HIGHLIGHTS

Experience Kaziranga, a UNESCO world heritage site and its amazing BIG FIVE wildlife together with your photography mentor Sudhir Shivaram.

Home to the iconic Indian one-horned rhinoceros, Kaziranga is considered to be one of the most beautiful forests in India. Its landscape is a mosaic of moist deciduous and semi-evergreen forests interspersed with grasslands.

Tall and short grasses, open jungles and swamps and numerous water bodies offer an environment that supports substantial breeding populations of close to 35 mammalian species. These include large herbivores, small herbivores, and large cats such as tigers and leopards. A great number of avian species add to make this striking habitat the ideal place for photography learning.

Why do the Kaziranga photography learning tour with SSP?
– Accommodation in upscale resorts with top-of-the-line facilities.
– Expert drivers and guides/naturalists trained to position the vehicles to help photographers achieve the right angles.
– On field guidance from Sudhir during the safaris to help you get the best images.
– On field review of images and feedback to nurture in-depth learning.
– Planned during the ideal season (February-March) to maximise photography opportunities.
– Photography competition where participants get to judge each others’ best images. This will introduce the parameters on which photographs are judged in most photography competitions.

Who should attend this tour?
– Quite simply, this tour is for anyone who wants to be an awesome wildlife photographer.
– You can be a rank beginner or have some experience wielding the camera, either way, SSP’s photography learning tour is bound to enhance your skill and knowledge.

What can you expect from this tour?
– Practical on-field learning from Sudhir.
– Understand the various challenges of wildlife photography and learn how to overcome each of them.
– Learn to pre-visualise your images in the field and arrive at the appropriate camera settings.
– Discussions back in the camp to ensure all doubts are cleared before your next safari.
– At the end of this tour, gain enough practice and confidence to put your camera to optimal use – with respect to basic and certain advanced camera settings.
– Move away from taking images to making images.
– Develop an eye for what makes for an award-winning image.

Beyond Learning
Nothing gets in the way of our photography learning/teaching. Until it’s time for lunch, that is. And dinner. And breakfast. During which time, nothing comes between us and the food. As for the fun part, when we do what we love, fun happens. Just as polite hellos turn to boisterous fist bumps; quiet handshakes turn to backslapping bear hugs; acquaintances become friends for life.

SPOTLIGHTS

Airport/Railhead

Guwahati Airport 5-hr drive and Guwahati Rly Stn 3.5-hr drive.

Ideal Flight Timings

Preferable to take the first flight of the day to reach Guwahati before noon on day 1 of the workshop. Book a flight that departs Guwahati after 6 pm on last day of workshop.

Last Mile

We will coordinate with you for your pickup/drop from/to airport/rly station. We generally do car pooling of participants arriving at around same time.

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT

We recommend to carry 2 camera bodies along with a combination of a zoom lens like the 70-200 or the 100-400. The second body can have a tele lens like the 500mm/600mm/800mm. The 150-600 range is also an excellent lens for a single body.

Duration/Stay

4 nights/5 days @ IORA - The Retreat

Check-in/Check-out

Check-in: Post 12 noon on day 1 of the workshop and check-out on after morning safari on last day of the workshop.

Safari

Total safaris - 7 . Morning safari from 7:30am to 11:00am and afternoon safari from 2:00pm to 5:30pm

Weather/Temperature

Max temp: 30°C and Min temp: 15°C. Generally it will be a bit cold in the morning and late evenings. Otherwise bright and sunny during day time.

Key Subjects

The BIG 5 of Kaziranga - Rhino Tiger Elephant Water buffalo Swamp deer along with a host of birds including the Great Indian Hornbill.

Things to Carry

You can get Camera-lens, binoculars, bird book, warm wear and essential medicines.

Here’s a complete overview of what happens in the SSP Photography learning tours.

 

1. Photography learning through indoor / outdoor sessions:

Sudhir will have interactive classroom photography sessions followed by hands-on outdoor sessions to help the participants take a practical approach to learning. These sessions help you pick up the basic and advanced concepts of photography and start applying them in the field.

2. Photography learning in the field during the safari:

Once you have understood the concepts in the indoor/outdoor classroom sessions, it’s time to implement them in the field. During the safari, Sudhir will guide you with the camera settings and composition based on the challenges in the field. He will also give you a few assignments to help drive home the concept of pre-visualization.

3. Photography competition for participants:

This is a newly introduced feature in all SSP Photo Tours. In this format, the participants are judges too. Each participant evaluates and rates every other participant’s image based on certain criteria. This not only fosters healthy competition but also introduces the parameters on which photographs are judged. A useful bit of information to have, if you are looking to participate in photography contests.

4. Fun Times:

While we are extremely serious about our photography, we never play down the importance of some good old-fashioned fun and great food. Breakfast time during the safaris proves to be a great time to share, interact and exchange notes. Last night of the workshop is official party night where we bond over a celebratory dinner. So, what do we celebrate? Good times, great food, awesome friends. And of course, photography!

The teaching and learning will not stop after the workshop. In fact this is only the beginning. You will be part of the SSP Community on our website, where learning and interaction with fellow photographers will continue.

