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Old 26th April 2011, 12:21   #16
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Default Re: Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes

Great piece of work sir, hats off to you and to your little angel for doing this long trip! I loved the b&w pic of her in the gypsy, you should enlarge it and put it up at home
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Old 26th April 2011, 14:05   #17
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Default The luckiest day of the trip!

Day 6: Stay at Kanha

This was our second day at Kanha and it started off with a bang. At 6.30AM, we saw this huge male emerging out from the bushes on the right side of the road and then crossed 15 feet in front of our jeep. The light wasn’t ideal and I was so frustrated with myself since I got 1/30s on the shutter which couldn’t stop the motion blur. There was just one jeep ahead of us and a couple of other jeeps came in as the tiger crossed on the other side of the road. It was the perfect setting to get a good shot, but I had messed it up!

Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-mp-tiger-hunt-111.jpg

After the brief encounter, it was pretty calm everywhere else. We stopped at center point for breakfast and ate some lousy vada and samosa. The hotel guys had to be told in advance for the packed breakfast, so we couldn’t get the nicer sandwiches today.

We were contemplating on doing the elephant round for the “Tiger Show”. The concept of a tiger show was a big no-no for me since it meant a sure sighting as they’ve already spotted the cat and just take you there. But you won’t really know how it felt unless you tried it, so we decided we’ll do the tiger show. We still had to figure out a way to do it with the baby and the 4 cameras we had. Anyways, we said we’ll figure it out when we get there and left for Badrinath where there was a male cub waiting to be seen. The forest officials were a bit skeptical with me carrying the baby and the cameras etc, but I told them that I will be able to do it with her so finally they allowed.

Once on the elephant, things were not steady at all. I had to still figure out how to hold everything together when the giant started climbing down a 10 feet incline. With great difficulty I managed to hold the baby and the camera together while hanging on to the railing of the houdah. As we went ahead, the other elephant mahouts asked us to give way since the cub was walking straight into our path. The elephant gave way for an angry cub, the tiger felt quite irritated by the elephants chasing it with tourists on them. The angle was pretty bad to get a good photograph but I could sense that my daughter was enjoying the whole experience. She was having a good time and I was still trying to hold on to things to make sure nothing falls off. Amidst all of the confusion, I did manage to click some shots of the angry cub. Again, not the best of shots, but it was the best I could do.

Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-mp-tiger-hunt-114.jpg
Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-mp-tiger-hunt-333.jpg

So after this sighting, I was a bit content that I could atleast get some sharp shots of the beast after the morning mishap. As we moved ahead, one of the jeeps stopped by and told us there was another male sitting by the lake. So now we had a chance to spot the third tiger in a single safari and that had gotten me a bit excited.

Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-mp-tiger-hunt-67.jpg

We reach the lake to find that it was a huge male on the bank. He moved stealthily towards a deer herd before they chose to run off. Then he found a cozy spot under the trees along the bank and put his head down for some time. Again, this was happening atleast 200m away from where we were so it was difficult to get a clear shot even with an extender on the 600mm.

Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-mp-tiger-hunt-70.jpg

The evening safari on that day was so quiet, but we had no complaints. The morning darshan was more than enough to keep us going for the day. I got a reasonably good shot of a Shikra perched in the trees. The light wasn’t enough but I was amazed with the output even at 1/20s shutter.
Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-mp-tiger-hunt-72.jpg
The next day morning we were supposed to leave at 5.30AM and we had a lot of packing to do. We had an early dinner and packed the stuff in the car before we slept. Now, all we needed to do was get up, pick up the breakfast and leave. Kanha had shown its magic, 5 tiger sightings in 5 drives!
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Old 26th April 2011, 15:13   #18
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Default Re: Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes

You were using 7D + 600mm and 400D + 70-200L, you own them or rental?
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Old 26th April 2011, 15:36   #19
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Default Re: Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes

Awwww! Such a cute li'l baby!

Hats off to her! It's really incredible that she spent so much time without a fuss away from her mom. Amazing pics of the wild too, Sire! Great stuff!

All the baby pics are simply great!
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Old 26th April 2011, 16:40   #20
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Default Re: Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes

Great thread. Please feel free to upload a few bird snaps of your from Pench into my Pench Birds photologue. Will be of immense help to me and Abheek as you were shooting with a 600 mm We are trying to showcase that Pench has much to offer Birders as well and it not just for tigers!

