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Old 13th April 2019, 20:31   #1
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Default A day out @ Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

A Photographers’ Travelogue:

Prologue:

I have done a lot of domestic and international travel of late and this is my first travelogue. Will soon post the others too as and when the time permits.

It was the first long weekend of the year 2019 and we were eager to visit a place that we hadn’t seen. My wife and I are software professionals in Bangalore with hectic schedules, wading through bumper to bumper traffic every day. I really feel sorry for my car for not being made use to its full capacity. With all the mighty power it has, it has to inch every moment and has been used like a bullock cart.

I own a Hyundai Verna Fluidic 1.6L SX top end Diesel variant and have done 82+ thousand kilometers in 6+ years.

Here is the link of my ownership report that i wrote a long way back.

Hyundai Verna Fluidic Ownership Report (Hyundai Verna Fluidic SX 1.6L Diesel: The Street Hawk)

There have been several updates that have been done on my car and I have been silently following the articles without posting anything so far.
Will surely do it soon !! Don't lose hope.

Our Garage had been updated with new additions,namely

1 ) Jeep Compass - > My dad's dream Vehicle!
2 ) Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Hybrid ->My brother's first Roomy car!

Sadly i will not be able to do an ownership report but will definitely give you all, a taste of my driving experience with JEEP and Ciaz. I have also done a video and a photo-shoot of them and will soon upload it!

A Day out @ Rangantittu Bird Sanctuary – from a Photographers’ Perspective !!!!!

Predator vs Prey – There is a very thin line of separation between life and death !!

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You can also click on the images there to see them in full size. However they have all been shrieked and optimized for web uploads.
The RAW images from my camera are very big in size and probably i will need to buy a cloud server and huge storage space for myself to fit them all.

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The Travel Plan:

We are always on the prowl for long weekends to get rid of the hustle and bustle of the city. A lot of places popped out of our travel bucket list. I suggested a few places to my wife and started to plan. Little did I know that the plan was going to be tossed & knocked off. My wife got a call from the company she works for and she had to work over the weekend. The entire fun mood was shattered and a wonderful opportunity was missed. We were just left with a day. So we had to look out for a weekend getaway. Mysore was the place that came up first. In fact a lot of them popped up, but it was all discarded as we had seen them all multiple times. The one I am going to talk about was also something that we had already visited but there is a special connection to it. As a Bangalorean ( Kannadiga ), Mysore is my second home town. I have been there umpteen number of times since I was a kid. There is nothing that I have left unseen there.

Totally unplanned, we packed our bags and cameras and hit the Road and decided to go to Raganatittu bird Sanctuary. Yes that was our final destination for the day. Both of us have been here several times and so the enthusiasm was all time low. This was just another road trip and we did for the sake of doing it. All along the journey my wife made faces and cursed me. To add more fuel to fire she started throwing tantrums at me. To tell the truth, each time we visited this place so far, the trip started with frowned faces and drowned spirits but we have come back with awe inspiring memories of this wonderful place.

Yes alongside being a Software Solution Architect handling Microsoft Technologies, I am an amateur photographer wanting to be a PRO.I do all genres of photography. This started out as a hobby and now has become a passion and I never know when it is going to turn into a full time profession. I own a very expensive camera gear and don’t like to see dust sit on it and I am proud to be a crazy photographer clicking a million pics everywhere I go, ever since I bought a DSLR.

I normally shoot with Canon 80D or Canon 5D mark IV.

If you just visit the place as a casual traveler with a stopover for refreshments, just because it is on the way to Mysore, It doesn’t look so interesting. Believe it or not, it will turn out to be a boring place. If it is for the first time, probably you will enjoy. If you are frequent visitor like me, then the charm would be lost unless u have other intentions.

But if you are a wild life photographer or aspiring to be one or just love to click tons of pics, have truck load of patience, then Rangantittu is a perfect setup to explore your photography skills and an excellent platform to showcase your work.

With that said, it’s now time to give the complete details.

Destination:

Ranganatittu Bird Sanctuary (AKA Pakshidama or Pakshi Kashi)

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Distance from Bangalore:

It is about 120 kms from Bangalore.

The place is well maintained with lush green gardens all around. There is a bird information centre. Dr Salim Ali bird info centre which turned out to be Very helpful to get to know the names of different species of birds.

Timings and Fee:

Morning 9.30 AM to 6.30 PM open on all days.

Special entry at 6.30 AM if advance booking is done a day before the visit. Special boats are available from the forest department, which are normally meant for wild life enthusiast and photographers and not for the general public.

