding, offering a unique blend of adventure, artistry, and connection to the natural world. Among the many paths you can take on this journey, bird photography stands out as an accessible and immensely satisfying starting point. With just a camera in hand and a keen eye for the fluttering beauty around us, anyone can begin capturing the vivid stories of our feathered friends. In this guide, we'll navigate the essentials of starting your wildlife photography adventure, focusing on birds as your first subjects. 

Whether you're in the heart of a bustling city or the tranquility of the countryside, the sky is brimming with opportunities. Let's embark on this journey together, turning fleeting moments into lasting memories, one click at a time.

 

Why start with Bird Photography?

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Bird photography is the perfect gateway into the broader world of wildlife photography for several compelling reasons. Firstly, birds are everywhere - from the urban balconies where pigeons perch to the remote wetlands inhabited by exotic species. This ubiquity means you don't have to travel far to find your subjects.

Secondly, bird photography teaches you the fundamentals of wildlife photography, such as patience, focus, and the ability to adapt to your subject's movements quickly. These skills are crucial as you progress to photographing more elusive or more enormous wildlife.

Moreover, birds offer a colorful palette of subjects throughout the year, including migratory seasons introducing new species into your local area. This diversity not only keeps the hobby fresh but also challenges you to continually improve your technique to capture a variety of species in different environments.

In essence, starting with bird photography is practical. It allows you to practice and perfect your craft anytime, anywhere, with subjects as challenging as they are charming.

Essential gear for beginner Bird Photographers:

When venturing into bird photography, having the right gear can make a significant difference in the quality of your photos. However, you can still use the most expensive equipment. Here's a practical approach to selecting your gear:

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Camera: A mid-range DSLR or mirrorless camera with a minimum of 5 frames per second is ideal for capturing birds in motion. Look for models with good autofocus performance and high ISO capabilities to handle different lighting conditions.

 

Lenses: A minimum 400mm lens is recommended for bird photography to allow you to keep a distance without disturbing your subjects. For beginners, consider renting lenses before purchasing to find what suits your style and needs best.

 

Tripod: A sturdy monopod can help stabilize your shots, especially with longer lenses that are heavier and more prone to camera shake.

 

Binoculars: These are not directly related to photography but are essential for spotting birds and observing their behaviour before taking the shot.

 

Remember, the emphasis is on starting with what you can afford or access. Rentals are a fantastic way to use high-quality gear without the initial investment. Additionally, practicing with what you have, even a kit lens, is better than waiting until you can afford the perfect setup. You can photograph larger wildlife with less zoom, for example, using a kit lens effectively in the right situations.

 

Finding your subjects, Where and when to Look:

Discovering where and when to find your feathered subjects is pivotal in bird photography. Here's how to maximize your chances of capturing those awe-inspiring shots:

 

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Local Hotspots: Start with local parks, gardens, and water bodies like lakes and wetlands. These areas often attract a variety of birds and are excellent for practice. Online birding forums and apps can help you identify hotspots in your area.

 

Backyard Birding: Pay attention to the potential of your backyard or balcony. Setting up bird feeders can attract various species right to your door, offering a convenient practice ground.

 

Timing is Key: Birds are most active during the early morning or late afternoon, known as the "golden hours" for bird activity and photography light. Migratory seasons in spring and autumn can also provide unique opportunities to capture visiting species.

 

Bird Behavior: Understanding basic bird behaviors can help you anticipate their next move, making it easier to capture them in action. For example, knowing that kingfishers dive into water for fish can prepare you to capture that split-second action.

 

Patience Pays Off: The best approach is often to find a promising spot and wait. Birds are habitual creatures, and by observing quietly, you'll learn their patterns and find the perfect moment to shoot.

 

By researching and spending time in nature, you'll find great subjects and develop a deeper appreciation for the natural world. Each outing can teach you something new about where and when to find the most photographically rewarding bird encounters.