The thread is called Mowglis playground.

Last edited by sarmarishi : 26th April 2011 at 16:41.
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Old 26th April 2011, 17:11   #21
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Default Re: Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes

@amolpol, great pics, please can u share details of your photo equipment..?
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Old 26th April 2011, 18:04   #22
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Default Re: Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes

Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
Great piece of work sir, hats off to you and to your little angel for doing this long trip! I loved the b&w pic of her in the gypsy, you should enlarge it and put it up at home
Thanks, I liked your idea of framing it!

Slight , but I guess I do have some place for that photograph on her wall!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBeastFieast View Post
You were using 7D + 600mm and 400D + 70-200L, you own them or rental?
I happen to have it as a part of my kit!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarmarishi View Post
Great thread. Please feel free to upload a few bird snaps of your from Pench into my Pench Birds photologue. Will be of immense help to me and Abheek as you were shooting with a 600 mm We are trying to showcase that Pench has much to offer Birders as well and it not just for tigers!

The thread is called Mowglis playground.
Well, I do believe that Pench has a lot more to offer than just tigers. I'll put up some of the pictures there as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shivshanker View Post
@amolpol, great pics, please can u share details of your photo equipment..?
The equipment used in this trip was mainly Canon 7D with a Canon EF 600mm F4L IS lens, Canon 1.4x Teleconverter, Canon 400D with a Canon EF 70-200 F4L IS lens and some of the shots were with a Canon EFS 10-22 lens. I also had the tripod setup with me for the 600mm, but that was only in cases where I'm able to move around on foot for some birding activity other than the jungle. (The beanbag is a better option in the jeep.) Let me know if you have any other questions about the gear.
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Old 26th April 2011, 22:00   #23
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Default Re: The luckiest day of the trip!

Some great pictures, especially of the avian variety. Kudos to have managed to click while managing the baby. How you accomplished that from the elephant back is intriguing.

Funny, that you crib inspite of this exotic camera gear for which I won't mind grovelling... Imagine me shooting with a 80~200 f/2.8....

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Again, this was happening atleast 200m away from where we were so it was difficult to get a clear shot even with an extender on the 600mm.
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Old 26th April 2011, 22:24   #24
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Default Re: Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes

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Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
Funny, that you crib inspite of this exotic camera gear for which I won't mind grovelling... Imagine me shooting with a 80~200 f/2.8....
Uh! Oh! Oh! A Nikon guy groveling for a Canon gear????

Amol,
Great photo's coming from your camera. Why did you not pump up the ISO on the 'tiger crossing the road' shot, instead of going so low on shutter?
Regards,

Last edited by fazalaliadil : 26th April 2011 at 22:27.
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Old 26th April 2011, 22:58   #25
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Default Re: Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes

Probably my statement didn't convey the right feeling. True, Amol had the Canon EF 600mm f/4. What I meant was that I would grovel for a similar Nikon glass.

BTW Sir, I've nothing against Canon or for that matter any other brand of camera and have steadfastly refrained from joining that classic Nikon Vs Canon debate. The first camera handed to me was a Nikon FM, that subsequently upgraded to a F 801 (I still have the body). Getting a Nikon DSLR was a natural transition. Hence didn't explore Canon...

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Uh! Oh! Oh! A Nikon guy groveling for a Canon gear????


Regards,
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Old 27th April 2011, 00:51   #26
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Default Re: Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes

Day 7: Drive to Tadoba for evening safari (420kms)

We started on time and drove towards Nagpur to reach Nagpur at 8AM. While at Nagpur, we took a breakfast halt for the baby and then continued on the NH7 till the turn off to Chandrapur. The roads for the last 80 odd kms weren’t good and I had to do a lot of steering to keep away from the bumps and potholes.

We reached Moharli MTDC at 1.30pm and had a quick lunch. The afternoon safari at Tadoba starts at 2.30pm and goes on till 6.30pm. It was quite hot in Tadoba and I had to make sure that the baby is well protected from the sun. As we entered the Teliya dam, there was news of a tiger sleeping in the bushes by the road. Though we couldn’t spot it, our driver could see it and said we’ll park it in the shade and wait for it to come out. It was good in a way since it was very hot otherwise and my baby could catch some sleep in the shade. We waited for a while, then took a round to spot a sloth bear by the main road. The guy was very cooperative and posed for the camera very well, however they aren’t very photogenic and whatever be the light, you can’t really call them beautiful.

Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-mp-tiger-hunt-119.jpgTwo Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-mp-tiger-hunt-122.jpg

We came back and parked the jeep a little ahead of where we had stopped earlier. This cost us quite a bit since we missed it when the tiger came out of the bushes and walked into the meadow. The road was a one-way so the driver had to go back in the reverse gear instead of turning the car around (I found this a bit weird, though technically he obeyed the one-way sign). By the time we reached the spot, we saw the big male crossing the road and going into the bushes.

Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-mp-tiger-hunt-78.jpg

Next step was to guess where he’ll come out. Our guy took a chance and we went around the dam to come out to the other side of the bush. There were some jeeps already there waiting for him to come out. As we reached the spot, it was right there in the bushes and then chose to walk towards the road and crossed over to the other side. I was ready with the bigger setup thinking it might come out a bit further, but now he was too close to be framed fully. Anyways, this was still a very cool experience to have the big guy walk out in the open and cross the road.

Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-mp-tiger-hunt-80.jpg
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Old 27th April 2011, 01:17   #27
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Smile Re: Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes

This is Like "Baby's Day' Out " just that she was travelling with genuine guys and no kidnappers.Just kidding!
Firstly your photographs are par brilliance and hats off to both of you to have handled a baby amidst such a captivating travel. And indeed a bigger hats off to the cutie pie to have enjoyed every moment of the adventure. It will surely be something she will talk of all through her life.
You surely spotted the cat quite often, but I should say your effort to appreciate every other life form in the jungle is commendable. Jungle safari shouldn't be made only a tiger spotting spree. There is so much more to admire.
Really glued!
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Old 27th April 2011, 01:43   #28
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Default Re: Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes

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Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
Some great pictures, especially of the avian variety. Kudos to have managed to click while managing the baby. How you accomplished that from the elephant back is intriguing.
The elephant ride was indeed a tough one, but we survived it and enjoyed it too!

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Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
Funny, that you crib inspite of this exotic camera gear for which I won't mind grovelling... Imagine me shooting with a 80~200 f/2.8....
Fact is, you never have enough reach when you shoot wildlife!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post
Amol,
Great photo's coming from your camera. Why did you not pump up the ISO on the 'tiger crossing the road' shot, instead of going so low on shutter?
Regards,
You make a very valid point, and that's exactly what I messed up! Usually, I'm never comfortable with anything higher than ISO400. I start losing details at higher ISO on the 400D and the 7D is no better. In the end I'd still treat it as a record shot with all that ISO noise. This is one big grouse I have with my cameras, but I can live with it for now!
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Old 27th April 2011, 06:48   #29
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Rated five stars. If for nothing else but the title!! Contents need more stars and pictures.....they are priceless!!
So rightly said! And if I may add, its gets 5 stars, if not for your two guys, then for the kiddo, who also enjoyed to her heart's content and held on for the whole trip!

Very nice snaps indeed!
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Old 27th April 2011, 09:15   #30
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Default Re: Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes

GD Sahab,
It is not meant to be a debate, I too refrain from brand endorsements for free.

But, just wanted to get you at your statement, knowing what you exactly meant.

Thats what friends are for!

Amol,
I am sure the forum would unanimously agree that your sighting luck can be safely attributed to your daughter.

Nice shot of the sloth bear, they can absorb the entire light of the forest and give photographers a black patch. This one is very well lit and exposed.

Beautiful shots again, did you notice, your Tadoba male?

This guy must have got in a territorial fight with another male and badly injured his right side of the face, from right eye downwards, cheek and further to his torn and hanging lip. All healed and patched up in time though. Dr. ghosh should be able to elaborate on this.

Another thing, try a 5D MkII next time, you can go as high a ISO 5000 and still have a noise free image. Just that your 600mm will be a 600mm and not 960mm on it, as it is a full frame camera.
Regards,

Last edited by fazalaliadil : 27th April 2011 at 09:20.
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