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Old 27th April 2011, 10:24   #31
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Default Re: Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes

Amolpol, superb photos. I guess the 600mm lens lets you get really up close (that must be a fantastic lens). How do you hold the 600m lens with one arm? Does it not need 2 hands or a tripod?

Last edited by navin : 27th April 2011 at 10:28.
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Old 27th April 2011, 11:28   #32
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Default Re: Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes

How very true...

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Originally Posted by amolpol View Post

Fact is, you never have enough reach when you shoot wildlife!
I know you latched on to that statement, rubbing your hands in glee.... I just clarified.. And yes that is what friends are for..!

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Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post

GD Sahab,

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

Thats what friends are for!

One of the most unfriendly subjects (camera wise) as far as photographers are concerned. Most of the times, barring the snout they come out as a bundle of black fur. Even spot metering doesn't help.

This one is indeed a good shot and a rare sighting of this nocturnal creature. Looks like a big male who often gets into skirmishes - the snout says it all.

The Tadoba male also looks a little bit past his prime..

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Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post

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.

Regards,

I think I spotted a Manfrotto monopod in his cam gear...

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Originally Posted by navin View Post
Amolpol, superb photos. I guess the 600mm lens lets you get really up close (that must be a fantastic lens). How do you hold the 600m lens with one arm? Does it not need 2 hands or a tripod?
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Old 27th April 2011, 12:33   #33
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Default Re: Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes

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Originally Posted by justwheels View Post
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.
So very true! She's been a darling all the while. This trip has given me a sense of her capacity to handle new situations. My wife has been longing to do a Ladakh bike ride since she had to miss it for the last couple of years. I'm sure she'll have a lot to talk about by the time she goes to school

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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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Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post
Amol,
I am sure the forum would unanimously agree that your sighting luck can be safely attributed to your daughter.
Tiger spotting was really good this time around but as Fazal saab said, its all the little lady's luck that brings the big cat in the open. Believe me, I saw my first big cat on her first trip to Bandipur. She's seen more than 15 tigers in her 16 months of age!

I like going to the tiger reserves not just to see the big cat, but because of the diversity it has to offer. My observation has been that the environmental balance in a tiger reserve is far superior than where there arent any big cats on top of the food chain. Again, this may be debatable since there are so many other forests which are specialized habitats for different prey/predator relationships but if you were to spend limited amount of time and want to see bits of everything, it makes sense to stick to the tiger reserves.

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Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post
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.
The light was really good that day so i was quite happy with the results. I couldnt get him full frame on the 600mm though since he kept walking towards the jeep. Its on the list for the next time!

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Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post
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.
Yeah, the right side of the face looked quite spooky. First I was wondering if there was camera shake which made it look different. But later realized that it must have been due to some disfigurement in a fight or so. This one I suppose is the biggest male around called the "Yeda" and he's been around for a while now so is definitely past his prime.

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Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post
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.
The friend of mine who was with me shoots with a 5D2. Its an amazing product outside of the professional line ups of Canon and can do even 6400 ISO without much loss to the IQ. I did a lot of comparison between the 7D and 5D2 before I got the 7D. The 7D won because of the 1.6 crop factor, faster focusing with a dedicated processor and the 8fps. The only compromise I had to make was on the ISO performance, guess you cant get all of it in one package unless you get the 1D Mark IV.

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Originally Posted by navin View Post
Amolpol, superb photos. I guess the 600mm lens lets you get really up close (that must be a fantastic lens). How do you hold the 600m lens with one arm? Does it not need 2 hands or a tripod?
Thanks Navin! I had a beanbag for support while in the jeep. Its difficult to hand hold the lens even with two hands leave alone one hand. The thing weighs more than 7kilos with the camera so unless you are a professional boxer or a weight lift champion, you'd always need support! The weight actually works in your favor with the beanbag so you get quite a solid setup. Outside of the jeep, you need a super heavy duty tripod and a wimberley setup to effortlessly manage it.