 

The art of approach and observation:

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Mastering getting close to birds without startling them is crucial for capturing stunning photographs. Here's how to refine your approach and observation skills:

 

 Blend In: Wear neutral-colored clothing to blend into your surroundings. Move slowly and quietly to avoid drawing attention to yourself. Quick movements or loud noises can easily spook birds.

 

First image principle: Upon spotting a bird, take your first shot from a distance. This ensures you have a capture even if the bird flies away. Then, slowly and cautiously, move closer to improve your shot, if possible.

 

Understanding bird behavior is as important as not startling them. Spend time observing their habits. Birds returning to the same perch or following a specific pattern while searching for food can provide predictable moments for photography.

 

Patience is your greatest ally. Sometimes, it's more effective to choose a promising location and wait for the birds to come into the frame rather than chasing them. This method yields better photographs and minimizes stress on the birds, ensuring ethical photography practices.

 

Remember, the well-being of your subject always comes first. Maintain a respectful distance, and use your zoom lens to close the gap. If a bird shows signs of distress or disturbance, it's time to back off. This respectful approach ensures that you preserve the natural behavior of the birds, resulting in more authentic and captivating images.

 

Bird Photography shooting tips:

Capturing the essence of bird life through your lens requires more than just the right equipment and location. Here are some practical shooting tips to help you bring home those stunning bird photographs:

 

Focus on the eyes: Ensuring the bird's eyes are in sharp focus is crucial. A well-focused eye brings life and emotion to your photograph, connecting the subject and the viewer.

 

Experiment with composition: While the rule of thirds is a good starting point, feel free to experiment with different compositions. Sometimes, placing the bird off-center or capturing it within its environment can tell a more compelling story.

 

Understand Light: Early morning or late afternoon light is softer and warmer, offering beautiful lighting for your photographs. Position yourself so the light falls onto the bird, illuminating its features and colors.

 

Capture behavior: Images of birds doing something interesting—feeding, flying, or interacting with each other—add dynamism to your photos. Watch through the viewfinder, anticipate these moments and be ready to capture them.

 

Use Continuous Shooting Mode: Birds move unpredictably. Using your camera's continuous shooting (burst) mode increases your chances of capturing that perfect moment.

 

Background matters: A cluttered background can distract from your subject. Aim for simple backgrounds that complement the bird, enhancing the overall impact of your shot. You can always break the rule, keep out of focus foreground too works some time.

 

Above all, practice regularly. Spend more time watching your subjects .The more you shoot, the better you'll anticipate bird behavior and master your camera settings for various conditions. Bird photography, like any art form, is a journey of continuous learning and passion.

 

Ethics of wildlife photography and respect for nature:

 

As bird photographers, we are responsible for prioritizing the well-being of our subjects and their habitats over capturing the perfect shot. Ethical photography ensures we minimize our impact on wildlife and contribute positively to conservation efforts.

 

Approaching wildlife photography with respect means maintaining a safe distance to avoid causing stress or altering the natural behavior of birds. It's crucial to recognize signs of distress in your subjects and retreat if necessary. Playback calls to attract birds, for instance, should be avoided as it can disrupt their natural activities and cause unnecessary stress.

 

Preserving the integrity of their habitats is also paramount. Stick to established paths and viewpoints to reduce disturbance and protect sensitive ecosystems. Remember, our presence in nature should be as unobtrusive as possible, leaving no trace behind.

 

Sharing your photographs can play a vital role in promoting conservation awareness. However, be mindful of the messages your images convey. Highlighting the beauty and importance of birds and their environments can inspire others to appreciate and protect our natural world.

 

Ethical bird photography is about striking a balance between our passion for capturing the beauty of birds and our duty to protect them. By adopting these respectful practices, we contribute to preserving wildlife for future generations to enjoy and photograph.

 

Building sour Skills and community engagement:

 

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Improving your wildlife photography skills is a journey that thrives on continuous learning and community engagement. Here are some straightforward strategies to enhance your abilities and connect with like-minded enthusiasts:

 

Participate in Workshops and Courses: Attending workshops and photography courses, especially those focused on wildlife or bird photography, is invaluable. These settings offer direct learning from experienced photographers, providing insights into techniques and equipment that might take years to discover on your own.

