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Old 6th January 2014, 14:17   #31
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Default Re: Central Indian Forests: 4000 km roadtrip in a 4WD Fortuner

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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post

A few photos:
Boss brilliant snaps. Really liked your shots on the Spotted beast and beauty.

BTW I have the chameleon as my wallpaper for now. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Great skills you have.
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Old 6th January 2014, 15:15   #32
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Default Re: Central Indian Forests: 4000 km roadtrip in a 4WD Fortuner

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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
If you can let me know for which specific photos you want the EXIF, it will be easier for me to get the details - the RAW images are in a different machine.
The sunset photos and basically the photos in your last post, would be most helpful for a amateur like me. Also specify the lens used. I know the camera is Nikon D7100. I have a Nikon D5200. How much difference is there in these two camera's sensors? Also did you do some post processing on these snaps? What filters were used?

Last edited by dkaile : 6th January 2014 at 15:17.
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Old 6th January 2014, 15:39   #33
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Default Re: Central Indian Forests: 4000 km roadtrip in a 4WD Fortuner

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Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
The sunset photos and basically the photos in your last post, would be most helpful for a amateur like me. Also specify the lens used. I know the camera is Nikon D7100. I have a Nikon D5200. How much difference is there in these two camera's sensors? Also did you do some post processing on these snaps? What filters were used?
Quick inputs:
D7100 sensor almost the same as the D5200 sensor except the lack of OLPF filter. No real difference in real world.

EXIFs

Sunsets
Something like 50-80mm (I toolk multiple shots), f/8, 1/160s, ISO 100, -0.3EV; metered for the sky and reflection

18-105mm lens, a decent but consumer grade lens

All wildlife shots were taken wide open with my Nikkor 70-300mm VR (i.e. f/5.6). The lens has a number of shortcomings - limited reach, slowness etc so one has to work around the shortcomings as best one can.

Leopard
300mm, f/5.6 (wide open), 1/250s, ISO 900-1100 (took multiple photos). This is a cropped photo.

Sambhar
300mm, 1/250s, ISO 640, shot wide open

Giant Squirrel
300mm, 1/250s, ISO 1400, wide open

Sambhar sunset
70mm, f/4.5, ISO 100; levels adjusted in PP. I had the wrong lens - it would have come out better with a wider angle lens.

A little PP was done with all the photos. I shoot RAW, and try to start with standard or neutral picture control settings (which means less contrast, saturation etc. - a flat looking file). Then I do PP as per my taste.
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Old 6th January 2014, 16:19   #34
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Default Re: Central Indian Forests: 4000 km roadtrip in a 4WD Fortuner

Hey Nilanjan,

Thanks for the beautiful pics & the write up.

As usual the captures are simply stunning & mind blowing

Also now plz do post more pics of the Fortuner captured out in the wild

Thanks
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Old 6th January 2014, 23:47   #35
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Default Re: Central Indian Forests: 4000 km roadtrip in a 4WD Fortuner

Lovely pictures. That new D7100 is really shining in your hands. How was the burst mode in RAW? Was it as really bad or manageable?
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Old 7th January 2014, 00:00   #36
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Default Re: Central Indian Forests: 4000 km roadtrip in a 4WD Fortuner

Wow lovely lovely pictures sir !!

The shot of the leopard descending down the tree is spectacular. Great photography skills.
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Old 8th January 2014, 15:27   #37
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Default Re: Central Indian Forests: 4000 km roadtrip in a 4WD Fortuner

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Originally Posted by karan561 View Post
Hey Nilanjan,

Thanks for the beautiful pics & the write up.

As usual the captures are simply stunning & mind blowing

Also now plz do post more pics of the Fortuner captured out in the wild

Thanks
Thanks Karan. Posting a couple of sunset photos below. Didn't take many of the vehicle this time - though I have quite a few photos from last year's Himalaya trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SPARKled View Post
Lovely pictures. That new D7100 is really shining in your hands. How was the burst mode in RAW? Was it as really bad or manageable?
Thanks. The burst mode is manageable, though one always craves for more. There are workarounds - shutting off ADL, minimizing noise reduction etc to increase speed, shoot Release priority, use a ExtremePro 95MB/s card etc.

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Wow lovely lovely pictures sir !!

