Lights, Camera, Action - The Vedanthangal Trip


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Prologue:

Beep .. Beep .. Beep the Alarm sounded and it was 3:30 AM.

I woke up as the irritating beep continued and tried to stop it. I felt like a Man who has not slept for years.

I reached out to the plethora of wires in the switch board that was recharging four devices - two camera batteries and two mobile phones.

All the 4 chargers indicated success and I unplugged them slowly.

I heard a distant voice "Not ready yet? We don't have enough time". The voice was now closer and my wife was nearly shouting "Get ready!".

I was still in Trance and I don't remember how I removed the 14-42mm and snapped on the 40-150mm tele lens in my E-420. I also had to plugin the 4 AA batteries into the Fujifilm HS10 which my wife would be using.

The time was 4:30 AM and now I was holding the steering wheel with the Air con on our faces, driving on the empty road that is usually packed and the engine humming a muted tone.

Waking up early is a pain and it doubles when you do that on a holiday.

As I continue to drive, some thoughts turn my pain into a smile. It really pays to wake up early when you can

- Have the rarely cold chennai wind on your face.
- Drive on an empty road that usually leaves no space to breathe.
- When you can see the Sun rise somewhere you have never seen before.
- When you can see creatures that amaze you stating that they exist.
- When you can see creatures that are fast, attractive and dynamic than anything you have seen
- When you get to explore your biggest passion - travel and photography.
- When you get satisfying results of your experiment with umpteen number of guests doing the honours.

Continuing along the way, I said "Vedanthangal, here I come to revive my last trip and to take back something that I left last time and perhaps even more!"
 

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Thread Starter #3
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The Drive

I took the usual route which I took last time.

Home -> Tambaram - Chennai Bypass road
Tambaram -> Palamathur - NH 45
Palamathur -> Vedanthangal - SH

I was still enjoying the drive and I did not stop anywhere to click. It was dark too.

My usual stats meter told me the below.

Steed: i10 Kappa

Total Distance: 137 kms

Driving Duration: 3 hours and 2 minutes

Top speed: 102 kmph

Average Speed: 45.6 kmph

Fuel Consumed: 9.1 litres

Fuel Efficiency: 15.05 kmpl

Clicks with the HS-10: 223

Clicks with the E-420: 445

Time at the Sanctuary: 2 hours and 46 minutes
 

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Thread Starter #4
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Bad Light and No play:

I was almost enjoying the drive through the state highway when a Milestone showed I had 3 kms left.

Aah, we have reached earlier than expected. The time was 5:57 AM and we were the first one to enter.

The person at the counter did not have cash to return the change to us.

We could hear the creatures shouting here and there. Yes, they are better. They have woken up already and have started their duties.

We took out our lenses and tried to snap! I was already lamenting about the low light and it proved itself.

What happens when you don't have enough light and your subjects are moving fast ? really fast ?

The results are here for you to see:
 

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Thread Starter #5
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Ray of Hope:

Waiting for light, we decided to roam around the place. The light was slowly appearing and the sun rose. The sun seemed to be coming out of the lake.

The rays of the sun turned out to be the rays of hope and was a reminder for us to get ready.

Here are some landscapes that we clicked including the sunrise.
 

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Thread Starter #6
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Lights, Camera, Action:

Yeah, now there is light. We have cameras. The guests are ready to do honours. What are we waiting for, let's get into action.

It is incredible to see how fast these creatures move. Getting one in the frame is really an accomplishment by itself.

This is where an SLR camera proved its worth. Fast AF, Live view, Enough options to play around with helped me to click some satisfying photos.

My wife felt a bit difficult with the slow AF of the HS10 but eventually caught up and managed some good clicks.

Here is one set. There are a lot more which I will add soon.
 

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Akash

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Excellent narration para_7k. I must say you captured those birds really well. All the snaps have been fantastically clicked. Rated this thread 5 Star!

PS: By any chance do you know which is the bird in the second last pic?
 
Thread Starter #9
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Oh.. what a shot! great capture.. love it. Waiting for more pal!
Thanks Avindu!

Excellent narration para_7k. I must say you captured those birds really well. All the snaps have been fantastically clicked. Rated this thread 5 Star!

PS: By any chance do you know which is the bird in the second last pic?
Thanks Akash! It's a pelican. I'm not able to see your rating [confused]

nice pics para! very nice pictures!!

@Akash- i believe that is an albatross.
Thanks! It's a pelican, look at its mouth.
 
Thread Starter #10
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Up above the Sky so high:

The Action continued. Our guests were ready to move from one place to the other. In the mean time, the Sun had rosen enough for us to increase the shutter speeds.

We started bringing down the ISOs and bumping up the shutter speeds. Our lenses are happy now. They can Acquire faster AF locks and I can move along with my subjects.

What more, the sky was as clear as it can get and our guests along with the blue sky at the backdrop paved way for some dramatic pics.

Here are some.
 

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man those shots are awesome! i have been a wildlife photography enthusiasts and i can understand your pain..for birding, one needs to start early and reach the spot well before time and those in-flight shots are always hardwork with these huge birds!
excellent shots and great writeup.
 
Thread Starter #14
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man those shots are awesome! i have been a wildlife photography enthusiasts and i can understand your pain..for birding, one needs to start early and reach the spot well before time and those in-flight shots are always hardwork with these huge birds!
excellent shots and great writeup.
Thanks Saurabh!
 
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