Nature Photography Masterclass
If you've mastered the basics, it's time to tame the advanced.
Want to learn to make a magical backlit image, nail a bird in flight or make that silhouette sing?
If you're consummate with the basics of photography, Toehold's Nature Photography Masterclass is the next step to visual excellence. And the perfect way of gaining a firm grip on the style of photography that excites you.
Not conversant with the basics? Consider signing up for a Art and Science of Photography Workshop instead.
How is it?
Composed of a group of small islets in the Kaveri river, the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary in Srirangapatna, near Mysore, is Karnataka's largest bird sanctuary and the perfect playground in which to hone your bird photography skills.
Known locally as a pakshi kashi ('bird paradise'), this precious avian hub is indeed a veritable terrestrial firmament, at least to the bird photographer. For although only a small part of its 67km2 area is open to tourism, the density of large and small birds it supports is outstanding. And that is bettered only by how tolerant the birds are of their ardent portrayers.
What you will see and photograph:
Days open with the persistent calls of pied wagtails, while to the chorus the stork-billed kingfisher may add its own considerable voice cutting through the mist.
As you're paddled along in a rowboat, painted storks and open-billed storks help you perfect shooting against the sky, night herons compel you to learn the art of circumventing clutter, pelicans diving for fish give plenty of work for your tele-lens, and great thick-knees kneel as easy targets to the shutter-happy, while a better place may hardly be envisaged to photograph the river tern.
Eurasian spoonbills get you thinking about composition and black-headed white ibises throw an exposure gauntlet, while on occasion a peacock in flight can take your breath away, a cattle egret in breeding plumage can alter your perspective of colour, pied kingfishers take their share of the viewership pie, and once every often, the excitement of seeing a lesser fish eagle perched high and mighty with all its grace and glory can cause a small quake in the boat.
Santosh has been richly recognised, most notably as winner of the NDTV Tiger Photo Contest in 2010, finalist in the same year at the world's most coveted competition - the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year, and recipient of several Special Mentions in the annual Sanctuary Asia Wildlife Photography competitions. His photos have adorned websites, magazines, books, calendars and other merchandise both commercially and in aid of conservation.
Santosh's work may be followed on his blog, and his Facebook Page.
Read more about Santosh here.
WHY GO ON A TOEHOLD PHOTO TOUR?At Toehold, we are passionate about photography just as you are, which lets us understand your travails and needs perfectly. And we use this insight to specially design our Photography Tours so they give you a toehold to excel at the art and set you up for success.
The Toehold team at your disposal will keep you tuned and geared, so you come in empty-handed but go out with bagful of images and tales of an experience that is better lived than heard.
- A clinically organized tour with utmost attention to your comfort and needs
- An open, informal environment that promotes interactive learning
- A team that will strategize and work to a plan to optimize opportunities and ensure a great tour
- Practical, hands-on assistance in photography from the tour Skippers both in the field and off it
- A wealth of subject matter knowledge
- Individual interaction with the Skippers over general or specific issues
- First-hand learning from the masters in the art and craft of photography
These exclusive, informative and interactive sessions are -
TESTIMONIALS BY OUR PREVIOUS TOUR PARTICIPANTSPhotography enthusiasts who were a part of a similar Tour previously said:
I had a great time on the Toehold tour. They took care of all the logistics so all I had to do was enjoy myself! The evening sessions were great fun and I got to interact with a lot of like-minded people. I'm already planning for my next trip with Toehold!
- Ritwick Sharma, Mumbai
I had never been on a photography trip before and so was apprehensive that I would feel out of place among photographers but I was proven totally wrong. The 'Skippers' made me totally comfortable and helped me with the most basic of my camera settings with a lot of patience, and the sightings made the experience even better and totally worth it!
- Sonali Sinha, Delhi
Going on this Toehold tour has been the most enriching experience in recent times. The amount of learning about photography that's possible just being around these guys is amazing. The best part was getting assistance from the Skippers in the field, to make the most of the opportunities we had. I'd greatly recommend Toehold tours to someone looking for a productive way to spend a few days!
- Dr. Ramesh Bhat, Bangalore
I went on a tour with Toehold to a destination I was so familiar with but ended up learning a lot more things than I already knew. Great bunch of young pros.
- Gopal Basu, Kolkatta
My young boys learnt so much about photography and wildlife that the dining table is full of stories and technical jargons of photography.
- Suchitra K, Kolkatta
Toehold injects a lot of interest in youngsters about photography and natural history. Wish them all the best!