Wed 13 March, 2019

  • A 5-hour drive from Guwahati will take you to IORA-The Retreat.
  • Catch up with your mentor, Sudhir, and your fellow participants at 7pm at the conference hall.
  • Having refreshed over some tea and snacks, get started with an interactive session as Sudhir shares tips, tricks, and techniques of shooting in this habitat.
  • Dinner, lights out.
  • Thu/Fri/Sat 14/15/16 March, 2019

  • Morning safari from 7:30am to 11:30am. Hone your photography skills as you enjoy an exhilarating ride into the forest.
  • Packed breakfast at the park on all days
  • Return to resort, take some rest and time for lunch.
  • Sumptuous lunch and possibly a quick power nap in preparation for afternoon safari.
  • Following safari, back to the resort.
  • Evenings we meet at the conference hall for our interactive learning sessions including post processing on one of the evenings
  • Dinner, lights out.
  • Sun 17 March, 2019

  • Morning safari and check out .
  • Before the Workshop
    We will ask you for:
    – some basic information about your equipment
    – your photos/portfolio
    – your expectations from the workshop

    Based on this, Sudhir will chart out best practices for your set of equipment. He will review the images and judge the areas that need working on.

    Communicating your expectations beforehand will ensure that Sudhir addresses them during individual interactions with you.

    During the Workshop
    – Sudhir will demonstrate the best way to approach and shoot the subjects and give deeper insights on their behavioural aspects.
    – He will introduce the advanced custom function settings of your camera. A firm understanding of these settings will be your first step toward shooting like a pro.
    – In the park, he will continually guide you based on the field conditions and subjects.
    – Knowledge sharing and image review will continue through the evenings as Sudhir interacts with you with focused inputs to reinforce the day’s learning.
    – You will have assignments to complete, giving you ample scope to assimilate and apply all that you have learnt.

    *For a detailed list of the topics covered, please scroll down.

    After the Workshop
    Your pursuit of photography knowledge doesn’t end with the workshop. The SSP Community is your gateway to continued learning and interaction, apart from being the ideal platform to showcase your best images. In addition to image review and critique by Sudhir and his team, you also gain the perfect peer group interaction to grow as a photographer. Theme-based assignments, healthy discussions, candid feedback, equipment reviews and resale are the other great perks of being part of this community.

    *The below topics will be covered and the participants will learn how to apply these concepts in wildlife photography.

    Fundamental and Advanced Concepts of Photography:
    – Manual and autofocus (focusing points, autofocus lock, single or continuous focus, Focusing Sensors, AF cases, Advanced AF settings of camera)
    – Manual exposure (ISO, shutter speed, Aperture)
    – Metering modes (evaluative, matrix, spot metering)
    – Depth of field (shallow, deep, hyper focal distance)
    – Motion (freezing, blurring and panning)
    – Picture styles / picture control (colour, black and white, sepia etc…)
    – Aperture priority, shutter speed priority and program modes
    – Understanding exposure – the 18% concept
    – White balance (pre-set and custom)
    – The temperature of light (natural and artificial colour cast)
    – Composition (framing)
    – Elements of design (seeing v/s looking)
    – Lenses and perspective (the right choice of focal length)
    – Pre-visualization
    – Completing the story
    – Camera settings related to Wildlife Photography.
    – Understanding Subject Behavioral aspects.
    – Understanding your camera and shooting techniques.

    Post-Processing:
    During the course of the workshop, you will be taken through the fundamentals of image processing and the following topics will be covered:

    – Colour management policies (colour settings, working space, ICC profiles etc.)
    – Working with RAW files
    – Cropping and image editing
    – Levels, curves, contrast, saturation adjustments (All through layers and masking)
    – Image sharpening, cloning, dodge and burn
    – Noise reduction.
    – Saving for web/ printing

    During the Field Outing:
    During the field outing, your mentor Sudhir Shivaram will help you make memorable images. Inputs provided on the field will enable you make the most of the opportunity.

    The teaching and learning will not stop after the workshop. In fact this is just the starting point. You will be part of the SSP community of the SSP website where your learning and interactions with fellow photographers continues.

    Workshop Cost
    Rs. 42,500/- (plus 5% GST)
    *Price is per person on double occupancy basis.
    * Additional Rs 15,000 for single occupancy

    Inclusions:
    – Accommodation and all meals for 5 days and 4 nights stay in IORA – The Retreat
    – All safaris – 4 persons per vehicle
    – All park entry and guide fees

    Exclusions:
    – Any other services or meals which are not mentioned in the above “Inclusions” section
    – Any expense of personal nature such as mineral water, tips, laundry, telephones, beverages etc.
    *Any other expenses outside of the above will have to be borne by the participants.

    IORA – The Retreat, Kaziranga

    Nestled amidst the rolling hills of lush green tea gardens and conveniently located just off National Highway 37, IORA is a luxury resort at Kaziranga, a perfect blend of the tranquility of Assam and the comforts of a modern Luxury resort. IORA offers a serene, rejuvenating experience with liberal doses of warm Assamese hospitality and supported by the best in state-of-the-art amenities.

    Terms and Cancellation Policy:

    INR 25,000 is non refundable once the payment is done.
    75% of the remaining amount (base cost) will be refunded if cancellation is done 45 days prior to the workshop start dates.
    No refund if cancellation is done between 0-45 days of the event.

    Payment Terms:
    Full amount to be paid 60 days prior to the workshop starting date.

    Please note: The date of written (email) communication of intent to cancel is the date considered for calculation of the cancellation fees.

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