In May 2018, Alan joined me on our Zimanga photography safari holiday. His primary objective was to photograph the incredible birdlife that Zimanga has to offer, but as it turns out, he also enjoyed a spot of mammal photography too! He sent in so many beautiful images that I have decided to dedicate a series of blog posts to showcase his images.
The birds in Zimanga can be photographed from the hides & while you are out & about on a game drive. All the hide sessions are timed to take advantage of the gorgeous light at dawn & dusk.
Alan’s first photography session was an afternoon in the Lagoon hide. In order to access this hide, you have to walk along a screened walkway that leads to a 30m long & pipe with a 1.5m diameter which you have to walk through. The internal concrete wall of the pipe is decorated with the signatures of every photographer who has ever visited Lagoon hide. How cool is that?
The hide is placed off-centre in the Lagoon which means that there is a long & a shorter distance available for photography. For the afternoon session, the longer distance was better for the light & Alan found that his Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 IS II USM was the perfect lens to use in this hide.
I think it would be safe to say that Alan really enjoyed his time in this hide. Just look at these stunning images of the three-ringed plover, wagtail & Egyptian geese! The lighting was just perfect for producing such colourful photos.
My first visit to India was in April 2016, also with NaturesLens, & I fell in love with the place, we had some excellent tiger sightings in Tadoba, but let’s just say I came away with some ‘unfinished business’ so it didn’t take much persuading to book myself onto the Indian Wildlife Photography Holidays that NaturesLens had arranged for May 2017.
In the weeks before our trip there had been many posts on social media showing some incredible tiger sightings, so the anticipation grew, & Bandhavgarh didn’t disappoint. It has to be said, however, that nothing is guaranteed – we heard of a few people who had seen very little. Still, NaturesLens put everything in place to give their clients the absolute best opportunity, securing top-class drivers & guides. They, over our time in Bandhavgarh, became part of our ‘Team Tiger’ group.
When I refer to ‘sightings’, I mean ‘photographic opportunities’ not a shadow in the bush which is hardly distinguishable or a bum shot! When I say ‘photographic opportunity’, I mean time to capture an image of quality that meets my standards & that I would be happy for others to see. In total, over the week the group encountered 17 different tigers, some shared moments with numerous other folk & some exceptional exclusive moments with no one else around other than one Gypsy vehicle – just you & the tiger – those are moments to treasure.
This image is very much one shared with practically everyone else on safari. For several days Kankatti & her cubs visited the waterhole at pretty much the same time each day, so naturally, everybody gathered to witness this special event. We sat & we waited for over an hour in the blazing heat – about 45˚ – & then suddenly the sound of camera shutters. I couldn’t see anything to start with thanks to the beautiful growth of bamboo, but then the family appeared, walking around the waterhole & bathing in just the perfect spot.