Wildlife photography | Sariska National Park | Canon 7D Mark II, 100-400 II

We heard distress calls during all the five safaris and explored every vantage point we could, but we did not see a single tiger or a leopard.

This photograph reminds me what this whole experience felt like…so near, yet so far, in the dense jungle that is Sariska!

Sariska National Park is set in the Aravalli Mountains near Alwar in Rajasthan. Sariska is a dense jungle and we have never seen tigers or leopards during the winter, but that doesn’t stop us from trying!

We would stop by the central check post during every safari to exchange notes with other naturalists and come up with a strategy to find tigers. At this time babblers and treepies came within a foot of us.

We visited Sariska in the winter — in January 2020 days before the coronavirus hit India. It gets very cold in the winter in Rajasthan. I wore thermal innerwear, a warm jacket, two pairs of gloves on each hand and a faux fur aviator hat on my head, still, I couldn’t stop shivering! There was frost on the forest floor everywhere. 

We saw a large herd of sambar deer calling in distress. Now deer, monkeys, peacocks and other tiger prey sound distress calls when they see a predator. So obviously they could see a creature that threatened them! 

We circled the entire area trying to get a glimpse of a tiger or a leopard through the shrubs — but we couldn’t see it.
The next morning we saw this langur sitting high up on a tree and calling in distress (find sound clip). We explored the area for over half an hour but there wasn’t a big cat in sight.

Other babblers and treepies, bulbuls and parakeets helped themselves to a drink of water, at the water tank, by perching on the leaking tap and placing their beak under it. 

Watch the video for all the amazing visuals, more wildlife photography 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 | Leopard, Panna | Canon 7D Mark II, 100-400 mm II

This was my first ever leopard sighting in the wild.

Tourists must not get off their jeeps in the jungle, except at a few designated spots where you can have breakfast and soak in panoramic views from high vantage points overlooking the canopy below. I’d like to clarify that this was a spot where we were allowed to alight. Our guide ended up standing less than fifteen feet away from this wild leopard!

I have dreamed of doing this since 2010. But I thought I wasn’t ready, or at least that I must sharpen my skills before takeoff.

So I took a creative writing class. And then another creative writing class. And classes on radio jockeying and writing scripts for radio, podcasting, business poise & social finesse, crash courses and workshops on ornithology and wildlife education. Somewhere in between all that I did more creative writing courses.

Still, I never got started.I purchased a ton of photography equipment that I thought was essential, only to find out that I could have done just as well with what I already had. I continued purchasing more stuff, sometimes importing items from America at twice their retail price.

But still, I never got started.

I’m ecstatic about launching my Youtube Channel, The Open Image before 2020 comes to an end. The last nine months have changed the way we learn and consume knowledge. It has taught us to appreciate small gifts.This first video is about the first time I saw a leopard in the wild, and how our guide ended up standing less than fifteen feet from it!I hope you like it.

Please share, thank you!

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.

Continue Reading