- Pradeep Kenchappa, Bengaluru
Please note: This Tour begins at Ranganathittu at around 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, 14 January 2017, and ends at Ranganthittu after breakfast on Sunday, 15 January. Road transfers to and from Ranganathittu will be arranged in shared cabs at extra actual cost if required. Please talk to us for special needs.
- DAY 1 14 January 2017, Saturday: Arrival and Initial Foray
Workshop participants gather at 10:30 a.m at the lodge and after a brief rest, we gather for an introductory presentation.
Lunch will be followed by an interactive session on some key bird photography issues, before we travel to Ranganathittu for a field session. We enjoy a boat ride during which we seek to put some of the concepts we learned at the introductory session into practice, and hopefully enjoy a productive time with assistance from the mentor.
Upon our return we gather for a session we call ChitraTantraChitraTantra: Photo Principles, Reviews, Critique, where we review images and share feedback, followed by dinner and shuteye.
DAY 2 15 January, Sunday: Morning photography in Ranganathittu and Departure in the Afternoon
Rising early, we head for Ranganathittu and enjoy another boat ride, making some evocative images in the atmospheric river and of course plenty of bird photographs. After hopefully a productive morning, we return to the lodge, breakfast, check out and return to Bangalore, having advanced our bird photography skills by a significant mile.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What exactly is the Nature Photography Masterclass? How different is it from a classroom workshop?
Toehold's Nature Photography Masterclass is an advanced nature-photography workshop designed to help you master a specific genre or style of nature photography, such as bird photography. These workshops are held outdoors to enable you to try concepts firsthand in real situations and are mentored by professional photographers with years of experience in that genre. There will also be indoor sessions where concepts will be discussed and images will be reviewed.
- Who should participate in this Masterclass? Are there any eligibility criteria?
Anybody interested in birds, wildlife and/or photography and is above the age of 18 (unless accompanied by an adult) can participate in this Masterclass. In order to benefit from this advanced workshop, knowledge of the basics of photography is necessary. If you are new to photography, we suggest you attend our Art and Science of Photography Workshop first to be able to understand and try the concepts discussed during the Photography Masterclass.
I am a newbie in nature photography. Am I eligible?
Absolutely! This Tour is meant for fledgling as well as experienced photographers. Beginners get all the advantages of learning on and off the field from Toehold's eminent Skippers. In fact if you are a newbie, you should jump on this terrific learning opportunity and sign up right away!
Why aren't onward and return journeys included in the Tour itinerary?
Since some participants have their own cars, in which they like to drive to the venue, we cannot include the travel cost in the fee. However, we provide all requisite assistance with onward and return logistics at extra actual cost to ensure your transit is smooth.
By what mode will photography be done on this Tour?
Much of the photography will be done from a boat, although we may have a few opportunities to photograph on foot as well. Participants have to travel to the sanctuary from the resort on their own or in shared cars.
- How sure are you about photographing birds on this Tour?
Considering the meticulous attention to timing we pay while scheduling Tours and Workshops and the local expertise we leverage, we believe that it would be extremely unfortunate if our sightings and photography were unsatisfactory. However, since we will be in an uncontrolled environment, we do not claim that sightings of specific species are guaranteed.
How different are your Photo Tours from ordinary tours?
Unlike travel agents who plan your holiday from a remote destination to places they sometimes haven't experienced themselves, Photo Tours offer a comprehensive toehold to experience a place through the guidance of a professional photographer. The common ingredients in all our Workshops are fun and a lot of learning and knowledge sharing. Besides, most or all of our Tour participants are photography enthusiasts, which keeps the group in harmony and helps make your experience focussed.
- What equipment do you suggest on this Workshop?
Considering the nature of the subjects and shooting conditions expected on this Tour, a telephoto lens with a focal length of around 400mm is considered sufficient, with longer focal lengths being welcome. A wide-angle lens is recommended for scenic photographs and creative perspectives when opportunities emerge. A tripod or a monopod is not ideal strictly required, as hand-holding works best on the boat, but you may bring one along for the limited amount of land-based photography we may do.
- I do not have requisite equipment. What do I do?
If you do not have appropriate equipment, there is no need to fret. Toehold offers an exhaustive array of cameras and lenses for hire, so you can always hire what you need. Click here to see what we offer. What's better, you can enjoy a 10% discount on all equipment hired on our Photography Masterclasses!
© - All Text, Photographs, Videos and Narrations are properties of Toehold Travel & Photography Private Limited.
11 and 12 February 2017
- Tour Cost:
Per person inclusive of taxes
Per couple inclusive of taxes
Per person inclusive of taxes
All fares excluding transport
- Skipper: Santosh Saligram