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Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
I think I spotted a Manfrotto monopod in his cam gear...
Nah, I dont have a monopod for it. You cant keep the lens down with the monopod attached and you lose crucial time to setup the rig if you have detached the monopod. The beanbag is a better hasslefree option in these situations, just sling it over a bar and rest your lens on it!
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Old 27th April 2011, 12:45   #34
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Default Re: Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes

Superb Captures. I too get to see the sloath bear (face injury) at Tadoba. Lucky to get head on shots.
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Old 27th April 2011, 14:34   #35
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Default Re: Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes

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Originally Posted by amolpol View Post
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.
whoaa...! that's hell lot of awesome gear. wish to own something like this one day. and I liked the idea of beanbag. that would give really steady and comfortable support to the lens.
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Old 27th April 2011, 15:52   #36
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Default Re: Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes

Rated Five Stars !! Keep the story flowing.

Here's my contribution to your little one's wall
Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-img_2374.jpg

And a few pics of Collar-wali Tigress walking on the road after the rains:

Reflections on Mid summer rains
Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-img_2256.jpg

Scenting and remarking territory after rains
Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-img_2279.jpg

Contemplating deers
Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-img_2354.jpg

Going for the kill
Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-img_2359.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by amolpol View Post
In between of the frenzy, I managed to locate Dr Ghosh in his jeep with gd1418, itís good to meet TBHP folks.
A video of the above encounter where my introduction to Amol during the tiger sighting has been documented.



Notice the video camera going haywire as I get introduced to him

Quote:
Originally Posted by amolpol View Post
As we reach there, a chaos is about to unfold. Since the park had only allowed jeeps on the main road, everybody was at the same place and there was a big crowding that happened. I had to tell my jeep guy a couple of times that Iím not very keen in disturbing the big cat by closing in on it.
With a crowd of gypsies behind my gypsy, I had to ask Bablu to cut off all the Gypsies behind me - as you can hear me telling Bablu (sorry Amol) so that the Tigress was not disturbed. GD sir can throw more light about the efforts of Bablu in keeping order behind him.

Off topic: A few pics of the arrangement of the gypsy seat for your baby will help many of us in our trips.

Keep up the good work sir.

regards,
Dr. A Ghosh
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Old 27th April 2011, 17:15   #37
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Default Re: Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes

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Originally Posted by amolpol View Post
I'm sure she'll have a lot to talk about by the time she goes to school
She's seen more than 15 tigers in her 16 months of age!

I had a beanbag for support while in the jeep...The beanbag is a better hasslefree option in these situations, just sling it over a bar and rest your lens on it!
I can imagine a 3 year old kid in school who will claim to have seem over 30 tigers by then. No one will believe her. My son (when he was about 3) told the school teacher that he went inside a submarine. The next day when my wife went to pick him up the school headmistress asked my wife if this was true. She figured the kid was making things up.

Oh so you shot most of your shots from inside the jeep? I was wondering how you managed your daughter in one hand and the 7kg lens in the other.

Since it was an open Jeep did you make any seciruty arrangements? Heck if I was 12 feet from a Tiger in the open I'd be too nervous to reach for my camera leave alone shoot it with a steady hand.

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Originally Posted by unicorn_i20 View Post
whoaa...! that's hell lot of awesome gear. wish to own something like this one day. and I liked the idea of beanbag. that would give really steady and comfortable support to the lens.
I just checked the price of the lens (on B&H) and I fell off my chair. I thought the 70-200 f/2.8 IS was expensive. The 600mm is 3-4x that.
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Old 27th April 2011, 19:52   #38
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Default Re: Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes

Very nice pictures and a cute kiddo there, Amol.

My son has been travelling with me since he was 3 months old and is also very wildlife-oriented because of what I do. Hopefully our kids will see better sense than our generation and set rights things that have gone wrong now.
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Old 27th April 2011, 20:50   #39
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Default Re: Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes

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Originally Posted by abheekg View Post
Notice the video camera going haywire as I get introduced to him
Dr. Sahab,
Yes, we noticed the introduction and also noticed how the Collar Wali gave you a dirty look (last frame in video) after she realized that you didn't get her spray marking on camera and was engrossed in the famous BHPian exchanges.