 

Join Photography Clubs: Local photography clubs are a treasure trove of knowledge and inspiration. They provide a platform for sharing experiences, participating in photo walks, and receiving constructive feedback on your work.

 

Engage Online: The digital era offers endless opportunities for learning and interaction. Join online photography forums, social media groups, or platforms dedicated to wildlife photography. These communities are great for advice, inspiration, and constructive critique.

 

Practice Regularly: The essence of photography lies in practice. Spend time in nature, experiment with different settings, and challenge yourself with new subjects and lighting conditions. Regular practice sharpens your skills and deepens your understanding of the wildlife you photograph.

 

Share Your Work and Stories: Sharing your photographs and the stories behind them can not only inspire others but also open doors to feedback that can help you grow. Platforms like Instagram, photography blogs, or local exhibitions allow you to showcase your work and engage with a broader audience.

 

 Volunteer for Conservation Projects: Engaging in bird conservation projects or volunteering for wildlife sanctuaries not only contributes positively to the environment but also provides unique opportunities to photograph wildlife in different contexts, enhancing your portfolio and understanding of the natural world.

 

By actively seeking opportunities to learn, share, and engage, you not only refine your photography skills but also contribute to a vibrant community of wildlife photography enthusiasts. This communal journey enriches your experience, broadens your network, and ultimately elevates your craft in wildlife photography.

 

Conclusion:

Embarking on the journey of wildlife photography, mainly through the captivating realm of bird photography, is an enriching experience that blends art, nature, and conservation. Equipped with the right gear, knowledge of where and when to find your subjects and a respectful approach to wildlife, you're set to capture the beauty and essence of the natural world.

 

Remember, the path to becoming a skilled wildlife photographer is paved with patience, practice, and continuous learning. Engaging with the photography community and participating in conservation efforts hones your skills and contributes to protecting our planet's incredible biodiversity.

 

As you venture out with your camera, let your passion for photography and respect for nature guide you. Each photograph you take is a testament to the beauty of wildlife and an opportunity to inspire others to appreciate and protect it.

Happy shooting!

Stacy Witten
 

GUEST AUTHOR : Stacy Witten is a photographer and the author of the Lensespro blog. She has been a professional photographer for seven years and possesses excellent knowledge and passion for photography.

Images copyrighted ©Rathika Ramasamy

 

 

 

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(Rathika Ramasamy's Wildlife Photography) Bird Photography photography tips rathikaramasamy workshops https://www.rathikaramasamy.com/blog/2024/2/introduction-to-bird-wildlife-photography-how-to-start-in-2024 Mon, 26 Feb 2024 14:50:35 GMT
Subjects/courses to study for Wildlife/Nature Photography https://www.rathikaramasamy.com/blog/2021/2/subjects/courses-to-study-for-wildlife-and-nature 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

 

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(Rathika Ramasamy's Wildlife Photography) bird photography forest rathikaramasamy wildlife management wildlife photography https://www.rathikaramasamy.com/blog/2021/2/subjects/courses-to-study-for-wildlife-and-nature Sun, 21 Feb 2021 13:21:51 GMT
Rathika Ramasamy Masterclass experience by Mr.Ananthakrishnan Srinivasan https://www.rathikaramasamy.com/blog/2019/6/rathika-ramasamy-masterclass-experience-by-mr-ananthakrishnan-srinivasan 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

 

                                                                           

 

 

 

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(Rathika Ramasamy's Wildlife Photography) https://www.rathikaramasamy.com/blog/2019/6/rathika-ramasamy-masterclass-experience-by-mr-ananthakrishnan-srinivasan Sat, 01 Jun 2019 13:50:53 GMT
Wildlife photography field tips https://www.rathikaramasamy.com/blog/2019/4/wildlife-photography-field-tips 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Rathika Ramasamy's Wildlife Photography) https://www.rathikaramasamy.com/blog/2019/4/wildlife-photography-field-tips Sun, 14 Apr 2019 11:53:16 GMT
Review-Wildlife photography workshop ,AAZP, Vandalur, Chennai https://www.rathikaramasamy.com/blog/2019/4/review-wildlife-photography-workshop-aazp-vandalur-chennai 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