Entrance fee is Rs.70 per Indian national and parking fee is Rs 30 for a four wheeler. They have a different fee structure for foreign nationals to promote tourism and generate huge revenues.

People who wish to take cameras with telephoto lenses having zoom range of more than 200mm during the boat ride will have to purchase a separate camera ticket that costs Rs.500, and for any zoom range that is less than 200mm it is about Rs 100 per camera. There is no camera fee if u wish to take pictures from the river bank.

How to reach:

One can go by two wheeler/ four wheeler / six wheeler. There are very well connected roads from Bangalore and Mysore. The roads have been widened and are in extremely good condition as they have been recently asphalted. One can easily maintain 3 digit speeds. It will approximately take about 2 and half hours from Bangalore to reach the destination without any breaks. With breaks probably about 3+ hrs. Pain points are up to Kengeri as Metro work is in progress. I would suggest you to take NICE road and totally avoid these hassles.

Note: start early and reach first. Mysore road is known for its heavy traffic and can choke you sometimes with heavy traffic flow especially during long weekends and holidays. Be careful as there are lot of unmarked speed breakers.

Hotels, food and Accommodation:

There are a lot of hotels on the way to Mysore where one can tantalize their taste buds. Kamat and Vattika are the most prominent ones. Vattika being my favourite. Both will be overcrowded and you will have to wait a lot to fill your stomachs. Maddur is another place where you can stop over for some nice snacks. (Famous Maddur Vada).There is Adigas and A2b on the way too. Stopover in Mandya, if you wish to quench your thirst with authentic sugar cane juice. There is no accommodation in Rangantittu. There is a small canteen/ restaurant within the premises where south and north Indian dishes/ cusines are cooked and served. The food quality is OK and not the best.The prices are nominal. If you wish to stay overnight like we did, you can opt for either Mysore or Mandya. Mysore is nearer than Mandya to Rangantittu.

We stayed in Mysore as I was a bit tired after the photoshoot and didn’t want to drive back in the night. We stayed in a hotel called as tree boo Akashya Mahal which is in a nice location and has good accommodation and facilities. It is a just a few steps away from the Forum mall in Mysore. Everything was good except the food. The food was really bad and totally unacceptable. The breakfast spread was horrible and I felt the hotel was overpriced for what they had to offer just for a sleep over in the night. I could have chosen something better.

When to Visit:

Best time to visit the place are from October to March as you get to see a lot of migratory birds. However there will be different species of birds at different times all through the year. So you can pay a visit any time you wish. It is just that you might not get to see some species of birds, that’s all.

When to photograph:

If you are a keen photographer like me, then early mornings and evenings (dusk and dawn) are the best for soft lighting conditions and pictures turn out to be other worldly. After noon’s normally will have harsh lighting conditions and will play spoil sport for photography. Bird activity will also be high during early mornings and evenings.

What to Photograph: Birds,Crocodiles and Nature!

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What to expect:

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There are no activates apart from Boating. Boating is the highlight of the place. You can take a walk in the lush green gardens, take a stroll around the pathways of the park itself and relax or take selfies on the hanging bridge or climb up on the watch tower to see the birds or enjoy seeing cosy couples getting their pre-wedding shoot done.

You can go for a boat ride where they take you close to islands of the sanctuary for about 20 minutes with life jackets strapped around you in case of an emergency. They are all row boats and not speed boats. It’s intentionally done to not spoil the sanctity of the place and to not disturb and scare off the birds.You can get close to the birds and their habitat and it’s all fun to see them up close.

There are special boats available if you need one. They are open boats with no roof and meant for photographers like menthe are private and cost Rs 1500 per ride for a duration of about 45 minutes. The advantage is they are available as early as 6.30 AM in the morning and throughout the day and you get to see some of the other islands that they normally don’t take you around in the normal public boats.Public boats cost Rs 70 per person for Indian nationals.

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Any Hazards:

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Yes, the back waters of Kaveri are heavily infested with a large number of marsh crocodiles. So don’t venture out to swim or put your hand in water at any cost. There are lot of crocodiles stealthily moving under water and waiting to grab even at the slightest opportunity. They are extremely quick and fast and once they get a hold on anything they don’t let go. So be very careful and cautious especially with children and do keep special watch on them.

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I still have a lot of images and will continue the post on a new thread as I have reached the maximum limit for uploading pictures.

Last edited by GTO : 15th April 2019 at 07:47. Reason: As per PM
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Old 13th April 2019, 20:41   #2
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Default Re: A day out @ Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

Continuing my post..

The Marsh Crocodiles of Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary : Deadly Beasts !!