Her reflection shot is good and also 'contemplating deers' shot is so familiar (attached pic. Feb 2010) when she tunes her ears for something that will never be audible to us.
Regards,
Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-pt7.jpg

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Old 27th April 2011, 22:35   #40
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Default Re: Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes

Sir,
All superlatives have already been used up for this log. All i can say is 5* to the angel and another 5* to the log.
Regards
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Old 28th April 2011, 02:46   #41
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Default Re: Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes

Day 8: Stay at Tadoba
The morning safari was quite peaceful. We spotted some birds like the Grey Headed Fish Eagle, Snake Darter, Large Egret, Serpent Eagle, Black Headed Ibis and the Green Bee Eater.

Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-mp-tiger-hunt-83.jpgTwo Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-mp-tiger-hunt-93.jpgTwo Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-mp-tiger-hunt-76.jpgTwo Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-mp-tiger-hunt-403.jpgTwo Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-mp-tiger-hunt-404.jpgTwo Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-mp-tiger-hunt-405.jpg

And then there was this beautiful sambar lady that we came across, followed by a coordinated drinking ritual by the chitals.

Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-mp-tiger-hunt-96.jpgTwo Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-mp-tiger-hunt-86.jpg

The surprising catch was the barking deer which posed for the camera. These little things are so shy that I have always seen them disappearing in the bushes before I could even draw the camera out. However, the ones in Tadoba seemed to have learnt to be patient and obliged for some good clean shots.

Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-mp-tiger-hunt-89.jpgTwo Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-mp-tiger-hunt-422.jpg

After the morning safari, we packed up and left for Chandrapur since we had only a one day booking at MTDC and the rest of the days were running full due to the long Good Friday weekend. Our booking at the Palace hotel at Chandrapur wasnít there anymore since the hotel fellow chose to give away our room to someone else. He apparently expected us to check in at 7AM and when we landed there at 1230pm he told us that he didnít have any room left. So we checked in at the hotel next door and then had some samosas for lunch. Elly had to go to Church that day so I was going back to Tadoba with the baby for the last safari of our trip. The initial plan was to continue in Tadoba for two more days, but the safari bookings were full and we had to cut our trip short by 2 days. It was good in a way since I could get a couple of days rest and my wife would get the weekend with the baby before the Monday routine starts.

The evening safari was very quiet but we still had some of the regular patrons to photograph. We had some alarm calls while returning back, but we couldnít wait much since it was already 6.20pm and we had to get to the gate on time.
Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-mp-tiger-hunt-400.jpgTwo Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-mp-tiger-hunt-401.jpg

After the safari, I drove to Chandrapur and we went out for dinner before retiring for the night. The next day was going to be the long journey home and we had to be ready for it at 5AM.

Day 9: Chandrapur to Bangalore (1100kms)

Though we woke up on time, it was not until 6AM that we left from Chandrapur after settling in all the luggage. We asked around a bit for the road to Hyderabad since I didnít want to backtrack the 80kms to the NH7 that we did on our way in. This was the biggest mistake we did that morning. The locals pointed us to the road to Hyderabad which wasnít the NH, instead we ended up doing 300-350kms on state highway and a bit on the NH 16 to join back on the NH7 at Armoor. This costed us a lot of time since that was entirely a two-way traffic highway and had some bumps that could get the car flying at speeds over 100kmph. I guess a better bet would have been to backtrack to Warora and then found the other road that joins the NH7. (Learning for next time!)

We crossed Shamshabad at 3.30pm and then as the light faded, the rains came in. It became really difficult to maintain speeds with the rain pouring in and we managed to reach home only at midnight. It easily took 3-4 hours extra for us that day because of the deviation we took in the morning and then the weather change. As they say, "Better late than never". All that matters was we were home safely and I still had two days to spare before the dreaded Monday!