 

 

 

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(Rathika Ramasamy's Wildlife Photography) AAZP birdphotography Chennai indianbirds nature rathikaramasamy widllife workshop https://www.rathikaramasamy.com/blog/2019/4/review-wildlife-photography-workshop-aazp-vandalur-chennai Fri, 12 Apr 2019 10:20:37 GMT
Basic compostion tips for wildlife photography https://www.rathikaramasamy.com/blog/2019/4/basic-compostion-tips-photography      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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(Rathika Ramasamy's Wildlife Photography) https://www.rathikaramasamy.com/blog/2019/4/basic-compostion-tips-photography Fri, 05 Apr 2019 10:53:17 GMT
Composition tips for habitat image https://www.rathikaramasamy.com/blog/2019/4/composition-how-to-capture-habitat-images  

Composition tips for better habitat bird/animal photography images.

Composition is a key aesthetic part of photography. It is very subjective. Before composing any images first ask yourself, what sort of image do you want to capture? Is it only documentation? How you are going to shoot? How can you photograph differently? Are you trying to convey some story? If you are going to just click, it is only a snapshot. To create strong images, you need to spend some time on arranging your subjects in the frame. You can previsualize before the shoot, or you can decide on the spot.

Few tips for making some strong images.

How to compose habitat image:

  • Different points of view, move around to get better POV
  •  Don’t lose your subject, Keep it clutter free
  • Avoid feature less sky
  • Zoom lens, try different focal length composition, different lens, like wide angle lens
  • First take one habitat shot, then approach for close up
  • Check all possible locations for a better image

Pelican with typical Bharatpur habitat.

Spot-billed pelican (Pelecanus philippensis)_D4R5712Spot-billed pelican (Pelecanus philippensis)_D4R5712

 

Tiger, Telia lake, Tadoba Walking around the Telia lake_D4R0079Walking around the Telia lake_D4R0079

Tiger crossing the Ramganga river, Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand

Tiger scape_D4R9472Tiger scape_D4R9472 If the subjects gives time, try both vertical and horizontal frames

Cat walk _D4S9933Cat walk _D4S9933"Jim corbett nationalpark",Uttarakhand

Red-crested pochard (Netta rufina), habitat image

Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)_D4R2650Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)_D4R2650

Red-crested pochard (Netta rufina), Close up image

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

The image has to showcase the particular habitat, Nilgiri tahr (Nilgiritragus hylocrius), Rajamalai, Eravikulam National Park

NiligiriTarNiligiriTarEravikulam National park,Rajamalai,Kerala

Grassland of Corbett National park.

Asian elephants_DD38687Asian elephants_DD38687Jim Corbett National Park

Habitat shots not as easy as it seems, you have spend time on creating strong background images.

Respect nature  and enjoy the photography.

Happy Clicking

Rathika Ramasamy

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(Rathika Ramasamy's Wildlife Photography) Bharatpur Bird Photography Birding Birds composition Indian birds mammals Rathika Ramasamy tips https://www.rathikaramasamy.com/blog/2019/4/composition-how-to-capture-habitat-images Fri, 05 Apr 2019 08:33:02 GMT
Bird Photography-Tips https://www.rathikaramasamy.com/blog/2019/4/bird-photography-1  

Bird Photography Tips

 SPOTTING BIRDS

(Your first task: spot some birds.)

These are a few tips for the beginner.

 Where, when and how do I spot birds?

WHERE:

Local parks, Bird sanctuaries nearby, wetlands, open fields. DO plan what you are looking to shoot. Resident birds or migratory visitors? You should start birding from your backyard - ,India has more than 20 birds who reside in an urban habitat .Find out about hotspots for birds in your town/city, from experienced birders. (Hotspot Definition: your spot should have a lot of bird species, good lighting, and should be close enough for a one-day trip. During winter most places enjoy winter visitors. Summer and monsoon are also very good season for resident birds. DO find out and join your local birding group, which will allow you to keep in touch with local birding hotspots and more information. After exploring your local birding hotspots, if you feel you would like to shoot some more, then it’s time to graduate to other parks/cities.

