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Old 13th September 2012, 22:13   #121
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Default Re: Exploring the Great Indian Outdoors

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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Nice lens, that. Are you always reliant on a tripod or beanbag, or can you handhold it?
Its impossible to handhold the lens for crystal sharp frames.
Its almost always on a tripod and sometimes on a beanbag.

Lovely frames, loved the environment of the Gaurs and Fortuner on the forest road.
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Old 16th September 2012, 13:14   #122
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Default Re: Exploring the Great Indian Outdoors

Hi Nilanjan,

Thanks for sharing your excellent travelogues in the wild. I enjoyed going through your post and the photos are excellent. You seem to have a very good copy of the 70-300 and your images showing birds and other wildlife in their natural environment are a treat.

As an ornithologist and naturalist, I have visited most of the areas in your post and it was great going through the various locations again.

Cheers
Bopanna
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Old 27th September 2012, 10:47   #123
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Default Re: Exploring the Great Indian Outdoors

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Hi Nilanjan,

Thanks for sharing your excellent travelogues in the wild. I enjoyed going through your post and the photos are excellent. You seem to have a very good copy of the 70-300 and your images showing birds and other wildlife in their natural environment are a treat.

As an ornithologist and naturalist, I have visited most of the areas in your post and it was great going through the various locations again.

Cheers
Bopanna
Thanks Bopanna. Now I am keeping my fingers crossed about my Himalayas roadtrip.

Didn't know that the 70-300 VR had much quality fluctuation e.g. people ending up with lemons. I bought my lens from JJ Mehta, Mumbai.
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Old 27th September 2012, 11:47   #124
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Default Re: Exploring the Great Indian Outdoors

Hi Nilanjan, there are sharp copies and not so sharp copies.....not necessarily lemons.

Since you seem to make most of your trips alone, it would be nice if you could list the Emergency equipment you normally carry on your trips.

Cheers
Bopanna
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Old 28th September 2012, 15:54   #125
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Default Re: Exploring the Great Indian Outdoors

Beautiful post & superb photography.

From my past experience I can say, you are very lucky. I have visited Corbett once. But we were not fortunate enough to get a glimpse of big Indian cats. After roaming of 2 days, with various routes found few foot prints only. After waiting day long in watch tower all we have got to see was a big fat elephant .

Exploring the Great Indian Outdoors-img_1266.jpg
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Old 29th September 2012, 16:16   #126
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Default Re: Exploring the Great Indian Outdoors

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Originally Posted by kodava View Post
Hi Nilanjan, there are sharp copies and not so sharp copies.....not necessarily lemons.

Since you seem to make most of your trips alone, it would be nice if you could list the Emergency equipment you normally carry on your trips.

Cheers
Bopanna
True. But I feel sharpness is also a matter of technique - either use a tripod or beanbag, or manage to handhold steadily.

I don't carry much:
  • Spare coolant and engine oil and extra water in the vehicle
  • Tyre inflator (that I have never used till now - my mistake, I know)
  • Basic medicine: Dispirin, Bandaid, Betadine, stomach upset treating tablets, Digene
  • Good torch, Swiss knife, screwdriver, battery operated small lantern
  • Mobile GPS/Google Maps, car mobile charger
  • Tent and sleeping bag and basic Rs. 400 mattress on specific drives (nothing like sleeping wherever you feel like e.g. on top of a machaan)
  • Good boots, cargo pants, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses
  • Extension cord (I like using my laptop for work or leisure while sitting on a balcony or outdoors)
Quote:
Originally Posted by shomshree View Post
Beautiful post & superb photography.

From my past experience I can say, you are very lucky. I have visited Corbett once. But we were not fortunate enough to get a glimpse of big Indian cats. After roaming of 2 days, with various routes found few foot prints only. After waiting day long in watch tower all we have got to see was a big fat elephant .

Attachment 992941
Thanks. FYI, I haven't managed to take a pic of a tiger in the South in spite of many many trips in the jungles. And no good photo of a leopard (though have had leopards jump across the road in the dark a few times now). Luck matters a lot. One time I saw a leopard in good light and from a distance of 15 feet, my DSLR was in the bag in the boot. It was 11.30am, a hot day in BR Hills. I was driving, and camera was inside because one doesn't expect cats during midday on a jungle tarmac road.

I will be going near Corbett soon. Frankly, I am not banking on wildlife sightings. Just want to enjoy the ambiance.

P.S.: sometimes you need to make your own luck. E.g. my Tadoba trip in peak summer, round trip of 2200kms+ in 96 hours. Knew good sightings were happening, decided to make that trip in spite of many constraints.

Last edited by nilanjanray : 29th September 2012 at 16:26.
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Old 30th September 2012, 23:36   #127
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Default Another permanent occupant of the boot

I had been skeptical about using a tripod (I feel it affects mobility and is a burden to carry around), but finally I have taken the plunge and ordered a Manfrotto 055XPROB and a 498RC2 ballhead. Along with the Nikon ML-L3 wireless remote.

Let's see if it suits my style or not. I am more of a walkabout guy, and seldom take serious landscape or building type photos. Maybe I will start taking other types of pictures now. For the last 1 year almost all landscape photos were taken with my Galaxy S2 phone camera. Now, I will take out my 18-105 lens once more.

At the least, the tripod setup will improve my muscle tone as I carry it around.

Plan to keep the tripod kit permanently in the boot of the vehicle. So now I will have a sleeping bag, a tent, a big umbrella, misc stuff (tyre inflator, spare coolant, spanners etc.) ...and a tripod.

