TADOBA WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR BY GANESH C
WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR, EVERY PHOTOGRAPHER MUST ESCAPADE ONCE
Henri Cartier-Bresson once quoted “To photograph is to hold one’s breath when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.”
Hola Readers! We hope you are safe and sound. Chiiz is back with another photographic experience this time with wild animals and their beauty.
We keep on traveling to different places for mind-blowing experiences and to learn new photography skills. We don’t stop there, we also arrange different types of photographic workshops. Anyone can click a photo but only a few can narrate a story through it, that’s the magic of real photographers. Photos have no words yet they touch the soul of the viewers that’s the charm of photography.
We all love to explore, and so we travel in search of wondrous experience. Sometimes at the beach, sometimes in the valley finding our inner peace, sometimes scary adventure trips for eleutheromania and sometimes to enjoy the different creatures of the world. Yes, animals! We have seen them mostly in the zoo but what can be better than getting to know them in their own habitat, wild and free.
Nature is enchanting, especially at night. The sky studded with stars, gleaming horror of the dark, the roaring of the lions, the sound of crickets. That’s the treasure trove of the forest. Nature helps us look at things in an unfiltered manner, it is everything in its truest form. Observing nature closely can be a very soothing and calming experience. It is a place where one can feel unhindered and concentrate on positive thoughts.
Forest is the place to look for mother earth and it’s creativity. You don’t know which animal will amaze you at the next step, maybe a baby elephant or some group of monkeys. Wildlife is appalling yet appealing with lots of fun and thrill, so is wildlife photography. Capturing wildlife and its beauty in your camera is full of excitement, spontaneity and you need to master that.
“Path of Tadoba Sanctuary”
Looking at the image, one sees that the path is sunkissed and is flanked by a dense line of trees. This is what Chiiz experienced in its wildlife tour at Tadoba National Park situated in Nagpur. Previously there was Navegaon village that is now known by Navagaon Gate which is closest to all other gates of the park. This small village was filled with human footsteps but the government moved people to another place and made this a haven for animals. A huge space equal to 433 football grounds is available for those animals to roam freely without any worries. Now, this is Maharashtra’s oldest and largest wildlife national park, giving you the privilege of Jungle Safari not just to enjoy but also to capture them in your memories for lifelong. This place is also known as ‘The Jewel of Vidarbha’. This place is open to all tourists throughout the year. Apart from jungle safari you also get the homespun feeling here in the womb of nature, you can have a tribal cultural experience. It’s a perfect picnic spot for nature lovers.
AN ESSENCE INTO WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY
Wildlife photography is a quite challenging yet exciting category in the world of photography. It demands a lot of patience & dedication. It isn’t just about capturing the animals in a frame. We need to document it in such a way that a person can view the animal’s natural habitat, feel their emotions, and can adore their lifestyle. For that, understanding animal behavior is of much importance, or else it could be quite dangerous too. One needs to hold themselves, have a lot of patience, and not be in haste to get the perfect click. You need to respect their space, let them get comfortable with your presence, make yourself familiar to them. After all, they can sense the right things easily, who knows they might start giving you a pose then, Huh?
Leaving your comfort zone and hunting for an eye-catching picture in a dense forest with dangerous animals by risking your life is arduous, but when you find it, that’s a moment of pride. Nature is always giving; we never lose anything; we just learn and move on. We should be more alert and be flexible with our surroundings. If you get distracted, then things can turn upside down.
You need to be open to your ideas and thoughts. A situation may look ordinary but you need to make it creative through your frame, that’s what a good photographer does. The photo shouldn’t be blurry, the camera lens should be chosen properly and the angle must be perfect, as you are in a forest you can’t engage in risk of retake or reshoot. You can’t expect favorable conditions in terms of light, background, environment, nor can you predict the animal’s mood that you are shooting. Nature always touches your soul. It’s full of mystery. You just need to step out.
HISTORY OF WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY
It all started with photos of animals that were usually pets, stuffed, and zoo animals because it was so difficult to get a photograph of wildlife due to slow lenses and the low sensitivity of photographic media. These included photos of lion cubs taken at the Bristol zoo in 1854 and 1864, pictures of the last Quagga by Frank Hayes. Wildlife photography gained more attention when faster photographic emulsions and quicker shutters came in the 1880s. Developments like these lead to photos such as the ones taken by German Ottomar Anschutz in 1884, the first shots of wild birds in action. In July 1906, National Geographic published its first wildlife photos. The photos were taken by George Shiras III, a U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania. Some of his photographs were taken with the first wire-tripped camera traps.
Now have a look at this field, wildlife photography has become a passion. It’s not just capturing anything. It’s a moment to describe those animals and most importantly yourself. You become a self-learner, gradually you will understand about their lifestyle, how to capture things, which lenses are perfect in which situation, what’s an animal reaction towards you, and so on.