The shot of the leopard descending down the tree is spectacular. Great photography skills.
Thanks, glad you liked them.

Sunset on a forest trail
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Sunset near Moharli
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And one taken by a mobile phone in bad light - a low res version - excuse the quality and noise. Unfortunately all my mobile photos from the trip got deleted, found this on a friend's FB page.
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Old 9th January 2014, 09:32   #38
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Default Re: Central Indian Forests: 4000 km roadtrip in a 4WD Fortuner

As always with your travelogues, absolutely stunning pictures indeed !

I had the chance to spot the big male of Tadoba near the Tadoba lake and Jamoonbawdi last year, though not many herbivores were spotted. We stayed at the MTDC near Moharli gate.

Are you allowed to take your own path through Tadoba if you come in by a private vehicle ? Also, are diesel vehicles not allowed inside ?

Thanks
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Old 9th January 2014, 13:55   #39
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Default Re: Central Indian Forests: 4000 km roadtrip in a 4WD Fortuner

As usual parallel photo and narrative stream. Difficult to maintain interest unless they score well on both counts - no need to say it does. And does so exceedingly

I think your thread on Corbett is still incomplete
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Old 9th January 2014, 15:32   #40
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Default Re: Central Indian Forests: 4000 km roadtrip in a 4WD Fortuner

Love the clicks. specially the cheetal in back light. Thanks for the que on season for travelling to these destinations. Happy clicking.
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Old 9th January 2014, 15:37   #41
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Default Re: Central Indian Forests: 4000 km roadtrip in a 4WD Fortuner

Great narration and the pictures are simply awe-inspiring. Your Fortuner is fortunate enough to be taken to its natural habitat quite often.
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Old 9th January 2014, 16:23   #42
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Default Re: Central Indian Forests: 4000 km roadtrip in a 4WD Fortuner

Hi Nilanjanray,
Classic pictures and lovely narration. The pictures of the chameleon and the leopard coming down the tree trunk are really stunning. Some more pictures of your Fortuner out in the wild would be great.
Regards,
Ashok
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Old 9th January 2014, 19:17   #43
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Default Re: Central Indian Forests: 4000 km roadtrip in a 4WD Fortuner

There should be a team-bhp filter to hide such threads when the wife is around - she will see this thread, and bemoan the tens of thousands i have spent on a dSLR for results that are and will never be anywhere near this good.

Salute sirjee!
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Old 10th January 2014, 09:15   #44
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Default Re: Central Indian Forests: 4000 km roadtrip in a 4WD Fortuner

Fabulous shots! Your Bison is one of the happiest Fortuners around, I am sure of that much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Unfortunately all my mobile photos from the trip got deleted, found this on a friend's FB page.
That's sad! Maybe its a good idea of have a Point and Shoot handy. We would love to see more through your eyes.
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Old 18th January 2014, 14:39   #45
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Default Tadoba...continued

Quote:
Originally Posted by mallumowgli View Post
As usual parallel photo and narrative stream. Difficult to maintain interest unless they score well on both counts - no need to say it does. And does so exceedingly

I think your thread on Corbett is still incomplete
Thanks. Yes, will take up the Kumaon travelogue after I finish this.

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Originally Posted by specialedition View Post
Love the clicks. specially the cheetal in back light. Thanks for the que on season for travelling to these destinations. Happy clicking.
Best sighting happens after winter. But this was the one window of opportunity I could avail for such a trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashphil View Post
Hi Nilanjanray,
Classic pictures and lovely narration. The pictures of the chameleon and the leopard coming down the tree trunk are really stunning. Some more pictures of your Fortuner out in the wild would be great.
Regards,
Ashok
Thanks. But don't think I have many more Fortuner photos.
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There should be a team-bhp filter to hide such threads when the wife is around - she will see this thread, and bemoan the tens of thousands i have spent on a dSLR for results that are and will never be anywhere near this good.

Salute sirjee!
Thanks . Btw, whenever my wife sees me working on any wildlife photos, she is like 'Again you are at it - how about some photos of humans!!'

Quote:
Originally Posted by deetjohn View Post
Fabulous shots! Your Bison is one of the happiest Fortuners around, I am sure of that much.

Maybe its a good idea of have a Point and Shoot handy. We would love to see more through your eyes.
Yeah, I guess so. She grazes around pretty often.

