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Old 6th August 2015, 11:57   #1
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Default A long weekend at Kabini - Again

T-BHP member SpeedSatya was in touch with me earlier this week regarding my visit to Kabini, as detailed in this post (A long weekend at Kabini). I was there again last month and I remembered that I hadn't posted the photos which I took during the new visit. This is the report on the visit.

We were in Kabini again, this time as a part of a photography tour. We stayed at the Jungle Lodges Resort. No family, only a bunch of wildlife photography enthusiasts on a tour conducted by Toehold, which is a dedicated wildlife photo tour specialist company out of Bangalore. I am not affiliated to them in any way, I was just one among a group of 8 people attending the tour. The advantages of going on such a tour are many. Chief among them is the number of safaris and the fact that our group has a separate vehicle that are driven by very knowledgeable personnel. Another important factor is that the group is accompanied by a dedicated naturalist from Toehold who will guide you through the various aspects of spotting and photographing wildlife. We went on six safaris in total (twice a day for three days), so the chances of seeing a wide variety of wildlife is very high. Unfortunately for us, we were not able to spot any big cats during this visit, but I think some of the photos of other equally beautiful wild animals and birds more than made up for that. I'll let you decide.

My equipment for this trip was my new Nikon D7200 and the amazing Tamron 150 - 600 mm lens. All photos are handheld, since there is no scope for a tripod inside a safari vehicle. The best one can do is rest the long lens on a bean bag or on one of the hand rails on the vehicle, if it is standing still. I am very, very impressed with the camera for its super fast focusing speed and its high ISO capabilities and with the lens for its overall sharpness at any focal length. The quality of the photos you see here are not very high, since they have been re-sized, compressed and whatnot. The D7200 shoots 24 MP, so RAW files turn out at approximately 33 MB each and even JPGs are around 20 MB each, so re-sizing and compression is an absolute necessity to be able to show it on a forum. I took a total of over 700 photos over three days and what I have shown here is only a small sample of them. Most of the photos are taken at 2000 ISO or higher, as the forest is quite dim inside this time of the year.

First up, this cute baby Macaque (which we all simply call Monkey). This little fellow was peeking over the roof of the restaurant in the JLR, eagerly waiting for some scraps left over from breakfast.
A long weekend at Kabini - Again-sjkbn546s.jpg

On the very first safari, just a few minutes into it in fact, we came across a peacock doing its dance. Let me tell you, this dance is something you should see to believe. The way the bird vibrates its long feathers and turns around in circles is simply awesome. The iridescent feathers occasionally gleam and reflect light in ways you wouldn't believe. No wonder we have named it our National Bird.
A long weekend at Kabini - Again-sjkbn11.jpg

This is a closeup of the bird:
A long weekend at Kabini - Again-sjkbn10.jpg

I am not sure what this bird is, some kind of Bee Eater, I think:
A long weekend at Kabini - Again-sjkbn046s.jpg

A Streak Throated Woodpecker:
A long weekend at Kabini - Again-sjkbn13.jpg

Another one:
A long weekend at Kabini - Again-sjkbn14.jpg

We then came across a Crested Serpent Eagle, sitting all by itself on a branch right above us. This photo was taken at ISO 10,000 to counteract the very dim lighting inside the forest, so you can guess the high ISO performance of the D7200.
A long weekend at Kabini - Again-sjkbn314s.jpg

Some time later we came across its brother (or cousin or somebody), who decided to show us why it is called the "Crested" Eagle. Now, I'm told that this is a very rare sight, the eagle showing its crest. We were fortunate that it decided to do just that and doubly fortunate that it was at eye level and not far away. This is the side view:
A long weekend at Kabini - Again-sjkbn408s.jpg

This is the full frontal view. Again, I was lucky it turned in my direction just as I clicked:
A long weekend at Kabini - Again-sjkbn12.jpg

This is a Gray Langur in a very contemplative mood, looking off into space. Maybe a philosopher among Langurs, who knows? These guys are very hard to photograph as their faces are very dark, nearly black. This one turned its face up to the light and CLICK went my camera:
A long weekend at Kabini - Again-sjkbn750s.jpg