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Baby Crocodiles:

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What to bring:

Binoculars and cameras with a long range focal length lens (telephoto lens preferably), caps, goggles and sun screen lotion. Chances of capturing super breath-taking shots are high if you have a good camera and good lens. Preferably a good DSLR or a mirrorless that has good shutter speed and definitely not the point and shoot as they donít serve any purpose here for bird photography. However if the purpose is to shoot people and post it on social media, then I have no comments. Mobile phones are only for landscape shots, people and selfies. Of course I cannot completely deny it as you can take pictures of static birds perched over nests and branches and deadly crocodiles while u are in the boat and go close to them. But quality truly matters and I avoid mobile phone photography as you canít capture the fast paced action, no matter how good the camera is on phone. It does not make any sense to me.

Other Places of attraction and interest:
  • Wonder la Ė though near to Bangalore than Mysore.
  • Srirangapatna Ė Sound and light show and Tippu Sultan fort.
  • Balmuri and Yadmuri falls.
  • Sangama and Daria Daulat.

Visual Treat:

Hope I havenít bored you so far.Without further ado I will let the pictures to talk. I have organised the pics into different categories. As the saying goes, a picture is worth more than a 1000 words. Check them out below.

Flora of Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary :

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Old 13th April 2019, 20:46   #3
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Default Re: A day out @ Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

Birds in Flight: Pelicans !

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Old 13th April 2019, 20:49   #4
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Default Re: A day out @ Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

Painted Stork in flight, carrying a twig !!

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Old 13th April 2019, 20:59   #5
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Illusion: Two different species of birds standing apart creating an illusion of a mirror !

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Birds on the Nest:

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Spoon Bills:

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Assorted Pics:

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The Dreamy Shots !!

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Well, Thatís it for now ! Stay tuned for more !!
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Old 15th April 2019, 12:03   #6
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Default Re: A day out @ Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amyth Prabhakar View Post
A Photographers’ Travelogue:
Welcome back buddy from your long hibernation on Team-BHP and what an excellent pictorial - the pictures are amazing! Looking forward to more posts from you on a regular basis. Do share more details on the camera lenses that you use as well.
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Old 15th April 2019, 15:41   #7
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Welcome back buddy from your long hibernation on Team-BHP and what an excellent pictorial - the pictures are amazing! Looking forward to more posts from you on a regular basis. Do share more details on the camera lenses that you use as well.
First of all,Thankyou very much for welcoming me back ! I feel extremely honoured and humbled that you still remember me.

I dont endorse any brands here but as a matter of my preference / choice, I use Canon cameras and lenses as i am quite used to their equipment.

I use Canon 80D and Canon 5D Mark IV bodies. A combination of crop and full frame sensors proves extremely useful especailly for wild life photography as a crop senor body extends the optical zoom range and full frame fits more content into the frame. Both are needed and come handy during different situations.

Coming to lenses:

Well you need to choose them based on the subject's distance and genere of photography.

These are the ones i normally shoot with.

Quality to me truly matters and i use professional lenses.

For Wild Life Photography:

All the below ones listed below are professional grade L series lenses and are very expensive.
  • Canon 100-400mm IS II F4.5-5.6L
  • Canon 70-200mm IS II f2.8 -> there is a newer version of this avaialble now. ( IS III)
  • Canon 70-300mm IS II, f3.5-5.6
  • Canon 600 mm prime lens,IS II, f4
  • Tamron 150mm-600mm G2, f3.5-f6.3

I rent some from toehold as an when the need arises.

When it comes to shooting people and nature, I use the kit lens.

Canon 80D kit lens - > Canon 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS II nano USM

For potraits, i use canon 50mm prime f1.8, canon 70-200mm and 85 mm or 24-70mm coupled with Canon 5D mark IV or Canon 80D.

For Landscape photography, i use Sigma ART series and Canon wide angle lenses.

I also checked Sony mirrorless cameras and was quite impressed by it.
My next shoot will be with Sony.
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Old 16th April 2019, 11:54   #8
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Default Re: A day out @ Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amyth Prabhakar View Post
I use Canon 80D and Canon 5D Mark IV bodies.

Coming to lenses:

Well you need to choose them based on the subject's distance and genere of photography.
Excellent thread Amyth and beautiful photographs! Rated 5 stars.



The photography bug too bit me few months back and I bought a humble Nikon D5300 crop sensor DSLR with 18-55mm kit lens. But lately I am not getting much ideas/places for photography. I am more into nature/landscape photography with some portraits as well. But I am finding it difficult to find new/exciting things to shoot on a regular basis. Would appreciate any tips or advice to get me going again
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Old 16th April 2019, 15:39   #9
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Default Re: A day out @ Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

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Excellent thread Amyth and beautiful photographs! Rated 5 stars.



