Bird photography | Harrier birds of prey | Canon DSLR

The discussions went on for a few days on Facebook and WhatsApp groups about the ID of a harrier. Experts from all over the world joined the conversation.

Stunted deciduous trees give us an indication that trees don’t grow very tall in the region filmed in this video. These limitations make this terrain unique, kind of like a desert. 

Harriers, migratory birds, fly in just towards the end of the monsoons and roost here between October and January. There’s something about this terrain that must appeal to them during this time of the year. Obviously there’s food, and the colour of the drying foliage beautifully camouflages female pallid and Montagu’s harriers. The males are grey in colour. Perhaps their prey mistake them for rocks.

I have more wildlife vlogs on my Youtube Channel, The Open Image.

Learn photography with Girish Menon

I teach photography online via live video calls—not pre-recorded videos that you sit and watch by yourself. You can be based anywhere in the world, own any camera, and still learn photography from me—HOW COOL IS THAT!

Please see www.girishmenon.com to know about the courses that I offer.

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Wildlife photography | Apes in India | Canon DSLR

“Are gibbons so violent that we need guns”?, I asked

“The gun isn’t for gibbons. It’s for leopards, and elephants!”, he said

This vlog is from the Hollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary in the northeastern state of Assam, the only region where we find apes in India.

Apes are different from monikes, are more intelligent, can use objects found in their environment as tools; sticks to dig, stones to crush, things like that. 

We’re were led by a gunman, and a guide.

“Are gibbons so violent that we need guns”?, I asked

“The gun isn’t for gibbons. It’s for leopards, and elephants!”, he said

They obviously don’t fire at the animals, but in the air to scare them away 

Shortly after our arrival we saw a group of stump-tail macaques on top of a tree. 

This group of 46 macaques is known as the rebel group, they broke away from a bigger group of macaques that were over 250 strong even after the split. 

We clicked some pictures of these macaques up the tree, but they were way too high, and the light was poor for photography. 

At this time, we heard haunting sounds of gibbons from deeper inside the jungle. I had never heard anything like this before. 

Our naturalist offered to wait under the macaque tree so that he could track their movements while we wandered into the jungle with our guard. 

I have no words to describe the joy of wandering into a dense jungle on foot. Eventually we made it to the gibbons. There were two of them, and judging by the nature of their calls I wondered if they were preparing for war.

Around noontime the macaques started to make their way down and wandered into the forest in search of food. We followed them. 

Watch all the events in the video.

I have more wildlife vlogs on my Youtube Channel, The Open Image.

Learn photography with Girish Menon

I teach photography online via live video calls—not pre-recorded videos that you sit and watch by yourself. You can be based anywhere in the world, own any camera, and still learn photography from me—HOW COOL IS THAT!

Please see www.girishmenon.com to know about the courses that I offer.

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Bird photography with Canon DSLR | Behind the scene

We’re going to an area where we see raptors such as ospreys, harriers, and peregrine falcons. While still operating his boat, Nitin spotted a bird miles away. And I mean, miles away. The bird was sitting on the bark of a tree jutting out of the water. It appeared like a little dot, it could be any bird. But Nitin suspected that it was an osprey and asked me to take a test shot with my camera and zoom in to see if we could identify it. I clicked a test shot and magnified the picture fully. Even then it occupied a very small portion of my screen, but we could tell from the shape of its body that it was indeed an osprey.

It took us about three minutes to get closer to the bird, that’s how far it was. Once we got closer, Nitin switched off the engine and rowed closer towards it. I clicked a few pictures, but then the osprey flew away and sat on top of an electric pole miles away. So we turned towards that direction hoping that I could click more photos. But before we could get to it, it flew away again and sat on top of another pole, even further away.

But Nitin was confident that it would soon fly back towards us, because there were some fishermen fishing in that area, and that would disturb our osprey. Nitin was right, yet again and the osprey came and sat on top of the tree where we had first seen it.

I was using a Canon 100-400 Mark II lens with a 1.4 extender, and a Canon 300 millimeter f/4 prime lens on Canon 7D Mark II cameras. The 1.4 extender extends the 400 millimeter focal length to 560 millimeters. I like to photograph a creature’s habitat along with it, and I used the 300 millimeter lens for wider photos.

The light got better for photography as time went by. We were cautious not to go too close to the osprey too quickly. Nitin is an expert at maneuvering the boat with his oars, inching closer towards birds. 

I didn’t stop clicking.

Learn photography with Girish Menon

I teach photography online via live video calls—not pre-recorded videos that you sit and watch by yourself. You can be based anywhere in the world, own any camera, and still learn photography from me—HOW COOL IS THAT!

Please see www.girishmenon.com to know about the courses that I offer.

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Canon EF 1.4x III Extender review using Canon 7D Mark II and Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 Mark II

I was walking towards the jetty at Kumbhargaon near Bhigwan in India to photograph birds. It would be the day when I will use the 1.4 extender for the first time—It’s a Canon 1.4 extender Mark III on a Canon 100-400 Mark II lens. Now my 400 millimeter 5.6 lens is a 560 F8 lens, 1 stop down.

I will be able to autofocus at F8 on a Canon 7D Mark II body using the centre point and four assist points.

Now I know what you’re thinking—it’s a bad idea to use an extender on this lens—but I have a plan. I’m going to photograph birds in flight against the bright blue sky when the sun’s out. So that way I won’t need a ridiculously high ISO for a fast shutter speed.

I’ve never done this before so I’m looking forward to seeing the results; so let’s watch the video.

I have more wildlife vlogs on my Youtube Channel, The Open Image.

Learn photography with Girish Menon

I teach photography online via live video calls—not pre-recorded videos that you sit and watch by yourself. You can be based anywhere in the world, own any camera, and still learn photography from me—HOW COOL IS THAT!

Please see www.girishmenon.com to know about the courses that I offer.

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