About Bird Photography in India for Amateur & Professionals
Posted: Jan 23, 2021
India is one of the best bird watching destinations with many endemic species. It accounts for thirteen percent of global species. The number of species includes winter migrants which arrive in the country in substantial numbers all over the subcontinent..
The country has a diverse geography, and affinity with many zoo geographical regions including our own Oriental realm. The diversity arises due to niche habitats supported by many types of ecosystems, climate and altitude. One factor that is hardly mentioned is the sanctity provided to migrant and resident avian species. The Wildlife Protection Act 1972 has banned hunting of all life forms that are not classified as livestock.
India has created a large number of protected areas called National Parks, tiger reserves and wildlife sanctuaries. Some natural formations and the protected areas provide sanctuary to avian species in this vast country and that answers why it is so rich in birds all over.
With ever increasing number of protected areas, some of which are specifically meant for birds combined with easy availability of optics has lead to avian photography enthusiasts growing every year. Organizers offer packages for number of birding tours organized all over India. Usually the itinerary comprises of tours to specific region of India with visitation to more than one destination. Some organizers offer package for a specific destination.
Ornithology is a passionate experience and one of finest recreation indulgence in which leads to better health. Fresh air and serenity along with walks in rough terrain are all ingredients of an ornithological tour which lead to better health. Bird photography involves skills as well as strength and stamina for it is a strenuous exercise. It requires walking for long duration and put to work all body contours during bending, stretching and crouching, and yes even walking backwards.
Like all types of nature photography, investment in equipment and time is required, thus few can afford it. But most of the enthusiasts carry sophisticated cameras with quality lenses which are good enough to take pictures of avian they come across. Although long distance photography requires highly sophisticated lenses to capture images but they are very costly.
They are also cumbersome by weight and dimensions, and need lot of attention to protect and clean them. Add to this the weight leads to more fee during flights. Taking all this into account the amateurs should be happy with hand held equipment and depend upon their skills and efforts.
Long lenses are not useful every where. They are useful in Bharatpur wetlands tour for long distance photography. On jeep safari in the tiger reserves smaller equipment is required, and it works because species are sighted close in canopies. In dense forests in India the long focal length lenses will not work.
In the reserve for photographing tigers small handy camera lens work the best. Hence enthusiasts use the same equipment to capture images of birds they encounter on safari. This works in the open in fields and villages near the reserves too as the species are less shy. A 300 mm to 500 mm zoom or critical lens works in the jungle surroundings. These are ideal for photographing avian in flight you can quickly turn and twist and click in short time.
The protected areas provide good infrastructure for travel and stay. The guide service and naturalist availability is very good. Tour operators assist in team efforts for organizing filming expeditions.
In India bird photography tours requires weathering as well. Often the expedition would be in harsh winters or hot summers. This requires lens men to adjust to the diverse climates; this is more applicable to overseas photographers.
Uday writes often on Indian wildlife especially about the tigers. He works as a naturalist and is fond of travel. Uday also provides search engine optimization service and website contents in English.