The photography bug too bit me few months back and I bought a humble Nikon D5300 crop sensor DSLR with 18-55mm kit lens. But lately I am not getting much ideas/places for photography. I am more into nature/landscape photography with some portraits as well. But I am finding it difficult to find new/exciting things to shoot on a regular basis. Would appreciate any tips or advice to get me going again
Honestly speaking, Photography hobby is a very costly affair.
But you really don't have to possess an expensive gear to rekindle your enthusiasm. Start with what ever equipment you have and don't go on looking for ideal places for photography. Get creative with whatever you have and whereever you are. Start creating oppurtunities for yourself. I am pretty sure that you would definitely find a plenty of occasions to shoot on a day to day basis. It could just be your car or street photography, where you will for sure come across many interesting subjects. This is what i used to do.Hope this helps.

Also start learning the photography concepts and start experimeting. It is all fun and gets interesting with more hands on experience.
I normally shoot with manual mode. If the situation is very demanding, I dial into Aperture priority or sometimes into shutter priority mode.

Last edited by Amyth Prabhakar : 16th April 2019 at 15:46. Reason: Added a few more lines.
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Old 16th April 2019, 19:43   #10
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Default Re: A day out @ Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

Lovely pics. Rated 5*.

Ranganathittu never disappoints.

We can get to see the birds in such close proximity that even with a 90 mm lens, i managed to click the below pics!

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And the monster !

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Couldn't resist myself from sharing these decade old pics.

Last edited by Samba : 16th April 2019 at 19:47.
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Old 16th April 2019, 19:53   #11
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Default Re: A day out @ Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

Enthralling, eye catching, beautifully crafted, bewitching, magnificent, spectacular, breath taking.......

Congratulations on these photographs. You are quite the clicker. Thank you for sharing.
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Old 16th April 2019, 23:11   #12
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Default Re: A day out @ Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

Great Pics.

Canon 100-400mm IS II F4.5-5.6L.

This is an awesome lens which gives result near to professional level. If paired with Canon 7d Mk2, it’s a great combination for birding. I was a proud owner of both of these and sold it yesterday after using for last 4 years to move to 500mm+ range.

Which Lens you used here in these Pics?

Last edited by arunrajk81 : 16th April 2019 at 23:18. Reason: removed a line
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Old 17th April 2019, 13:03   #13
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Default Re: A day out @ Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

Quote:
Originally Posted by arunrajk81 View Post
Great Pics.

Canon 100-400mm IS II F4.5-5.6L.

This is an awesome lens which gives result near to professional level. If paired with Canon 7d Mk2, itís a great combination for birding. I was a proud owner of both of these and sold it yesterday after using for last 4 years to move to 500mm+ range.

Which Lens you used here in these Pics?
In fact I used multiple lenses for shooting those birds and crocs.
and believe me they are heavy and difficult to hand hold and shoot from a moving boat.Still managed to do it.

Cameras used :Canon 80D and 5D Mark IV

Some pics have been shot with 70-300 mm Canon IS II ( own )
Some with 18- 135mm Nano USM ( kit lens ) ( own )
Some with Tamron 150-600 mm G2 ( Hired from toehold )
Some with Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM ( Hired from toehold )

The flora pics which you see there as thumbnails have been shot with canon 5D Mark 4 + 70-200mm IS II. Actually i also used it for shooting my wife's portraits more. I have not posted it here though.

I had shared a link of an image carousel for all the pics that you see as thumbnails gallery.
But as per forum rules, I can't link external resources. So i will have to post only those that are shown in gallery as thumbnail images.

Last edited by Amyth Prabhakar : 17th April 2019 at 13:09. Reason: Added a line
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Old 17th April 2019, 13:10   #14
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Default Re: A day out @ Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

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Originally Posted by Samba View Post
Lovely pics. Rated 5*.

Ranganathittu never disappoints.

We can get to see the birds in such close proximity that even with a 90 mm lens, i managed to click the below pics!

Attachment 1868648

Attachment 1868649

Attachment 1868650

And the monster !

Attachment 1868651

Couldn't resist myself from sharing these decade old pics.
Wonderful !! Loved the landing shots !
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Old 18th April 2019, 15:29   #15
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Default Re: A day out @ Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

Amazing shots, I loved the marsh croc set specially . Is it the right time to visit the place now ? I had visited in January but there was not much activity that time.
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