Nature Images: Blog en-us (C) Srinivasan Periathiruvadi (Nature Images) Sat, 26 Oct 2013 03:20:00 GMT Sat, 26 Oct 2013 03:20:00 GMT Nature Images: Blog 85 120 Mongoose View For some time now  I have been fascinated by the thought of what my life would have been if I were a mongoose in the wild, being well aware of the risks it would pose apart from the concern for one’s personal safety. At the same time I am committed not to break the law of the jungle !

I decided to experiment during my trip to the Serengeti  in July 2012 and play the role of mongoose. It all started with watching one of my favourites, the zebra. They are constantly  on high alert and  ever  wary of the slightest  movement or  sound.  I tried in vain not to let them sense my presence – eventually they did;  but not before I had used the thick, tall grass as the foreground and the mountain as the background to capture the noble stature of the zebra with my lens.  


Next was the turn of a herd of buffaloes. I was fraught with anxiety when I saw the belligerent look on their faces. However I decided to venture into the open,  crawled forward a few yards to take up the right spot in full view of the herd which did not seem exactly delighted.  I did manage to take a few images and slowly retreated to my vehicle.

Then came the unexpected bonus – the magical moment that life occasionally bestows on us and which may be defined as  serendipity.

I observed a huge herd of elephants of all sizes some distance away. With young ones in the herd, I know only too well that elephants can be most dangerous; and one as foolhardy and yet as daring as I am, would need to approach them at one’s own peril.

Influenced by "Mad" Mike and Mark  (especially Mike), I was strategising my thoughts of playing the role of the lilliputian and minuscule mongoose  against the mighty African elephants.

Asking my guide to “watch my back", I ventured into the wild.  With adrenaline pumping and after checking the wind direction (to ensure that my scent was not carried to the tusker), I took my  hiding place behind the tall grass and simultaneously realized  I was  directly on the battleground.   My training and well honed survival instincts gained during my days at the National Cadet Core  as well as  the rifle range came in handy now.  Armed with my Nikon D3S (200 - 400 lens) and a bean bag, I began shooting the tusker which was  a good distance of over 200 meters away with the hope (and confidence) that he would be my poster boy!   Images can't express with accuracy and clarity  the view I enjoyed from the box office in the open air theatre  !!!


I had a strange sensation that he was now aware of my presence. He did walk in my direction.

Then it dawned on me that the wind direction had changed and he knew without a doubt that I was lurking close at hand. 

I was excited about taking this image. This is a full frame image at 200 mm!


A second later I saw a blurred image in my viewfinder and knew all too well  (having  just then  recalled another  brush with a jackal in Bharatpur) that  it was time to pull back.  I was flabbergasted to realize that we were far too close for comfort  (less than 15 feet away from each other).  My hair rose up and this  “mongoose” slowly but surely  backed away  and climbed into the jeep. My pachyderm-friend  came close to the jeep, gave me one look as if to say  I’d  had a lucky escape this time – but just this time -  and walked away.

I still relive those moments when I’m caught unawares by reminiscences flashing past in my mind’s eye.  I promise I will be careful  in the future !!!

Cheers till the next note.

]]> (Nature Images) Elephant Serengeti Serengeti photo blog Serengeti safari low angle photography nature images Sun, 22 Jul 2012 02:34:00 GMT
The Exhibition I have been talking about my first exhibition for over 9 months now. Finally it is real!

Over 70 images - 24 x 24 inches to 24 x 36 inches prints on Fine Art photo paper  will be on exhibit between 1st and 6th May 2012 at Lalit Kala Academy, Greams Road, Chennai  The timing will be 10.30 am to 7.00 pm.

I am doubly happy for having made the prints myself.

The prints are available for you to own for a pre-fixed donation Jeevan Blood Bank to support their Be The Cure project to enable life saving treatment for children with blood cancers and Thalassemia.

Know more about the project here

Hope hope to see you at the venue.



15 April 2012


]]> (Nature Images) Sun, 15 Apr 2012 02:03:35 GMT
Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve - August 2010 I started on my second trip to Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in 4 months to look at the terrain in a different season and capture some bird life. Last trip was in April 2010 – peak of summer. I heard from Manish Varma that there has been plenty of rain (that means tiger sighting can not be the priority) and the forest is having a good green cover. Manish took care of all arrangements for both the trips and I like him for his perseverance and crisis management skills!

I started from Chennai in Grand Trunk Express (GT) which leaves at 7.15 pm and reaches Chandrapur at 9.20 p.m. Another 45 minutes of travel to Moharli and I ended up at the MTDC Resort. The resort is basic with a decent restaurant whish serves hot food on prior order.

If you need to remain in contact with the world Reliance GSM phone is the best option. Remember the park is closed on Tuesdays.

After a good lunch and rest, we left for Tadoba around 3 p.m. The green of the forest and the wonderful smell was a refreshing change from the concrete jungle. The drive was not very exciting but for a few shots of Lapwing and Langurs. Had a good night’s rest at MTDC Resort.

After an overnight heavy rain, morning sky was clear and we entered through the Moharli gate at 6 a.m. Day started with the sighting of a Honey Buzzard. I was happy with myself for spotting a Monitor lizard on the trunk of a tree. Since it was stationery, after a few shots, I decided to experiment HDR photography in the wild. Here is the image.

I do remember an earlier trip to Sikkim (5 years back) where I was shown a Spotted Dove and told that it is uncommon to sight the bird! Tadoba was full of them. When I saw one of them on the tree top, I remembered the hot discussion going on within the Photographic Society of Madras Google Group on the need (or not) of a light meter for nature photography. I decided to do two sets of images and will post them soon.

Returned back to the resort for a plate of Poha and a good 2 hrs rest. I was worried about the afternoon because of a heavy downpour that lasted for an hour. Fortunately the sky cleared around 2.30 p.m. and we were back in the Tadoba region by 3.15 p.m.

It was a Shikra in a lovely perch with nice background to be followed by a pair of Spotted Doves. After a drive into the pristine forest with a lovely smell (I did Pranayama for 10 minutes in the Jeep).

I could smell the love in the air of Tadoba!

I decided to focus on the spotted doves. At that moment popped up a scene for a few seconds, I am sure I will not see in the wild again!. A pair of spotted doves was engaged in the most romantic conversation which culminated in the obvious act. I was there to capture them all in a burst of 20 frames. Thanks to Ramnath for his guidance on creating the movie from still images using Imovie. Click here to see movie.

I had the opportunity to have tiger darshan on day 3 for ten seconds and was able to capture two images. On the fourth day I was with a male tiger for over one hour. Thanks to noisy visitors and shadowing jeeps he decided not to cross the road (which was perhaps his intention) and to rest under a tree and finally move to the interior of the forest.

During my return by GT, friendly attendants in the train decided to get soft iddlies and excellent sambar from Warrangal station. I enjoed the dinner and had a good night sleep to wake up again in the concrete jungle!!!

I hope to be in Tadoba again soon. This place fascinates me…..

]]> (Nature Images) Tadoba "spotted doves" "nature images" "nature photography" Sun, 29 Aug 2010 08:37:00 GMT
Nature Photography?
This article on me appeared in THE HINDU on the 22nd August 2010.

After reading this, I was asking myself "What is the meaning of Nature photography?".
I started browsing the net for an answer ( I always believe there will be one more person who would have made life simple!). There was no need to go far. I stumbled upon a very interesting posting and discussion on that.
Here it is:
Happy reading.
]]> (Nature Images) "Nature Photography" hobby Sun, 22 Aug 2010 04:54:00 GMT