Indian roller (Coracias benghalensis)_DD32175Indian roller (Coracias benghalensis)_DD32175

PLANNING:

Know what you are planning to shoot, the time of year those birds will be present, and more. Collect a checklist of the birds in that area. Read trip reports about places you going visit. Network with groups and nature photographers to help you get more details. To share travel and stay costs, try to plan 3 or 4 photographers, who are at the same learning curve. For example at national parks, the park safari fees are high, but going with a group will enable you to make more trips. If you get a chance to accompany an experienced photographer, so much the better as you can learn lot.

 

Painted stork (Mycteria leucocephala) _D4S6791Painted stork (Mycteria leucocephala) _D4S6791

HOW:

Birds are most active in the early morning. Field knowledge, such as bird habitat and routines, is extremely helpful. For example, the Green Bee Eater will perch usually in one spot. Kingfishers usually sit at the edge of water bodies and small ponds, waiting for their prey to surface.

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)_DD39499Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)_DD39499

Instead of trying to visit new places every time, go to the same place and watch the birds’ activities. Areas full of prey and water bodies are main attractions for the birds. In grasslands you will spot larks and wagtails feeding on insects. Food habits are a prime driver in helping spot ideal places. All birds have a favorite water body - they have to drink at least once a day.

A good field guide is necessary for bird identification. I carry this on all my field trips: ‘Pocket guide to the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent’ by Richard Grimmtt, Carol Inskipp and Tim Inskipp

Along with your camera and accessories, a good pair of binocular helps watch bird activity closely.

Sarus crane (Grus antigone)_D4S1168Sarus crane (Grus antigone)_D4S1168

 

THE APPROACH AND THE ACTUAL SHOOT:

 AVOID THESE

* Bright clothing

* Loud sounds

* Quick moves

* Hair spray, gel, strongly smelling sun cream

 On spotting the bird, first click a shot, next move a little closer and take a second shot. For birds, no movement means invisibility :). If you find a place which promises birds activity later, Do wait there, instead of running all over and getting no good pictures. Have patience and you’ll have a better chance at coming back with few good shots.

 *If you feel the bird is not comfortable (i.e. looking at you, showing signs of flight) then stop and give it some time to get used to your presence.

 *At sanctuaries, birds are usually used to human presence, so a closer approach is possible.

Grey heron (Ardea cinerea)_BID7213Grey heron (Ardea cinerea)_BID7213

 ***IMPORTANT: Birds and the habitat are more important than your photograph****

 Please remember you are entering their world, so respect nature, DO NOT disturb these beautiful creatures merely for a better photograph. Always maintain a distance and do follow the nature photography ethics.

 Happy birding and happy clicking,

 

Happy clicking!

Rathika Ramasamy

Oriental dwarf kingfisher (Ceyx erithaca)Oriental dwarf kingfisher (Ceyx erithaca)RATHIKARAMASAMY

 

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(Rathika Ramasamy's Wildlife Photography) Bharatpur Bird Photography Birding Birds Indian birds Nikon Photography" Rathika Ramasamy Wildlife https://www.rathikaramasamy.com/blog/2019/4/bird-photography-1 Thu, 04 Apr 2019 11:46:43 GMT
Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve-Maharashtra https://www.rathikaramasamy.com/blog/2013/5/tadoba-andhari-tiger-reserve--april-2013  

              Sharing some images from my Tadoba trip,had good sightings of Telia cubs.Wish the park authority opens all routes soon.

 

             Telia Tigress

Telia_DD34167

                                          Feeling thirsty

Thirsty Tiger_D4R8952

                                         Tigress got surprise visitor.

 

Tiger-Sloth bear_D4R9019

                                          Doing some stretching exercises Stretching exercise_D4R9836

                                           Cooling off, it is their favourite pastime in the morning and evening.

