A bunch of landscapes

On most occasions, it is the phone camera I whip out of my pocket and take a picture of either a beautiful landscape, a waterfall or even fallen leaves or flowers. In simple terms, anything.

For someone like me who is invariably carrying a telephoto lens everywhere, it is convenient to use the mobile phone. Mind you, the phone cameras these days produce some stellar images.

The following images are taken using a mobile phone camera. Edited on Snapseed app, results are worth a watch. 

Rising Sun ~ Zuluk

Waiting to photograph parrotbills, I looked around to see if any other birds were in sight. Down the valley, the clouds moved apart and let the rays of sun out, this magnificent and unforgettable sight was captured. 

Shot on iPhone 8

Bandipur ~ You beauty

A pond beside the busy Ooty-Mysore road which on most occasions is quite inconsequential to passers by, can transform and turn into a thing of beauty. On one such evening, clouds gathered, their reflection on the water, greenery around… it was breathtaking. I shot a panorama on my phone. Every time I see this image, I am reminded of a line from John Keats’ poem ‘a thing of beauty is a joy forever‘.

Shot on OnePlus 7

Bhupen Hazarika Setu

Earlier in March this year, I was leading a private tour to Mishmi Hills and along the way, we crossed the longest bridge in India over water which connects the two states Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The sun was setting and the sight on display was just impossible to ignore. Dramatic clouds over the Lohit river and the vibrant hues of orange, blue and yellow on display was a spectacular sight.

Shot on OnePlus 7

Mishmi Hills

There is always a mystical feeling about mountains. Their sheer magnificence transports you to another world and you stand there lost in admiration. I felt like that again, watching the mountains in Mishmi turn golden as the sun set one evening.

Shot on OnePlus 7

Mountains and Sunset – Forest Hills, Mudumalai

Not too long ago, the setting sun threw in an incredible array of colors along with dramatic clouds leaving me spellbound.

Shot on OnePlus 7

Black Stork by the Lake – Padam Talao, Ranthambhore

The lake and the sky were in sync and enhanced the effect of the blues in the landscape. May be the Black Stork also stood by the lake admiring the beauty of its surrounding.

Shot on OnePlus 7

Never short of drama

Beautiful clouds hovered above the hill and the land below. As the evening progressed and the sun was setting, the golden light transformed the scene and left me with a feeling that this should last forever.

Shot on OnePlus 7

I am left amazed at what simple clouds, light and shadows can do to to an everyday scene.

WEEK 2 – LOCKDOWN 21

As another week goes by, the number of cases keep rising. I continue with my quest to make a new image everyday and appreciate nature’s wonders at such dark times. Here is a small collection from week two.

Day 8

Hello purple

It was late evening when the Purple Sunbird (male) decided to drop by for a shot of nectar. In the process, he obliged the photographer waiting patiently.

Backlit romance

I noticed a pair of Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike moving from one leafless branch to another. As the two of them shared a moment, I managed to click a few frames. The round bokeh circles added more drama to the background.

Day 9

Green with envy

I was keeping watch on the coral tree brimming with activity when some movement on the adjacent tree dew my attention. Rising from my chair, I slowly made my way towards the tree. Couple of green birds were perched together. Looking through my lens, I discovered that they were Jerdon’s Leafbirds. This one is the male.

Lady purple

The lady Purple Sunbird sat poised, after a shot of nectar, before taking off and raiding other flowers.

Day 10

Streaky throat

A colourful woodpecker i.e. Streak-throated Woodpecker with shades of yellow, green, red. Based on my observations, this species spends quite a bit of time on the ground looking for tasty meals in comparison to other woodpeckers.

In full view

Here, one can clearly see the variety of colours on the streak-throated woodpecker. The red cap on the head differentiates the male from the female who has a black cap.

Day 11

Coppersmith

In recent times the ‘tuk tuk tuk’ call of the coppersmith has been resonating in my backyard. That evening, the Coppersmith Barbet stepped out into the open and displayed its incredible colours.

Hoodie

Striking yellow and black accompanied by a lovely call… that is the Black-hooded Oriole (male) for you. Usually shy, this one made a quick visit to the coral tree.

Day 12

Rooster’s tail

When light hits the tail of the Grey Junglefowl, it reveals the mind bogling colours that make up the rooster’s tail. I always wonder, why was this species given such a drab name!

In a spot of light

It is early morning and beautiful soft light hits the surface of a rock. Moments later a Spotted Dove alights on it to take the spot.

Day 13

Go green

A bird you hear almost all day long in the jungle and even in urban settings. While I was in Bangalore, I had a White-cheeked Barbet regularly visiting an avocado tree just outside my apartment window. This one however is a junglee!

Angry bird

Probably the nosiest birds (in my opinion) one can come across. Typically moving around in batches, they create quite a racket too. Looking at the expression of the bird here, I think Angry Birds drew their inspiration from the Jungle Babblers.

Day 14

Life on top

For a couple of weeks, this Crested Hawk-eagle has been surveying the area from the top of that tree. Staying motionless for hours except occasionally moving its head to the left or right. I enjoy making such images of the solitary species when the opportunity presents itself. 

Calling out to the lovely ladies

Yet again a late evening encounter with the Purple Sunbird (male). The metallic colors were on display as he was calling out (probably to the lovely ladies out there).

That is all for week two of the lockdown series. I look forward to sharing more pictures and stories for the coming week.

All images made with Nikon D850 along with a 600 F4 VR lens.

A year on and still Sulking

As I sit in the hide, a familiar call takes me back to a little over a year ago. An evening session and an uncalled visitor; the Scimitar Babbler .

That evening, without warning the babbler showed up, sat on the perch meant for woodpeckers and in a jiffy dived into a water basin behind the hide, splashed and quenched its thirst and then restlessly visited every perch set up and in the end, settled on a branch of a neighbouring tree.

I can tell you quite honestly, I probably held my breath the longest, the camera tightest and prayed the hardest! All because getting this sulker out in the open and sit patiently is not an easy job.

Everyday I hear the scimitar sing, everyday I hope that he visits, everyday I hope for at least a guest appearance, everyday I am left wanting! It has been a year now, and the scimitar still sulks!

Here’s to maybe a visit, maybe a tease, maybe a sighting, just maybe a photograph!

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Image made with Nikon D750 + 600f4 VR atForest Hills Farm and Guesthouse