Usually the Note 2 camera is adequate for those landscape snapshots (I don't liking changing lens in a dusty environment), but sometimes I feel too lazy to stop the car and get out just to shoot landscape or carscape photos.

Back to the travelogue
-----
We were to do 8 safaris in Tadoba. The first two safaris didn't yield any big cats, though there were close misses. The guides and drivers were figuring out cat movements, and undergrowth was still heavy after the monsoons. As a result visibility was impaired, as was our hearing. When it is dry, an alarm call can be heard from hundreds of metres away, while that distance reduces drastically after the monsoons.

Those humans AGAIN!
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After sunset, in the buffer zone of Tadoba. Shot on tripod, with car engine running to deter cranky tigers and bears. Was roaming around since it was a non-safari day.
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A large Sambar stag
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Full moon was approaching. The last few minutes of the evening safari would be conducted well after sunset, and in the light of a bright moon. The forest looked hauntingly beautiful then. Just the high beams of the Gypsy cutting through the darkness as it proceeded towards the gate. Dark blue sky, a golden moon just above the treetops, calls of Nightjars, a cold breeze, and the smell of the forest.

Black-shouldered kite
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Crouching leopard trying to stay invisible. Heavily cropped photo
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Telia lake watchtower
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The MTDC resort was about 1km away from the main Moharli road, and the forest came very close in certain stretches. We had been told by the resort guys not to walk around after dark - tigers and bears regularly crossed that dirt trail (leading to MTDC) in the evening. But since this was non-elephant country, we would park the car on a narrow bridge and enjoy the sounds and sights of the night. There were marshes on both sides, and the boundary of the marsh was adjacent to Telia Lake, a famous spot for encountering tigers. In a big vehicle, one needs to be wary only about elephants and cranky bull gaurs, so we were pretty relaxed during those sit-outs.

Sub-adult blackbuck near Churna.
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Showing a clean pair of heels
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Pachmarhi sunset
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We drove to Chandrapur a couple of times during those 4 days to catch up on calls and emails, and to stock up on wet rations. Filling diesel was a pain because we had to queue behind approaximately 100 4-wheelers and bikes. Still, one needs to be patient while out on a trip.

Backlit spider's web. Shot this while passing through a narrow forest trail.
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The butterfly that was the cause of me missing the 'rolling in the grass leopard'
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Irai Lake, Moharli
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On Day 2 morning - the 3rd safari - we were going back to the gate after doing a chakkar of Telia lake. When suddenly Atul - a naturalist and photographer from Chandrapur who had been accompanying us (I had initially connected with him through JJ Mehta forum) tapped the driver and told him to stop immediately. This was 1 km from the gate, and 10AM, so for once I hadn't been paying attention to the sides of the road. He whispered out 'leopard'. The moment I heard that word, I swivelled towards the right while simultaneously bringing up my camera and switching it on - before the vehicle had stopped. There was a leopard on open ground, trying to hide itself in the shadows. It was planning to cross the road when it heard our vehicle and flattened itself. After a few seconds it turned and ran off whenit realized that we had spotted it. I had about 5-6 seconds to shoot from the moment the vehicle stopped to the time it was off. There were 4 other Gypsys behind us, about 100m away. By the time they reached the cat had long vanished.

Moharli - Tadoba Lake metaled road.
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Sunrise, Telia Lake
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Shepherd, near Satpura National Park
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I was feeling elated. As the vehicle started moving forward, I looked back. Saw a Black-shouldered Kite coming towards us. Just before it started on its dive - it was hovering for a few seconds - I got off some nice shots. Two good sightings in a span of 2 minutes!

Contrast
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Serpent Eagle
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Deer crossing
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Unfortunately the evening as well as Day 3 morning safasri went by without any sighting of Stripes. We missed seeing a leopard on the Day 3 morning safari by a whisker. We had been the first vehicle to enter, but at the Moharli/Tadoba checkpost (in the middle of the forest) we lingered for a couple of minutes extra, and let two other vehicle go ahead. I noticed too late that one vehicle had stopped 300m away. When we drove towards it, we were told that a leopard was rolling around on the grass for a minute, just 40m from the road. We would have had 1 full minute with it if we had not wasted those 2 minutes! Such is luck...
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