Some choose only one specific species to shoot. Some go with its different variations. Some choose all types of rare species depending on person to person, but what matters is the photographer’s dedication towards it. You shall be comfortable with traveling and staying outdoors. Once you are into it, you won’t feel like leaving it because nature always teaches you new things which you can’t think of, you need to be open to whatever nature throws at you.
INDIA’S TOP WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHERS
It took a lot of hard work to grow in this field. There are a bunch of people who are regularly putting in their efforts & using their knowledge to educate others as well. One of them is Rathika Ramasamy. She’s India’s first woman wildlife photographer. Sunjoy Monga, Latika Nath, N. A. Naseer & much more relentlessly working to make the world aware of this field. While talking about wildlife photography how can one forget Sudhir Shivaram? He is one of the best wildlife photographers of this field & now his teaching aspirants.
LIFE AT TADOBA
Art is not what you see, it’s what you feel just like that picture is not just a still image, it has the power to convey the whole story. And to tell you a story Chiiz visited Tadoba National Park for a photography tour.
HISTORY OF TADOBA
Tadoba Wildlife Sanctuary is also known as “Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve”. It is one of India’s 47 project tiger reserves in India. The word ‘Tadoba’ is derived from the name of God “Tadoba” or “Taru,” which is praised by local tribal people who lived in this region and “Andhari” is derived from the name of Andhari river that flows in this area.
FLORA AT TADOBA
The Tadoba Tiger Reserve is rich in diverse varieties of flora and fauna. Some of the famous and widely seen flora of this park include Ain (crocodile bark), Bija, Dhauda, Semal, Tendu, Beheda, Hirda, Karaya gum, Mahua Madhuca, Arjun, Black Plum, and many others. Among which Bamboo and Teak are very popular. Also, there are medicinal plants & fire-resistant species growing here.
FAUNA AT TADOBA
About the fauna, it’s popular for tigers known as ‘Land of Tigers’ as it has a large number of tigers with a variety of other species. Apart from this the list of animals noted in this part include Indian Leopards, Sloth bears, Nilgai, Striped Hyena, Small Indian Civet, Jungle Cats, Sambar, Barking Deer, Honey Badger, Spotted Deer, Russell’s Viper, Marsh Crocodile, Indian Star Tortoise, Indian Python, Indian Cobra, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Peacock, Changeable Hawk-Eagle, Jewel Beetles, Lynx Spiders Wolf Spiders, etc.
The lake is an ornithologist’s paradise with a wide diversity of water birds and raptors. Some bird species you can find here are like the white-eyed buzzard, Eurasian sparrow hawk, common rosefinch, Bonelli’s eagle, black-headed ibis, black redstart nape, pied kingfisher, banded bay cuckoo, etc.
CHIIZ WILDLIFE TOUR
This tour was of three days from 20th March 2019 to 22nd March 2019 with wildlife expert ‘Ganesh Chandrashekar‘. While traveling especially in the forest on a photography tour you need to take precautions and carry needful things only with you or else prepare a checklist just like we did. Carry a waterproof mid-weight jacket, waterproof pants, layered medium weight clothing, ankle-high leather boots, sunglass, waterproof cap, lightweight flip flop, quick-dry towel, water-resistant backpack, camera, batteries, chargers, waterproof cover for the camera, electrical converter and adapter, binoculars, plastic zip bags, sleeping bag, head torch, sunscreen lotion, insect repellent, all necessary medications, motion sickness pills, toilet rolls and you are ready to go!
ABOUT THE MENTOR
Ganesh Chandrashekhar has experience of more than a decade. He is an expert in spotting and capturing wild mammals and birds. He started documenting and teaching different methods of learning. Worked with different mentors in tracking animals and tried being up close to know their behavior, he also worked in the fashion industry for conceptual shoots and lighting techniques and has worked with all kinds of photography jobs quickly and effectively. Intimately familiar with taking high-quality digital photographs.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TOUR
- Accompanied by Wildlife Photographer Ganesh Chandrashekar.
- 2 Nights and 3 days in Wild India Exploration Wildlife field station.
- Rare hotspot for Tiger Watching and Photography Tour.
- Best parks to see and photograph endangered tigers.
- Jungle safaris/game drives, in an open private vehicle (gypsy).
- Best for nature lovers and photographers of any skill level.
- Less travel, hence, maximum time spent in the forest.
Chiiz arranged this trip so effectively so that every participant can get access to every single moment. A restricted number of people grabs undiverted attention. Mentor highlighted key points that travelers should practice in the forest. Like speaking softly, not to talk loudly on the phone, keep a safe distance from animals, not litter forest. I think keeping the surroundings clean shall be a practice in daily life though. After traveling for hours Chiiz reached Nagpur with all the candidates.
ITINERARY FOR THE TOUR
The day started before sunrise. Our participants were excited to reach Tadoba and explore wildlife. They halted in a hotel near the sanctuary. View from the hotel was marvelous, surrounded by trees & birds with a rustling sound. As they were staying in the middle of the deciduous forest. After a short break & some snacks, they got ready. Firstly there was an introduction session so they all can get to know each other better. Basic guidelines where provided. They zip their bag, tied their lace, adjusted their camera & stepped towards the forest.
