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Ranganathittu 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 an Art and Science of Photography Workshop instead.

Tour Highlights

  • A 1-night/2-day intensive workshop focussed on the secrets of outstanding nature images
  • Two special boat rides and photography on land in Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
  • Expert guidance from a Skipper on specific photography issues
  • Indoor discussions and presentations on natural history and photography

Photo Gallery

Upcoming Departures

Photo opportunities maximised

Led by ace photographers

Immense experience

Hands-on assistance on and off the field

Image reviews and presentations

Photography gear on rent

Expert Advice

Want to tailor-make your own tour?

If you are not looking for a fixed group-departure, we can tailor-make a Personalised Vacation for you to suit your dates and travel needs – all with a great price match!

Photo Gallery

How Is It?

Karnataka’s largest bird sanctuary.

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:

A dense population of small and large birds.

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.

Tour Itinerary

Please note: This Tour begins at Ranganathittu at around 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, and ends at Ranganthittu after breakfast on Sunday. 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.

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 ChitraTantra, where we review images and share feedback, followed by dinner and shuteye.

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.

Cost & Terms


INR 13,500
  • Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation


INR 25,000
  • Per Couple on Twin Share Accommodation

All prices above are excluding taxes. 5% GST would be applicable.

What’s included?

  • Twin-sharing accommodation in comfortable rooms unless single occupancy purchased at extra cost
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and hot beverages (coffee and tea) for Workshop duration
  • All boat rides and entry fees

What’s not included?

  • Travel between your home and Ranganathittu, including airfare and transfers
  • Any kind of personal expenses or optional tours, and extra meals ordered
  • Insurance, laundry and phone calls
  • Bottled water, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • Camera fees and vehicle parking fare
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Anything that is not included in the Inclusions list
  • All applicable taxes

Payment Terms

  • 100% of the Tour fee as advance on confirmation of participation for the Workshop.

Cancellation Fees

  • 50% of the Tour fee 22 days or before the Tour
  • 100% of the Tour fee within 21 days before the Tour

Please note: The date of written (email) communication of intent to cancel is the date considered for calculation of the cancellation fees.

Frequently Asked Questions

Toehold Photo Travel vs Vacations

While Toehold Photo Travel is one of our most popular offerings, we work as a travel agency without bringing the photography guide element in to your travel. In short you would be using our travel experts service to just plan the vacation and execute it.

  • Unlike a Photo Travel experience, your Vacation is completely personalised.
  • The dates, style of travel, class of hotels and lodges, destinations, everything is tailor-made to suit your custom requirement.
  • A Skipper or a photography guide doesn’t travel with you to guide you unless you decide to take our customised and guided photo travel experience.

So take advantage of the immense experience and field knowledge that we bring in to your Vacation’s planning without having to pay for our time and costs. Plus, we don’t charge an additional fee for our time and travel planning services.

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.

How sure are you about photographing birds on this Tour?

Considering the meticulous attention to timing we pay while scheduling Tours 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 – especially of specific species – are guaranteed.

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.

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 for an Art and Science of Photography Workshop right away!

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.

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 Photo Tours 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 do I do if I do not have the requisite equipment?

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. Visit our Rental Store to see what we offer. What’s better, you enjoy a 10% discount on all equipment hired for our Photo Tours!

Reviews by Tour Participants

Interested? Make a Booking Enquiry

It’s easy. Call us on 1800 1200 901 (Monday to Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m.) or simply fill this form, and we’ll get back to you like the whirring wind.

Ranganathittu frame

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