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:
Pelican with typical Bharatpur habitat.
Tiger, Telia lake, Tadoba
Tiger crossing the Ramganga river, Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
If the subjects gives time, try both vertical and horizontal frames
Red-crested pochard (Netta rufina), habitat image
Red-crested pochard (Netta rufina), Close up image
The image has to showcase the particular habitat, Nilgiri tahr (Nilgiritragus hylocrius), Rajamalai, Eravikulam National Park
Grassland of 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.
(Your first task: spot some birds.)
These are a few tips for the beginner.
Where, when and how do I spot birds?
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.
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.
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.
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.
THE APPROACH AND THE ACTUAL SHOOT:
* 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.
***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,
Sharing some images from my Tadoba trip,had good sightings of Telia cubs.Wish the park authority opens all routes soon.
Tigress got surprise visitor.
Doing some stretching exercises
Cooling off, it is their favourite pastime in the morning and evening.
Close up of Telia cub. Jaddu ki Jappi-Langur
Sloth bear (Melursus ursinus)
Road to Tadoba lake
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.
In the water-One-horned Rhinoceros
Bar headed goose & Greater one-horned rhinoceros
Mother and daughter
Elephant and Pelican
Traffic jam-Mother and baby elephant crossing the road.
Egret and Elephant
Wild water buffalo (Bubalus arnee)
Sun basking Turtle family
Lesser Adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus)
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.
Spot-billed Duck (Anas poecilorhyncha)
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea)
Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus)
Oriental Darter (Anhinga melanogaster )