Shutter Therapy at Ranganthittu, Mysore. After making portraits of people and a couple of weddings, I wanted to do a personal project to unwind. I had a couple of options - landscape, macro, wildlife or my personal favourite street. I have not done wildlife and the nearest place in Bangalore for a one day trip was Ranganathittu. It was still the fag end of the season and it made sense to go there before all the birds head out. So I planned this with my friend and photography enthusiast Aravind to head out early on Saturday. we rented a couple of telephoto leases from Toehold, emptied our memory cards, recharged our batteries and set out at 5 a.m. A brief stop at Mandya for breakfast and reached Ranganathittu at 8 a.m. We were early and there were a couple of cars ahead of waiting for the ticket counter to open.
Since this was our first trip, we were not familiar with the terrain or what birds to expect. We just went with the flow. We wanted to head out on the boat, but we wanted to ensure that we were absolutely comfortable with our settings and was getting the right exposure. So we decided to walk around first and board the boat in the evening. The layout map of Ranganathittu helped us make a rough plan for the day. We decided to head in the opposite direction of the boating area and cover those places on foot. We reached the banks of the river and saw what lay in front of us. The islands in front of us was buzzing with birds - pelicans, painted storks, open billed storks, spoonbills and marsh crocodiles. The trees housed tiny shy birds that were hard to get a good look.
Initially, it was a little frustrating since we were getting a hang of birding for the first time and trying to get our exposures right. This was difficult since the birds were cruising at 50 kmph switching from bright open skies to bamboo backgrounds and dark and shining waters. We had to ensure we maintain the lowest possible ISO and maximum shutter speed to freeze the birds. I did not know the names of the birds, their behaviour or mannerisms. It was an induction to the most beautiful world of birding and I was hooked. I got to know the names from the signboards all over the place and made a mental note to google more about the birds I was capturing.
I shot close to a thousand images and below are the ones I think came out all right. I edited the images on Lightroom and made changes to colour, contrast, highlights and shadows. Enough of the process and on to the images themselves. Drop in your comments with feedback.
Click the images and go through them in fullscreen. Cheers.