Cooling-off_D4R0062

             Close up of Telia cub.Telia Tigress_D4R9633              Jaddu ki Jappi-Langur

Langur-_D4R9301

              Sloth bear (Melursus ursinus)

Sloth bear (Melursus ursinus)_D4R9109

             Spotted DeerSpotted deer_D4R9171

                                         Sambar deerSambar deer _D4R9376

              Road to Tadoba lake

Tadoba_D4R9348

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(Rathika Ramasamy's Wildlife Photography) https://www.rathikaramasamy.com/blog/2013/5/tadoba-andhari-tiger-reserve--april-2013 Wed, 08 May 2013 10:04:18 GMT
Awesome Kaziranga National Park-Feb 2013 https://www.rathikaramasamy.com/blog/2013/3/awesome-kaziranga-national-park-feb-2013  

                 Sharing a few images from Kaziranga National Park, one of the most beautiful national parks in India .
                 My wish to photograph One horned rhino was fulfilled at last.

 

            Hog deer (Hyelaphus porcinus) on the road.

Deer_D4R5384

 

              In the water-One-horned Rhinoceros

Greater one-horned rhinoceros_D4R5548

             Bar headed goose & Greater one-horned rhinoceros

Greater one-horned rhinoceros__D4R6428

              Framed

Greater one-horned rhinoceros_D4R5818

             Mother and daughter

Greater one-horned rhinoceros_D4R7111

              Elephant and Pelican

Kaziranga_D4R3944

             Traffic jam-Mother and baby elephant  crossing the road.

Traffic-jam_DD33607

          Egret and  Elephant

         Kaziranga_D4R3968

                                                          Wild water buffalo (Bubalus arnee)

Wild-buffalo_D4R4735

            

               Sun basking Turtle familyTurtle family_D4R7018

              Lesser Adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus)

Lesser Adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus)_D4R6246

     

 

               Egret

Egret_D4R5985

             

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(Rathika Ramasamy's Wildlife Photography) Indian wildlife Kaziranga National Park Assam Bird Photography Greater one-horned rhinoceros Kaziranga Nikon Rathika Ramasamy https://www.rathikaramasamy.com/blog/2013/3/awesome-kaziranga-national-park-feb-2013 Tue, 12 Mar 2013 03:25:38 GMT
Rocking Keoladeo National Park,Feb 2013 https://www.rathikaramasamy.com/blog/2013/2/keoladeo-national-park-bharatpur Sharing few images from my last visit to Keoladeo National Park,Bharatpur, Rajasthan
After the 2009 season, the bird sanctuary is seeing its good old days. The park  has this year got all the water it needs to attract large number of bird flocks.I could see that the Migratory Waterfowl has come back.

The main attraction this time was White Pelicans, which I have spotted in huge groups here for the first time.

 

                                  Here's a small group of Pelicans preening in the mist, this is one of my favourite images.

Pelican_D4R0955

 

 

 

                                Oriental Darter(Anhinga melanogaster ) tossing fish

Oriental Darter(Anhinga melanogaster ) _D4R1120               Purple Heron and Egret  playing

Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea_D4R3112

             Spot-billed Duck (Anas poecilorhyncha)

Spot-billed Duck (Anas poecilorhyncha)_D4R2872

              Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)

Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)_D4R2997

              Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)_D4R1464               Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea)

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea)_D4R0198              Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus)

Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus)_D4R3073

             Oriental Darter (Anhinga melanogaster )

Oriental Darter(Anhinga melanogaster)_D4R0109

              Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala)The Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala) _D4R0471                                Crested Serpent Eagle (Spilornis cheela)

           

Crested Serpent Eagle (Spilornis cheela)_D4R0485

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(Rathika Ramasamy's Wildlife Photography) Bharatpur Bird Photography Birding Birds Indian birds Photography" Rathika Ramasamy https://www.rathikaramasamy.com/blog/2013/2/keoladeo-national-park-bharatpur Sat, 16 Feb 2013 11:43:18 GMT