Last edited by nilanjanray : 30th September 2012 at 23:37.
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Old 6th October 2012, 21:14   #128
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Default Re: Exploring the Great Indian Outdoors

For the Kumaon trip, I am planning to shoot all RAW. During the Tadoba trip, I badly felt the need for a camera with better ISO and DR capabilities. I was shooting in JPEG since I was planning to take many photos. But right now the 32GB ExtremePro SDHC is on its way, and space is not a constraint. I was looking at some graphs, and the difference in DR b/w JPEG and RAW is significant.

Btw, I went for a short drive to Anchetty forests last Sunday evening. Had timed my drive so that I was in the forest during duck. When you read Kenneth Anderson, you read about abundant wildlife in these forests. It is siurprising to not see a single animal during an evening drive - and not hear a single alarm call of a deer or a peacock. The forest seemed deserted. Did we kill off all the wildlife? This is my 5th or 6th drive through those forests. I have never seen or heard anything in these forests, apart from some birds. The difference is stark when I compare with the Nilgiri forests, or MP forests. The situation is the same with forests in Dandeli, Bhadra etc. - the prey base is significantly lower than that of the Nilgiri forests (Bandipur, Nagarhole, Mudumalai), MP or North Indian forests. One can't drive around Masinagudi without coming across Cheetals - anytime of the day (e.g if you are driving on Moyar Road). But Anchetty, Galibore, Dandeli, Bhadra: sightings of herbivores are rare. And that has implications up the food chain e.g. the number of carnivores.

The Manfrotto 055XPro is yet to arrive from SmartShoppers. Same issue with the 498RC2 ballhead and the Sandisk 32 GB Extreme Pro SDHC card. I am planning to carry all of them during my upcoming road trip.

Had gone for some night drives on less frequented roads around Sarjapur Road in Bangalore., Saw some rabbits and snakes had to do emergency maneuvers to avoid one 2 feet snake crossing the road).

Last edited by nilanjanray : 6th October 2012 at 21:19.
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Old 6th October 2012, 21:24   #129
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Default Re: Exploring the Great Indian Outdoors

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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Btw, I went for a short drive to Anchetty forests last Sunday evening. Had timed my drive so that I was in the forest during duck.
Even I had been around about 2 weeks back. It was one of the most satisfying drives with people, sunrises and landscapes.

Since I did not look majorly for wild life spotting, I was OK. What I found was that forests of Anchetti-Hunsanahalli are not that
dense as they are around Denkanikottai. But Anchetti-Hogenakkal are a different league!

But needless to say, found this region to be extremely colourful with all shades and textures.

Last edited by ampere : 6th October 2012 at 21:26.
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Old 21st November 2012, 16:30   #130
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Default Enjoying the outdoors in Kumaon

Some photos from my recent 7000 km roadtrip, Bangalore - Kumaon and back. More will be there in my travelogue, which I plan to start once I get a breather from work.

After sunset, on Vinayak - Kunjakharak road
Exploring the Great Indian Outdoors-dsc_9219.jpg

Forest trail
Exploring the Great Indian Outdoors-dsc_8669-copy.jpg

Crossing a typical river near Corbett
Exploring the Great Indian Outdoors-dsc_8618.jpg

Night descends as we return after a failed attempt to click some raptors and leopards/bears during sunset
Exploring the Great Indian Outdoors-dsc_9228.jpg

Last edited by nilanjanray : 21st November 2012 at 16:32.
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Old 10th December 2012, 14:13   #131
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Default Re: Exploring the Great Indian Outdoors

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Thanks folks. Some more pictures coming up...

Yeah, I was lucky with the tiger sightings last year. This year not a single big cat sighting till date :-)

Some of my favourite places down South:

1. Wild Haven, Masinagudi | 0423 2526490 ...
2. Forest Hills, Masinagudi | 0423 2525216....
3. Inn the Wild, Singara near Masinagudi | +91 85261 81386
4. BR Hills/KGudi, Jungle Lodges
5. Sherlock, Ooty (search for Little Earth to get latest numbers, rates etc.; many reviews posted on TripAdvisor)
6. Nonsuch Estate, Coonoor | 0423 2281200
Thanks Nilanjan, I went to Masinagudi and stayed at Inn the Wild. Excellent property and experience in a self driven Gypsy. They have a new General Manager - Geoffery +91 9524388877 (The previous manager has moved to another property nearby).
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Old 10th December 2012, 15:03   #132
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Thanks Nilanjan, I went to Masinagudi and stayed at Inn the Wild. Excellent property and experience in a self driven Gypsy. They have a new General Manager - Geoffery +91 9524388877 (The previous manager has moved to another property nearby).
Good to know that you enjoyed. Any sightings?
Thanks for the heads up on the new manager. I do hope they don't make things too formal or cater just to the yuppie crowd.
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Old 11th December 2012, 11:39   #133
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Default Re: Exploring the Great Indian Outdoors

just returned from Corbett on Sunday. Unfortunately, could not see any tigers or leopards. But did have some good elephant sightings and amazingly - saw 5 species of Kingfishers
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Old 14th December 2012, 17:20   #134
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Had gone for a short drive last Sunday. Managed to click an Indian Roller Bird and a few Grey Herons. Lots of other water birds, but they were too far away.

Exploring the Great Indian Outdoors-dsc_1144.jpg

Exploring the Great Indian Outdoors-dsc_1174.jpg

Exploring the Great Indian Outdoors-dsc_1148.jpg

Exploring the Great Indian Outdoors-dsc_1175.jpg
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Old 21st December 2012, 23:37   #135
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Good to know that you enjoyed. Any sightings?
Thanks for the heads up on the new manager. I do hope they don't make things too formal or cater just to the yuppie crowd.
Only a tusker at the lake, but one night was too short a stay, plan to go there with more time. The remaining sights were peacocks, deer and boar so no big game to write home about.
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