November 2013

This young one of a Langur was photographed at Ranthambore. Langurs are territorial in nature and they guard their cubs with extreme ferocity, therefore this sighting was even more pleasurable for all of us. Interestingly, this image highlights a very crucial aspect of wildlife photography – that of first visualising the image and then carefully determining which of the following categories the image belongs to: Portrait, Action, Habitat or Record Shot. The ability to categorize an image is obviously an outcome of experience, which needs to be honed carefully over the years.

As soon as I spotted this young Langur, I realized that it fitted perfectly into the category of a portrait shot. Here, I would like to share some important aspects of Portrait photography which shall come in handy when capturing wildlife.

Firstly, the aperture of the lens must be set to the maximum open (2.8 or 5.6), especially while shooting portraits. This shall permit the application of boke effect to the background characterized by a defused background. Secondly, while shooting wildlife portraits experiment with the background as much as possible. See if you can manage to shift your position when shooting the picture; this shall allow for capturing even plain backgrounds in such a way that the object in the foreground shall appear distinct and noticeable. Lastly, the sharpness and contrast are essential elements in any portrait; a good balance needs to be maintained, otherwise the picture might end up looking blurry and dull. The primary area of focus needs to be the eyes of the creature you are shooting. Most of the wildlife portraits depict the animal looking directly into the camera. For the picture to be appreciable, the animal needs to make eye contact with the camera before the snap is taken. It is advisable to use a bean bag or a tripod to stabilize the camera and lens in order to achieve ultimate sharpness.

Name: Changeable Hawk Eagle

Introduction - A majestic species of bird of prey belonging to the family, Accipitridae, the Changeable Hawk Eagle is also known as the Crested Hawk Eagle.

Size -  The Changeable Hawk Eagle happens to be a medium to large raptor that measures approximately 60-72 centimetres in length.

Distribution - Most jungles and wooded areas in India serve as the habitat of the Changeable Hawk Eagle. However, they are a rare sight in the city environment.

Gender Identification – Both sexes of the Changeable Hawk Eagle are similar in terms of plumage but it is possible to identify the males through size since they are almost 15% smaller than the females; however this comes with the experience.

It has and shall continue to be our constant endeavour to unfold this exotic and mysterious world of tigers before you, month after month. “Tiger Talks”, as you are aware, is one such initiative towards exploring the majestic world of tigers and keeping you updated on what your favourite tiger is up-to.

Together, with the large number of tourists that we operate, to the national parks in India’s jungles and those across the globe, we bring to you those playful moments between siblings, the intense battles over territories, the birth of new cubs, recent initiatives on the fight to save tigers and many more unique and memorable incidents and experiences.

Bharatpur in Rajasthan, India

History – Bharatpur is actually the former name of the bird sanctuary. At present, the area is known as the Keoladeo Ghana National Park or simply, Keoladeo National Park. The Keoladeo National Park was formed nearly 250 years ago and has been named after the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva within its boundaries. In 1971, the area was declared a protected sanctuary. One of the most popular national parks in the country, Keoladeo happens to be a man-made and man-managed wetland. The park used to serve as a hunting ground for the Bharatpur maharajas and duck shoots were organized on an annual basis in honor of the British Viceroys. Bharatpur became a National Park on the 10th of March, 1982. The area is currently a reserve forest under the Rajasthan Forest Act, 1953, and subsequently, the property of the State of Rajasthan of the Indian Union. Grazing in the park was banned by the government in 1982.

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