And that my friends was the happy ending to our 9 days of adventure until we begin our next one!

Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-mp-tiger-hunt-406.jpg
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Old 28th April 2011, 07:14   #42
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Default Re: Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes

The title of thread is really cool. Excellent log with great pics. Rated 5*

Kudos to the kid for being nicely held up for the entire trip. She's cute and sure, she will have loads of stories to share by the time she is 3.

I really liked the last pic (little one on the mighty beast) and B&W shot of the kid on Gypsy. You should consider it framing them, as i can see you still have some space left on the wall
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Old 28th April 2011, 10:58   #43
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Originally Posted by abheekg View Post

Here's my contribution to your little one's wall
Thank You!

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Originally Posted by abheekg View Post
Off topic: A few pics of the arrangement of the gypsy seat for your baby will help many of us in our trips.
Well, for some of the rides I was able to get her seat strapped on to the front seat in the gypsy. This was helpful especially in the morning safaris where she could catch some sleep until 8AM which is her regular wake up time. Where the gypsy had no seat belt the baby was with me all the while, though she used to do her usual tactics of crawling into difficult spaces under the seats and trying to climb over the seat etc.

The picture below shows how I used to manage most of the times with the camera resting on the seat beside me. I didnt want to take out the middle seat since that would have meant more running around space for my little roadrunner. I could put her down when we were stationary and I needed to get the camera setup, but someone needed to constantly watch out if she decided to jump out of the jeep and run wild.
Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes-mp-tiger-hunt-555.jpg
Quote:
Originally Posted by navin View Post
I can imagine a 3 year old kid in school who will claim to have seem over 30 tigers by then. No one will believe her.
I guess I'll have to keep photographic evidences of her and the tigers in the same frame so that she has enough proof to back up her claims.

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Originally Posted by navin View Post
Oh so you shot most of your shots from inside the jeep? I was wondering how you managed your daughter in one hand and the 7kg lens in the other.
No way I could handhold the lens with her around. I used the roll bars of the gypsy to put the bean bag on it and then shoot with the lens on it. This way you can do it even single-handedly, but its always best to rest one hand on the lens to achieve max stability.

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Originally Posted by navin View Post
Since it was an open Jeep did you make any seciruty arrangements? Heck if I was 12 feet from a Tiger in the open I'd be too nervous to reach for my camera leave alone shoot it with a steady hand.
Well, you dont have to worry with the big cats. They arent really interested in you, infact, they have a very indifferent attitude towards jeeps/humans. But all this is true until you dont mess around with them too much, afterall you're in the wild and you could be an easy prey too (Just kidding!).

Fact is, animals in the wild are quite tolerant and wont attack unless provoked. This theory gets proven wrong sometimes when you're dealing wih elephants though. For me, I fear the pachyderms more than the panthera tigris because of the destruction they can cause. Have had enough experiences of elephant charging that could easily send shivers down the spine for first timers.

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Originally Posted by navin View Post
I just checked the price of the lens (on B&H) and I fell off my chair. I thought the 70-200 f/2.8 IS was expensive. The 600mm is 3-4x that.
well you know what, I do think the 70-200 2.8 is expensive!

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Originally Posted by discoverwild View Post
Hopefully our kids will see better sense than our generation and set rights things that have gone wrong now.
Amen!

BTW, I do want to mention that all the people pics are courtesy of my friend Elly.

Last edited by amolpol : 28th April 2011 at 11:01.
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Old 28th April 2011, 12:21   #44
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Default Re: Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes

pics are just mind blowing .. i will read this thread with a cup of coffee later
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Old 28th April 2011, 13:20   #45
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Default Re: Two Men & A Baby - In Search Of The Stripes

Wonderful photos and an excellent trip. Should appreciate you for making this trip in spite of the number of naysayers in this forum (including me), when you first planned it

Have rated 5 stars, but that is for the little Angel and for the first photo
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