I have always wanted to try street photography. A big camera (read DSLR) unfortunately is not the tool for it I’ve realized, the attention the camera seeks takes away from the natural expressions and ruins almost all opportunities for a candid shot. Recently when I upgraded my mobile phone to a Samsung Galaxy SII with an amazing camera and visited mumbai simultaneously, it was the perfect time for me to try my hand at street photography. This experiment is also to reiterate that the a DSLR is not always the solution and even a mobile phone can produce some amazing results…
Marine drive walkway
Sunset at Juhu chowpatty
No trip to Mumbai is complete without Masala Pav
And ofcourse the famous colas
Ganapati immersion procession
Boys who take the Ganapati for the immersion
The old and new, mills that make way for malls – Phoenix mall
The last few months have been very interesting and exciting. Coming from a technology background and having worked with photography and filming, I’ve always felt that the line between different types of media has been fast diminishing. There are times when you want to freeze that moment and show a photograph to tell a story, other times you need the brilliance of motion and audio. There are also times when you feel you could have shown a panorama of the place to establish its beauty. Recently I had the opportunity to work with Microsoft Research Labs on their new platform which combines different types of media to create a whole new method of interactive story telling. Digital narratives is where the new technology “Rich Interactive Narratives (RIN)” is being showcased. I worked on stills, 360 degree panos, synths and video for the Hampi narrative, take a look at it and tell me how you liked it. The technology is very new and these are just some pilot projects, hopefully will be able to work on narratives for wildlife soon.
Also the new Nikon D7000 has been proving extremely good. Great image quality and amazing video. Been working on some new video projects with it which should be out soon.
Leopards are masters of stealth and that’s what helps them hunt and survive in the thick forests of southern India. They are known to hide and ambush than chase and hunt. These are some pictures of leopards from different trips, which show the brilliant stealth capabilities of the leopard.
This Leopard came running across the jeep track and hid between the tree stumps beautifully and then ran inside the bushes and watched us for a while.
The same leopard above which went into the bushes and watched us.
A leopard in the paddy fields near Daroji, hiding but still wants to watch.
Leopard in Kabini watching us from inside the thicket.
Evolution is what has kept many species from disappearing from the planet. Some have evolved in the right way quickly and have managed to share this world with their predators and other threats.
Here is a brilliant example of evolution. What you see is a caterpillar of the butterfly Blue Mormon, its very difficult for caterpillars to survive to become butterflies, given their susceptibility to predators. But this caterpillar in particular has developed different strategies to survive.
The eyes you see are false eyes and helps the caterpillar look like a snake. The face in totality looks similar to a snake, you would think this is enough to keep the predators at bay. But wait until you watch the video below.
This is how the caterpillar behaves when it senses threat, it pops out a ‘Y’ shaped organ that resembles a snake’s tongue. Called Osmeterium looks like a snake’s tongue to prevent a predator attack. That’s not all, this organ emits smelly compounds believed to be pheromones which are highly pungent in nature even to humans.
The call of the Malabar Whistling Trush, is one of the most melodious pieces of music I’ve ever heard in nature. I’ve always wanted to photograph this bird for a long time. Photographing them can be quite challenging given that they make their homes in the deep forests of western ghats and that they are shy. Valparai is one of the best places to photograph them, as they are all around the town.
Click the play button to hear the call of the Whistling Trush
Recently I came across an article on 10 famous doctored photos. If you read that, you’ll see one of the images in that has won an award. Now my question is how’s anyone to judge this photograph which may be photoshoped/orchestrated/setup? This is one reason I usually refrain from photography contests. Here’s a set of images photographed at a zoo. I know this is an age old debate but when I read today that a possibly doctored image had won an award I couldn’t resist.
For the first time I’ve submitted some photographs to a competition. I hope they take into consideration all the above mentioned factors and have the right people from the field to judge. I guess I shouldn’t turn too cynical without even giving it a shot
Its been a lucky season. I’ve been fortunate in seeing and photographing young ones of a few key species found in India. The Joy of seeing a new generation of these animals in times which are hard for their survival has been an overwhelmingly emotional experience.
After a really long wait, I finally managed to be there at the right place at the right time to photograph the Baby King Cobras which had just hatched in a nest close to Agumbe.
I also made a short trip to Nagarhole where 2 leopard cubs abandoned in a sugarcane field close to the Nagarhole forest by the mother and have been rescued by the forest department.
The one question that came across my mind each time I saw them was “What’s their future?”
Not many times in life does one come across opportunities like this. Wildlife is full of surprises, and one rewarded and when least expected. Having spent almost 2 weeks in the summer in Kabini and having had no luck with photographing any cats though sighted a few, I didn’t expect I’d get to shoot much in the monsoons. But I was in for a pleasant surprise. I was to see two leopards!