Wildlife photography is an adventure in itself. From scaling dangerous terrain and weathering tough climates to get that perfect shot, wildlife photography safari in India is a fun activity for taking a break from the monotony of life. When it comes to photographic safaris, India has options like no other country.
While each kind of photography has rules governing it, wildlife photography has a few interesting ones too. Incorporating them into a classic Indian safari makes wildlife photography unique and interesting. Here is a complete guide on the best Indian photo safari tours, tips, and settings for aspiring photographers.
Once you have decided to go for a wildlife photography safari, pick your target destination. When that is fixed, do some research on the place, the kind of animals you will be spotting, and most importantly, the equipment that is allowed into the reserve. Never pack your elaborate camera set-up for a trip only for the location to have restrictions on the equipment allowed. This is what I pack, a Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4, Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8, Nikon 200-400mm f/4, you can never predict how far away you can be from your subject or how close so I also take a wide lenses too that I can pack in my backpack and of courses cameras but you don’t need to have the same and it doesn’t have to be Nikon, I do not recommend tripod as vehicles are very small unless you are by yourself and ask them to remove the central seat, beanbag are the best option, you can bring them empty and fill them once you are there.
Before packing your gear and leaving for the wilderness, always plan for the kind of animals you will be shooting. Understanding the behavior of the animals in their natural habitat is integral in getting those stellar shots that you wish for.
If you feel like you cannot grasp the tendencies of wild animals, pick a tour guide who is familiar with the fauna and the locations. They can give you great insights into the location and sighting of animals. This way, you can have a companion as well as a guide for your trip.
Most beginners in wildlife photography believe that continuous shots will help them get the right picture at some point. While there is a higher probability of getting a good frame this way.
Pro tip: Create the optimum safari photography settings and wait to click. Continuous clicking can fill up your space and spook the animals in the process, both of which are outcomes that we wish to avoid.
It can be frustrating, it takes an amount of time to get the perfect photos, a lot of attempts to get it right but trying and trying again will make you only better.
Wildlife photography is a passion, love for the wildlife and love for photography, you have to be ready at all times, sometimes you have just a few seconds, like this female leopard, I just had the time to handheld the 600mm lenses as the car stopped and take 7 pictures on continuous clicking with a D5 before she left so you can imagine how fast you have to be ready.
Good things come to those who wait. This is not only applicable in getting the best out of safari photography but also in embarking on the journey itself. Always choose to go for a wildlife photography safari in India during the dry season. Most of the locations for safari tours face landslides during the monsoon. The wet weather will also affect the behavior of the animals, and the chances of getting quality pictures are low.
If you are looking for photographic safaris, India has much to offer across its vast space. In fact, apart from safaris, you can also try getting some wonderful shots while trekking and river rafting. Here is a list of sites that guarantee you the most scenic wildlife photography safari in India.
Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, the Jim Corbett National Park is where you must go to witness the critically endangered Royal Bengal tiger in all its glory. Marked with streams, lakes, marshes, and grasslands, this region can help you with scenic backgrounds for the detailed shots that you wish to capture. Apart from the Royal Bengal tigers, you can find elephants, golden jackals, and spotted deer on the trails of Jim Corbett.
My favourite of all National Park. Situated in Madhya Pradesh, Bandhavgarh National Park is another opportunity to spot the Bengal tiger in its natural habitat. When it comes to photographic safaris, India’s Bandhavgarh stands second to none.
With sal and bamboo forests providing shade to the great beasts in the reserve, the safari you take can get you close-up shots of many creatures. The sambar, Indian wolf, and the python are a few other animals that will get caught in your frame here.
3. Spiti Valley
Lying close to Ladakh, Kullu, and Tibet, the valley of Spiti is where you can find snow leopards flitting into your frame. The sparse population and the huge mountains make way for a great photography safari in this cold desert valley. In fact, if you are looking for a wildlife photography workshop, Spiti Valley is one of the best locations for uninterrupted shooting. Besides the snow leopards, there is a vibrant avian life for aspiring photographers to turn their cameras to.
One of the best wildlife photography safari in India has to be at the Kaziranga National Park. Located in Assam, this is your best chance at clicking some good-quality pictures of the one-horned rhinoceros.
With the thick trees and elephant grasses covering the region, every click is bound to have ample greenery. Combined with the calm atmosphere and the diverse fauna, a trip to the Kaziranga National Park can be highly rejuvenating.
You might think that an Indian photo safari costs heavily, but that is not true. Numerous travel and tourism companies offer interesting deals for safaris. With proper budgeting, you can have fun on this safari photography trip. If you go for a safari with someone who has prior experience with filming wildlife, you can get some safari photography tips as well.
Clicking pictures of wildlife in their natural environment can be exhilarating and a fun activity to do. Staying open to all the encounters you might have and keeping the peace of the location you are shooting at, you can have a great experience with wildlife photography.
Never get too close to animals or wander away from someone who is well-versed with the behavior of the animals in the habitat. Once you have pre-visualized your images, wildlife photography can be easy and yield the best results.
Wildlife photo safaris are great for amateur, professional and non-photographer, it’s not about only taking a picture , it is also about observing the behaviour… If you wish to join me on my next workshop, please feel free to contact me.
A little bit About me
My name is Dalida Innes, I am originally from France and I live in Sydney Australia. My true loves are wildlife, landscape, travel photography and everything between. I travel as often as I can and try to see the best of the world. I enjoy my encounters with nature, this often takes me to incredible places where I meet fantastic people.
Adventurous spirit with camera in hand, I try to capture moments of wonder and serenity.
I am self-taught have a sincere passion for all things photographic.
Capturing images for me is like freezing the time and by looking back over my photos, I can get back to this whenever I need. I try to get that precise moment that your eye doesn’t have time to remember.