Then the philosopher turned to look at me straight in the eye, challenging me to a debate. I settled for a photo:
A long weekend at Kabini - Again-sjkbn754s.jpg

This is another Gray Langur (female) who had nice rim light around her from the evening sun:
A long weekend at Kabini - Again-sjkbn466s.jpg


<Continued in the next post>

Last edited by Stryker : 6th August 2015 at 21:48.
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Old 6th August 2015, 21:56   #2
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Default Re: A long weekend at Kabini - Again

<Continued from the previous post>


An Indian Golden Jackal (probably a juvenile) is up and about early in the morning:
A long weekend at Kabini - Again-sjkbn482s.jpg

This Dhole (or Indian Wild Dog) was part of a pack that followed our safari van for quite some time, I leaned down out of the van and took this photo:
A long weekend at Kabini - Again-sjkbn982s.jpg

A group of terrapins on the bank of a small pond inside the forest:
A long weekend at Kabini - Again-sjkbn161s.jpg

We came across this pair of Spotted Deer Stags early one morning, looking warily at us. They looked like near mirror images of each other:
A long weekend at Kabini - Again-sjkbn347s.jpg

Once they were convinced that we weren't hunting them, they started fighting, probably to impress us with their skills:
A long weekend at Kabini - Again-sjkbn349s.jpg

A female Indian Gaur crossed the path behind our van:
A long weekend at Kabini - Again-sjkbn440s.jpg

A different Gaur, with nice lighting around it:
A long weekend at Kabini - Again-sjkbn929s.jpg

A Kingfisher perched on a branch, not too far away from us:
A long weekend at Kabini - Again-sjkbn218s.jpg

We came across a pair of Sambar deer at a salt pit:
A long weekend at Kabini - Again-sjkbn832s.jpg

The wound at its throat is not really a wound, but I am told it is some kind of smell generating pore that bursts open during the mating season:
A long weekend at Kabini - Again-sjkbn994s.jpg

A Cooper's Hawk keeps a watchful eye on things from from up above:
A long weekend at Kabini - Again-sjkbn1011s.jpg

And finally, now you know why their eyes are considered the definition of beauty:
A long weekend at Kabini - Again-sjkbn860s.jpg

I hope you enjoyed the photos, as much as I enjoyed taking them. If these photos makes you want to go there and see these beautiful animals in their natural habitat yourself, then there is no better appreciation of my work. I am sure I will be returning there soon, I will post more when I do!

Until then, bye from Kabini...
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Old 6th August 2015, 22:32   #3
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Default Re: A long weekend at Kabini - Again

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!

Awesome snaps as usual! Need I mention that? Again?
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Old 7th August 2015, 07:15   #4
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Default Re: A long weekend at Kabini - Again

Thanks, Ampere. Well, there is no such thing as too much praise, is there?
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Old 7th August 2015, 08:00   #5
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The pictures are absolutely stunning especially the peacock which looks truly majestic. To see these beautiful animals in their natural habitat is a boon very well complimented by the wonderful clicks. You have done full justice to the camera and the lens.
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Old 7th August 2015, 08:10   #6
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Default Re: A long weekend at Kabini - Again

Amazing Photos. Its never tiring to see such beautiful photographs of wild animals.

After reading this thread, I just browsed through the website of Toehold for general information. Its really nice what they are doing for wildlife photograph enthusiasts.

Regards
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Old 7th August 2015, 09:16   #7
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Default Re: A long weekend at Kabini - Again

I heard that with effect from 1st July, there is a Rs. 400 charge towards Lenses above 300 mm by Department per Safari Trip.

Which lens did you use and did you pay this charge ?

