Sudhir was invited as one of the guest speakers at Adobe MAKE IT, an annual global event held at Sydney, Australia on August 2nd and 3rd 2017. His session was about how technology aids in Wildlife photography. The overall event was attended by more than 2000 people and had an online viewership of more than 50,000 people from the Asia Pacific region.
The event boasted some of the biggest international names in the design and creative imaging industry, and Sudhir was one of two Indians on the panel as speaker.
Sudhir led an enthusiastic group of photographers in a photo walk, where he demonstrated to them how to overcome some of the common challenges of shooting outdoors. He gave them practical tips on how to employ the equipment and its numerous features to one’s advantage. This presentation was extremely well received, so much so that the participants later confessed to Sudhir that they were unaware that their cameras even had so many features and settings!
Sudhir at the event!
The conference room all set for Sudhir’s workshop:
Participants of the photography workshop at the Sydney Zoo.
A view of the Sydney harbour where the event was held:
Moments from Bandhavgarh Photography Learning Tour – Nov 2017
This was the first photography learning tour for the season apart from the recently concluded parents & kids workshop. The previous workshop was a runaway success with kids and parents having a fantastic time at the workshop with loads of fun and Tiger sightings.
The expectations of this workshop were a bit high in terms of Tiger sightings as the previous group had some awesome sightings. In all our photography learning tours we hire the best driver and guides to maximize the opportunity of good photography, be it Tigers or the commoners.
The tour started off with a few participants arriving earlier as they had a long overseas travel. The couple John and Barbera had come all the way from the US and the day of the arrival was Barbara’s birthday. We made sure to make it a special day for her by arranging bush dinner and the tribal dance which we had organized for our kids group.
Day 1 of the tour was more of relaxing time for me as the participants started arriving through out the day as the parents/kids workshop participants left. Since a few of them arrived in earlier, we organized a safari in the afternoon to the buffer area. Typically our workshop starts on a Wednesday as the park is closed in the afternoon, and there is no rush to get onto the afternoon safari. But the buffer area is open for tourism and those who come in early have the option to go there.
The buffer area is quite beautiful with a number of streams.
Later in the evening, we had the brief introduction session about the entire program and quick tips on the camera related settings for the next day. It was made clear to the participants that the workshop is going to be quite hectic. Though we cannot guarantee any Tigers, what we guarantee is great learning!
After the intro session, it was time for dinner. We always ensure to host our participants at the best of the places so that they are fully relaxed and pampered with top of the line accommodation and food. All our Bandhavgarh workshops are done at Kings Lodge from Pugdundee Safaris. It’s like a second home for me.
The fun started the next morning with wakeup call at 4:30am. The park opens at 6:15am and we try to be early to get the first glimpse of the Tiger.
Bandhavgarh safari timings are from 6:15am to 11am in the winters. This gives the participants long hours of learning on photography tips and trying out various experiments on lighting and composition. Typically the first 2 hours of the safari are spent tracking the Tiger, as that’s their most active time.
The other fun part of our safaris is the breakfast time at center point. Both Tala and Magdhi zones have center points where we take a break for our breakfast. Though we take good packed breakfast from the resort, the real breakfast we have is from the local small stall selling hot Maggi, samosa, pakodas, bread omelette, poha, coffee/tea and other quick eats.
Maggi is my favorite fast food and my workshop participants know how crazy I am for Maggi. I make it a point to give more business for these local vendors as their livelihood depends on tourism and is an integral part of the larger picture of saving the forest and the Tiger.
After breakfast we continued with the safari and finally returnd by around 11:30am to the resort.
The participants got a brief rest and we assembled at the conference room for our photography learning. The session included classroom teaching where the core concepts were taught, and we stepped outside to get hands-on training of the same.
The core concepts of photography required for wildlife photography were dealt in-depth – mainly the auto focusing and the advanced concepts of focus point sensors (cross type, non-cross type, dual-cross type) and the focus points to be used for composition (single point, group AF, auto selection etc).
The field exercise gave the participants better confidence on the camera settings and how to use in real life scenario.
Post the session; we had lunch and a small power nap to get back the energy for the rest of the day. The afternoon safari timings were a bit short as it was winter, but we got ample opportunity to make our images.
Back from the safari, we took some rest and again assembled in the conference room for the evening session on photography. Though the workshops are quite hectic, we do have ample time for fun. In the evenings, we organized bush dinner and also local folk dance where the participants joined in for the dance.
The above exercise repeated for the next set of days. By the end of the workshop the participants had some amazing sightings. We saw at least 2 Tigers in every safari and 4 in some. Apart from the Tigers we also shot a lot of common species and landscape.
At the end of the workshop, the participants returned with great memories of the workshop and also made some new friends. Hope to see them back again.
Here’s the group of the Nov 2017 photography learning tour and some moments from the workshop:
It is the age of selfies, and most children are snap-happy; which is a good thing. Children today have easy access to a camera and clicking pictures is quite a norm among them. But there is so much to photography than just taking pictures.
When you encourage your child to take up photography, you are stimulating their self-confidence, their creativity.
When a child starts taking pictures, it does not matter what camera he is using – it can be a camera phone, a simple point, and shoot digicam or an entry-level DSLR.
What is more important is for you to encourage them to create a story around their subject, pick interesting subjects and explore settings.
Through their photographs let your children tell stories, evolve ideas and showcase their creative thinking.
Stimulate your child’s love for photography because…
#1: Photography is a great way to imbibe self-expression in your kids
It brings out the explorer and the experimenter in them. It is important as it helps your child in other aspects of his or her life – studies, sports, and even social interaction.
#2: Taking up photography boosts a child’s self-esteem
Once your child takes pictures that she or he is proud of, there is a high likelihood of sharing those amongst his or her peers, connecting with them, and thus improving social skills and self-confidence.
#3: Photography helps them explore their creative side
When you hand them a camera or even a phone with a good quality camera, you are encouraging your children to develop their own ideas; stimulating their creative thinking.
#4: Photography can give your child a better understanding of herself and her surroundings
It gives your child an opportunity to look at things in a whole new light. She or he can develop a sense of perspective and visualization.
#5: Photography improves observation and ideating skills in your child
Through photography, they can expand their thinking horizon. Some aspects of photography like working out angles, settings, etc. also help in improving decision-making skills. As your child matures in photography skills, encourage him or her to plan and present their work in a more professional way.
Encourage your children to get close to nature and try their hand at wildlife photography. Sign up for the Kids’ Special at Ranthambore, from 27th to 30th April 2018, with Sudhir and Swaroop.
Click below to sign up:
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