Morning Light

I recently turned my lens towards wildlife and my estimation for wildlife photographers – always high – has just jumped several notches.  It’s harder than it looks.  For one thing the darn creatures don’t wait around for you to get your gear in order.

I joined a group of photographers, brought together by Nomad Excursions, spent 3 days in Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh, the heart of India.  Park regulations meant we could not step out of the vehicle – our Gypsy (jeep) driver was very good at maneuvering to suit our wishes but, angle and distance became added issues.  The thing I had the most difficulty with was holding still.  My EF 100-400 fully extended without a tripod was a frustrating thing to wield.  The solution was a bean-bag on the crash bar of the jeep to cradle my camera.

I was ready when this buck looked up to see if the noise of our Gypsy was something to worry about.  The morning light was beautiful and is what makes these shots work for me.

Spotted Deer

1/320 sec. f/5.6 400mm ISO 2500

Spotted Deer_MG_9085

1/320 sec. f/5.6 400mm ISO 1000

At one point in my early morning grumbling about the fully extended zoom being too much for me to hold our Naturalist/Photographer suggested I adjust my ISO so I could speed up my shutter.  I was aiming at a Blackiston’s Fish Owl and already at ISO 3200 – out of maneuverability.  The resulting image is, as expected, extremely grainy and yet I love his expression and demeanor.  The excursion was amazing fun and I want to learn more.

As a forum for discussion I am exposing my owl for your consideration.  Any wildlife enthusiasts out there willing to leave a comment?  Words of wisdom are always welcome!

Brown Fish Owl_MG_9096

1/160th sec. f/5.6 400mm ISO 3200

Places to go, people to see:

8 Responses to “Morning Light”
  1. Faizan Khan says:

    Beautiful Photos !

  2. Kaustubh says:

    Lovely Write up and Beautiful Photos… Refreshed to see that Brown Fish OWL a must see at Bandhavgarh TR.

  3. Great write up, Mike, i would request you to put your winning shot here too. As far as that ISO thing is concerned i think Canon gear lack the sensitivity there, whereas Nikon ISO in low light is very good. That i have seen and some people have also recommended. Though there is not much of a difference in the 2 brands, Nikon has the upper hand in ISO only.

  4. Vivek Singh says:

    wonderful write up, are dot right about the challenges faced by a wildlife photographer.And i must differ from Rishi on canon vs Nikon issue regarding iso.i think my 7D matches any of the nikon’s performance:))

  5. Absolutely beautiful photos!

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