They look at the widely spread forest Tadoba. Meadows were scattered throughout the forest. Gypsy was waiting near the entrance to take us on a ride. The view was spectacular from gypsy as you can see those creatures more clearly. As the safari engined, they saw spotted deer, walking through their path, as it came specially to greet Chiiz. Candidates were astonished by having a close look at deer.
After a while they saw a Gaur feeding his child, spreading love all over. As the day was passing by they encountered many other wildlife species like langurs & hyenas. All candidates were trying their best to capture these animals in their frame. They were using different types of lenses. Some with microlens, wide-angle lens, telephoto lenses according to their use and comfort. Are you wondering, are they all photography experts? It’s not like that all are masters, but they were keen to explore. Some were even freshers, probably this was their first photography tour. Mentor was closely in touch with every participant, he was guiding them on every step.
The first safari ride was over. They took a break from jungle safari & went back to the hotel for lunch. They sat together as a family, had lunch & then rested for a while. The day was not over yet! They were eager for their 2nd safari ride & to spot some more animals & birds. Yes, we go twice for a safari in a day. Isn’t that exciting? After all, we are here to capture & unmask wildlife as much as possible.
By the sunset, they returned to their wing. It’s time to feed your belly! They had their food & headed towards the meeting room. Meeting? What kind of meeting on a tour? It was an interactive session with each other. The most awaited part of the whole trip! They talked for hours, shared their photographs with each other. Mentor was giving some intriguing tips on wildlife photography. How can you frame the photo? Which lens is most suitable in which situations? What precautions should you take? & so on. After all, the trip was all about wildlife photography & photography techniques.
nother day, another morning. The energy level was higher than yesterday. With the first sunray, they reached the park. Driving first into the park can be very useful for photographers. They can understand animal behavior by looking at the surroundings. Fresh footmarks of animals can actually tell a whole story! Were they crawling the whole night or were they hunting for their dinner. Capturing those moments is the icing on the cake!
As we were enjoying our safari, our whole day spent searching for animals to give us an awe moment. Participants saw many birds, reptiles & different types of breeds. After wandering for approximately one and a half hours, they finally came across a big cat, orange-colored skin with black stripes. Yes, Tiger! It was sitting near the tree.
“Sonam – A Wild Tigress staring at participants”
Sonam was hiding in bushes. Our member laid down to shoot this moment. They didn’t wanna lose this chance. Wait, Who’s this Sonam but? Lady don of the forest this tigress is called Sonam due to her S shape strips on the neck. Almost all animals & their curbs have unique names here, so caretakers can identify them easily.
At the end of each day, they have a photograph review session, where they look at each other’s photos and learn from it. Mentor was looking at everyone’s photo, briefing them, and suggesting his views. How you can click them in a much better way. What should be the camera angle? They used to click hundreds of photos in a day.
Two days just flew away like that. An adventurous trip was about to end. It was the last day, last safari ride & last chance on this trip to capture the best of Tadoba. It was a sunny morning. Climate was nearly 37°C, which was a bit challenging but no one could stop us. They bumped into gypsy for a safari tour. After riding for hours they reached near the lake site. It was a sight for sore eyes. Animals were quenching, the attraction point in that splashing water was a crocodile with its sharp teeth & tough body. It was a stunning scenario.
Mother earth is thriving, it’s heaven to all creatures living here. It was afternoon and they went back to the hotel. Everyone was enjoying the tour & sessions. It was so refreshing and informative. Do the safari, eat, sleep, and again back to the safari, playing games, mingling with each other. That’s the real fun and essence of traveling out. It was time to bid bye with oodles of memories, experience & photos.
CHIIZ UPCOMING TOUR
Does that excite you? Do you want to board with us & have a wonderful time? Chiiz we’ll be back soon with another wildlife photography tour. All the details will be posted, stay updated with us. Make sure you don’t miss this opportunity. You will get to interact with a mentor who’s an expert in wildlife photography & with a bunch of knowledge. You can discover wildlife photography as well as you can also know the path to make this your profession. That’s time to learn and experience. You can discover new places, carry out research projects, capture rare species, and save it in your gallery to adore livelong. Explore life, people, culture & oneself. To know more about us and our event you can visit our site events.chiiz.com. Or you can subscribe to our Facebook & Instagram handle.
Chiiz is a platform for all photographers who love to explore. You can also showcase your talent through the ‘Chiiz Photography Contest’. We publish a digital magazine every month that contains the best pictures and articles submitted by brilliant folks. You can read our blogs on the chiiz blog page. Hunt for the best shall never end.
Keep Clicking! Keep Growing! Keep Surfing! Toodles!
About the Author:
Anjali Jain, Instagram writer @a.j_moyotales. She loves to understand people and learn from them. She is damn foody & moody and a Cartoon lover. She quoted, “My hobby keeps on changing with time. Still exploring myself!”