Friday, 15 June 2012

Stealing their Colors

There are times when exotic species to photograph are not within our reach and conditiions are not conducive to favour photography. On one such occasion when neither the species nor the place was uncommon, it gave me an opportunity to look at what was there with renewed interest, and I was really happy with what I saw.
A visit to Ranganathittu on a day when the weather gods had decided to strip the sky of its blues and replace it with the greys.When the gods themselves chose monochromes, who are we mere mortals to defy it.

The young Painted Storks continued to feed blissfully unaware that their colors were being robbed from them. Was it ignorance or the audacious confidence of the youth in the knowledge that all they had to do was cross the threshold into adulthood and the colors would just flow back into them.

He continued to preen as the shades of grey were becoming him. His almost amused looks seemed to ask ' you can take away my colors,but my good looks are mine to keep.'

The flowing plumes in glowing white, He indeed made a spectacular sight with the breeding plumage in all its glory, he told a different story.

You cannot take away our colors, We have none. We are nature's own monochrome and that cannot be undone. They seemed to laugh and I laughed with them. So very true and I compliment you. I'll let your colors be for the world to see.

Some have stars in their eyes, but I create my own, sending millions of droplets onto the sky. Tell me not, a shimmering sky looks better, when I can create my own starry sky with the shake of my feather.

The three musketeers gathered together and as they stood there, all for one and one for all, looking proud, handsome and tall. Their confidence, their deadliest weapon that they carried with aplomb, devoid of all colors, they still stood strong.

And a Tern of events as the most photographed inmate of Ranganathitthu stretches and poses, albeit looking profoundly bored

As I stand here I do feel strange, trying to blend in, trying to mingle, but then I do stand among friends and this does feel like home. maybe that's why I do feel on top of the world.

The wing span stretched to impress, the low flight, one of the many that would be undertaken, a look of awe, wonder, admiration and encouragement from friends and a suitably uninterested sibling dozing nearby.

With an expression as stony as the rock he sits on, the eyes continue to twinkle though in quite amusement  at the surroundings he surveys with such a calm demeanour, almost making us wonder what is going on in his head.

Another favourite inmate of Ranganathittu basks at the banks baring his fangs in eager anticipation of a tasty morsel of breakfast that might drop down unwittingly from the tree in a failed attempt to fly perhaps. Till then he chooses to display both his supreme patience and gleamy whites both equally strong.

And then it rained, it rained colors from heaven. The young ones emerged from their childhood and entered into their youth and soon they would sprout the lovely feathers in beautiful pink and black and make their parents proud.

The young ones were no longer drab and grey as their feathers started taking on a beautiful hue that was meant to stay. Like a flower that blooms, the juveniles were entering into a adulthood that was painted with a promising future.

Here I stand, a young adult painted with nature's frenzied hand in blazingly brilliant hues that none dare steal , but can capture and share. As much as I've had my share of blacks, whites and shades of greys, my pinks and oranges are mine for the rest of my days.

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Photographs and work by Tharangini is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

On World Sparrow Day

As the world sparrow day approaches, here is a look at the sparrows from the heart of the city like a busy Market area, an unknown street in the middle of a cosmopolitan city  and a few places on the outskirts where they still continue to survive with the help of the people who live in these areas with some rather innovative ideas for sparrow conservation. Each one of them contribute in their own little way, but it makes a world of a difference to these sparrows. After all their survival depends on it.

As the morning dawns over a bustling market area of the city.

A previously familiar scene has now become a rarity

Is it a time to contemplate?

Is there still hope for them?

Are we still haggling over the sparrows? Instead let's look around..

So here is a typical house in the middle of a busy city, and what's special about it...
But then look at the surprise the tree holds for us

And there is still hope albeit on the ledge

People still do care
And the sparrows respond..
Food is not something to fuss about as the sparrows are known to eat over 800 different types of food
Sometimes from very unlikely places as these two were seen foraging on the bottom of the leaves

What can be better than a good bath after a nice meal. The tiles were freshly laid and had been wtered to allow them to set. The sparrows of course chose to make the best use of it and had a gala time.

With a nice dust bath to match

And a little romance perhaps... Location is not an issue at all.
And they happily co-exist with us
There are others who care in their own way like this lady who puts out a glass of water daily for these little birds

Putting up the most innovative nest boxes.
These are extremely popular with its inmates

Is this what is called as a room with a view?

All we need is a place in our heart for these sparrows. Then we can definitely help them proliferate.

Hope still exists
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Photographs and work by Tharangini is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
It is believed that Sparrows build nest only in houses that have good Vastu. Whatever the reason may be, it certainly feels good to wake up to the happy chirping of these little birds. They are comfortable with most types of food and like we have seen, a cardboard box can make the most cozy nest for them. Let's do our bit in bringing them back to our homes and hearts.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Early Ranganathittu Pics

Ranganathittu, another heaven for those starting off into photography and experts alike. A place that offers you plenty of subjects to shot and as you evolve tests your ability to be creative with the same subjects. A place I rushed to as soon as I picked up my 40D and 70-300 Sigma, without IS. The perils of getting into bird photography with a lens without IS was soon realized. But that is the lens that helped me build a steady hand. Necessity is the mother of stability. Not all pics in this series are from 70-300 however. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a 100-400 L F4.5-F5.6 and have been holding on to it since.  Sharing pics from that as well.

A Great Egret poses in its breeding plumage. a low exposure helped in achieving the naturally black background with mild touch ups below.

A flock of Black headed Ibis make their way to the river in the morning. It is always beautiful to watch their flight and the beautiful V pattern they make. But this day they were a small group.

And of course a resident Ranganathittu yawns (I hope that's what it is doing). The light was harsh and it was against the light, hence remained unprocessed in my system for almost 2 years now. 2 years changes a lot of things and when I rediscovered this pic, fell in love with it. I used the harsh lights to make a monochrome of this croc in action.

The Indian cormorant with its beautiful Emerald green eyes basks in the sun after a good swim.

It is take off time for this painted stork after a good drink of water. It is amazing to see these birds in action. Every second there is something to click.

The spoonbill enjoys a bath. i would have really loved to compose these shots better. But initial reaction is to capture. With more visits it is easier to have pre-planned compositions in the head that can be executed the moment opportunity arises.

The Eurasian Thick-knee or the Stone curlew, another most commonly clicked birds from Ranganathittu. These birds are so used to humans that they hardly make any effort to move away as we get closer. The initial temptation is to get as close as possible, specially with a new lens. After a while that temptation wears off and it is how to make something new and different. Easier said than done.. :)

Nesting Swallows fly across the river. It is amazing to see the speed in which they fly in and out of the nests. It is almost a blur and an amazing challenge to click of course while ensuring the birds are not disturbed in any way.

The most famous resident of Ranganathittu. The river terns- So much that it is easy to get a full frame shot of them with a 4x Point and shoot cam. Of course the larger the lens it is better to stay that far behind, though even the boatmen take pleasure in taking you as close as possible to these terns, till your lens touches them, to demonstrate how comfortable they are.

This pic is among my favourites just for the uniqueness in the pose and the diversity of the birds.
As the Spoonbill and Openbill pose together in the beautiful morning light giving the impression of a studio shot.
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Photographs and work by Tharangini is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.