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 7th August 2015 at 09:40. Reason: Typo.
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Old 7th August 2015, 11:08   #8
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Default Re: A long weekend at Kabini - Again

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinitbhavi View Post
You have done full justice to the camera and the lens.
Thanks, Vinit. This was my first outing with this camera and lens, so I was kind of getting used to both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chandrda View Post
Amazing Photos. Its never tiring to see such beautiful photographs of wild animals.
Thanks, chandrda. Yeah, even if you see the same creatures over and over again, the thrill is just the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by micrographics View Post
I heard that with effect from 1st July, there is a Rs. 400 charge towards Lenses above 300 mm by Department per Safari Trip.

Which lens did you use and did you pay this charge ?
Yes, there is a charge for any lens over 500 mm (not 300 mm). This is a new rule and they are not very strict about this. The guards at the entrance to the sanctuary are quite knowledgeable about lenses and if they do a check, then the charges have to be paid. As I mentioned, I was using a Tamron 150 - 600 mm lens and some others in my group had these really big 600 mm prime lenses, but we were not asked to pay the charges.
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Old 7th August 2015, 11:25   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stryker View Post
Thanks, Vinit. This was my first outing with this camera and lens, so I was kind of getting used to both.





Unbelievably crisp and steady pictures for a first time use of the camera. Can only imagine how much better the pictures will get once you have mastered the equipment. Keep clicking and awaiting many more captures.
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Old 7th August 2015, 11:56   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!

Awesome snaps as usual! Need I mention that? Again?
Indeed, amazing snaps - Tempts me to visit Kabini again
You are very luck to get straight view shots.

-Ravi

Last edited by ravib : 7th August 2015 at 11:59.
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Old 7th August 2015, 12:18   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinitbhavi View Post
Unbelievably crisp and steady pictures for a first time use of the camera. Can only imagine how much better the pictures will get once you have mastered the equipment. Keep clicking and awaiting many more captures.
I was very used to my Nikon D90 for a very long time, some six years or so. After such a period, things happen almost by instinct. Even your fingers know where the appropriate buttons are. Muscle memory at its best. A new camera, even if it is from the same company, with its slightly different button layout plays havoc when you want to change settings quickly. So this trip was more about getting used to the new layout and settings.

Quote:
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Indeed, amazing snaps - Tempts me to visit Kabini again
You are very luck to get straight view shots.

-Ravi
Thanks, Ravi. Luck indeed plays a great role in wildlife photography, since there is almost nothing you can control, as far as the subject goes.
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Old 7th August 2015, 15:40   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stryker View Post
I was very used to my Nikon D90 for a very long time, some six years or so. After such a period, things happen almost by instinct. Even your fingers know where the appropriate buttons are. Muscle memory at its best. A new camera, even if it is from the same company, with its slightly different button layout plays havoc when you want to change settings quickly. So this trip was more about getting used to the new layout and settings.
Absolutely true. I am currently using the humble Nikon D5000, but just being lazy and just taking pictures from my iPhone 6 plus. In the end it's just passion for photography and I seem to lack the same and also the iPhone is so much easier

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 7th August 2015 at 15:46. Reason: Fixing quotes.
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Old 7th August 2015, 19:37   #13
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Default Re: A long weekend at Kabini - Again

Hi Stryker

What a captures brother. Amazingly captured, Specially the first pic of the monkey, Its as clear as the movie poster "Planets of the Apes".

keep them coming if you have more.

Cheers
Josh
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Old 7th August 2015, 20:31   #14
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Default Re: A long weekend at Kabini - Again

Absolutely stunning pictures to say the least.

The Tamron 150-600 is an excellent performer for the price (I use one myself with D7000). The high ISO performance of the D7200 is also a revelation.

Thanks again for the lovely pictures.
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Old 8th August 2015, 07:53   #15
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Quote:
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What a captures brother. Amazingly captured, Specially the first pic of the monkey, Its as clear as the movie poster "Planets of the Apes".
Thanks, joshuakeys.


Quote:
Originally Posted by siddarthab View Post
Absolutely stunning pictures to say the least.
Thanks, siddarthab. Yes, the Tamron lens is very good. As one review somewhere said, this one lens will probably change the way amateurs and enthusiasts look at wildlife photography. It is now within reach cost wise and quality wise it is extremely good.
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