In the famous “Jungle Book”, Rudyard Kipling acknowledged the undisputed status of the mighty Bengal Tiger as the king of the beasts.
Although the cat family includes many attractive animals, there is an aura of power and majesty surrounding the tiger. Observing a male tiger patrolling his territory in a reserve can be likened to an unchallenged ruler strolling through his domain. In this month’s Wildlife Special, we focus on five wildlife photographers from across the country who spoke about the most challenging image they have documented in the wild. Sit back, and read through to find out how these renowned photographers managed to get their most challenging and compelling frames. The five featured photographers in alphabetical order are: Ashok Kandimalla, Balan Madhavan, Munish Kaushik, Sujan Chatterjee and Vikram Potdar
Ashok Kandimalla – Hyderabad
A few photographers and I were on a boat when we spotted a tern pair. One of them was incubating, but the pair was unfortunately being bothered by a cormorant. After a few warning pecks which did not do the job of sending away the cormorant, this tern moved aggressively towards its tormentor and chased it away. Then it flew a couple of loops and landed next to its mate (not in the photograph) squawking rather loudly. It sounded to me liked a victory cry, though I don’t know for sure! This photograph was taken at the Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary near Mysore, in Karnataka.
Tech data: This photograph was taken with a Nikon D90 and the lens used was the Nikkor AF-S VR 70-300mm lens. The image was captured handheld which is the best method when photographing action. That is why I prefer a light lens at the expense of faster (and heavier) lenses. The high ISO performance of modern D-SLRs is so good that the slow lenses are hardly a problem. The shutter speed was 1/1000. I always use aperture priority and use an aperture of f/8 with this lens as that is its sweet spot. Auto ISO was used and floor (minimum) shutter speed was set to 1/1000 which is what is needed to freeze action. ISO was allowed to float to a maximum value of 1600. In this case an ISO of 320 was chosen by the camera.