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4 DAY INTERMEDIATE WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP

Unlike any other type of photography, wildlife photography is the one area where almost everything is a compromise: availability of the subject itself, lighting, choices of background, location of the subject, etc. Creating a compelling image requires a substantial amount of patience and preparation, with a healthy dose of good luck thrown into the mix.

However, this doesn't mean that you should simply head out there and passively wait for what you get. Luck favors the prepared - with the right knowledge and a healthy dose of patience, you can greatly increase your chances of being there for the "decisive moment" - and of course, you need to have the right technique to be able to convert what you see into a powerful image. Lastly, with a little bit of creative thinking, you can take a less than ideal situation and come up with a high quality image from it.

Our Intermediate Wildlife Photography Workshop is geared towards teaching you how to make your own luck - from technical competence and readiness, to knowledge of the subject and everything in between.


TRIP OBJECTIVES AND DATES

A powerful wildlife photograph goes beyond a simple portrait of the animal - it evokes a sense of the animal's lifestyle, habit, mood or more. This workshop, conducted by experienced wildlife photographer Vandit Kalia, is geared to help intermediate wildlife photographs take this next step in raising the quality of their image from typical static portraits to powerful, dynamic pictures that make a statement. The focus is on evolving from a passive photographer who makes nices photos, to an active photographer who actively works to achieve the great image.

The workshop can be scheduled at any time of the year, except for the monsoons (July-September).


PRE-REQUISITES

A basic knowledge of 35mm techniques - especially how to achieve proper focus and exposure - is required. You should know how to engage and how/when to use the following features of your SLR : applying exposure compensation, focus lock, bracketing exposures, engaging a spot/partial meter, setting predictive auto-focus and brust shooting mode. If you are not clear on one or two of these areas, no problems - do let us know and we can work with you on this prior to the start of your trip to bring you up to speed.

You should have an SLR system that extends at least to 300mm, or more. An external flash will be very helpful, as will a second lens (or lenses) covering wide angle to moderate telephoto focal lengths.

Point-and-shoot camers are not recommended for the workshop, as P&S users will not be able to apply a lot of the techniques covered in this workshop. Digital camera (non-DSLR) users note - if your camera has adjustable aperture/shutter/exposure compensation, you should be able to apply a lot of the techniques we cover; however, the shutter lag of most digital compact cameras may pose a problem, as would the lack of an external flash and the higher depth-of-field of digital compacts (although these latter problem can be remedied in Photoshop to some extent). This course is geared towards SLR users, and we strongly recommend that participants use one for this workshop.

Participants can use whatever film they are comfortable with - print or slide. How much film you bring depends on your shooting needs, but typically, anywhere from 1to 5 rolls per game drive (there are 6 scheduled drives in the trip) should be adequate.


TOPICS COVERED

The goal of the workshop is to help you improve the quality of your wildlife images from technically correct images to powerful, evocative photographs - a task which requires strong technical competence, a strong passion for the subject and lots of patience.

As mentioned earlier, a prepared photographer can make his own luck to a large extent - preparation, in this context, means a keen understanding of the behavior of the subject being photographed. A large part of the session is devoted to this area.

The emphasis is on hands-on field work, as opposed to classrom theory. The workshop will cover the following topics:

  • Aesthetic and technical principles behind wildlife photography: choice of subject, framing, focal length, angle, point of focus and more
  • A detailed review of the behavior of 2-3 species, conducted by a naturalist, and a discussion on how this information can be transformed into better images
  • Developing a plan - creating a list of desired images for each species
  • Advanced compositional techniques
  • Creative techniques - panning, unusual angles, different lenses
  • Long lens techniques for obtaining maximum stability and sharpness from your telephoto
  • Using flash and flash extenders to improve your photography
  • Learning to control the background
  • Predicting animal behavior ("stay or go" decision-making)
  • Individualized "skill development" plan for further practice
  • Review of compositional principles behind wildlife photography
  • A discussion on when to break the rules
  • Creative techniques - panning, unusual angles, different lenses
  • Learning to see creatively
  • Using knowledge of animal behavior to anticipate opportunities


ITINERARY

Day 1: Meet in New Delhi in the morning,and head to Rathambhore via A/C train. Review workshop plan and concepts en route. Game drive in the evening. Evening review of day's shooting and slideshow/review of wildlife photography theory, as well as assignments for the next morning. (L, D)

Day 2: Early morning game drive, followed by a review of the techniques used and additional practice sessions. Post-lunch, go over assignment for the afternoon drive, followed by the afternoon game drive. Evening interactive session and slideshow covering day's shooting and how the various techniques were applied, as well as assignments for the next day. (B, L, D)

Day 3: Early morning game drive, followed by a review of the techniques used and additional practice sessions. Summary of techniques and concepts used to date, followed by assignments for the afternoon game drive. Evening interactive discussion session and discussion on next steps, in terms of improving photographic skills (B, L, D)

Day 4: Early morning game drive, followed by departure back to New Delhi. (B, L)


GENERAL NOTES

This workshop is for intermediate photoraphers looking to improve their wildlife photography. Photographer interested in just photo opportunities (i.e., without instruction) should consider our standard wildlife photography tours, while beginners will be better served by the Introductory Wildlife Photography Workshop.

Do note that you cannot expect to go out there and get a great photo on every game drive - the truly stunning images take time and patience to produce. Becaue this a trip into the wild and there can be no guarantees of species sightings or the quality of those sightings. We will certainly try to have you leave with a very good set of photos to add to your portfolio, but all of us will have to work within the confines of what we get.


PRICES

The all-inclusive price for this tour is as follows:

  • 1 person: Rs 60,000
  • 2-4 people: Rs 35,000
  • 5 or more people: Rs 25,000

Prices include all accommodations in Swiss-style tents with en-suite bathrooms, meals, game viewing in private jeep or open-top minibus, services of a top-quality tracker/guide, transfers to and from New Delhi and drinking water. Not included are beverages, laundry, tips, travel costs to Delhi, cost of film or developing and personal expenses.

Participants are expected to provide their own camera, lenses and film, and will be responsible for the development of the same. We do have some rental gear available, if need be.

Note on hotels: We have priced this trip based on staying in a comfortable, upper-end resort offering good food, well-appointed rooms and a relaxed, personalized ambience. This resort was chosen because of its experience in working with photographers, and is a particular favorite for international film crews, and you could be sharing your time there with teams shooting documentaries for some of the better known nature & wildlife channels.

However, if you would prefer to re-live the lifestyle of the kings of the old, we would be more than happy to base the trips in top-end hotels as well. Please contact us if interested.


BOOKING TERMS & CONDITIONS

To make a booking, please email us at info@photosafariindia.com

Bookings are not confirmed until we receive a 20% deposit. We accept payment via wire transfers or via Paypal. The balance is due 45 days before the trip.

If cancelling before 45 days, the full sum will be refunded (minus the 3% transaction fee, if you have paid using a credit card via Paypal). For cancellations between 15-45 days from the trip date, we levy a 25% cancellation charge. For cancellations within 15 days of the trip date, the cancellation charge is up to 75%..

 

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