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IIPC Nature & Bird Photography Workshop -November 2019

Nature & Bird Photography Workshop at Keoladeo National Park and Bird Sanctuary - Bharatpur, Rajasthan

IIPC and Camera Art Institute have been organizing workshop on various branches of photography like: Portraiture, Pictorial, Macro, Travel, Photo-Journalism, Food Photography, Fashion, Nature and Wildlife Photography etc for over 30 years now. In continuation to these workshops, now the workshops are conducted on a no profit no loss basis regularly. Recently two workshops were held in the last few months one at Keoladeo National Park and Bird Sanctuary at Bharatpur Rajasthan in November 2019 and the other in the month of December 2019 at Dhanauri Wetlands and Surajpur Bird Sunctuary in Uttar Pradesh. Hundreds of delegates have been benefitted from these workshops and many of our students are well known photographers today and have won national and international awards.

The First Workshop for five days at Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary at Bharatpur, Rajasthan between 21st to 25th November, 2019. The history of Bharatpur dates back to 5th century BC, when the Matsya kingdom flourished here. In the early 18th century, Maharaja Suraj Mal captured the fort of Bharatpur by vanquishing Khem karan, the rival chieftain and laid the foundation for Bharatpur.  

Bharatpur is also home to one of the world's best-known bird watching destinations, Keoladeo Ghana National Park (KNP). 250 years ago, the then ruler built embankments that allowed flooding of this land, turning it into a marsh. Named after the dense jungle that surrounded an old Shiva Temple, this 29 square kilometer man-made wetland is renowned for migratory birds – ducks, geese, waders, raptors, flycatchers and more. In winter, avid birders and ornithologists flock to the park to observe and study the feathered beauties. With more than 370 recorded species, KNP used to also host the Siberian crane. It is a World Heritage Site. Every year, thousands of migratory waterfowl birds such as green sandpiper and cranes visit the park during winter. It was created in mid 18th century as a small reservoir located 5 kilometers to the southeast of Bharatpur. The construction of the Ajan Bund (dam) and the subsequent flooding of this natural depression led to one of the world’s most fascinating and spectacular bird reserves. The Keoladeo Ghana National Park is considered to be one of the richest bird areas in the world today.

These Workshop were attended by Delegates from Delhi and other parts of North and Central India. Participants were mentored by Mr. Hemshankar Pathak FIIPC, APSG, ASIIPC and myself. The group left New Delhi on 21st early morning to arrive at Bharatpur well in time to get a half day round at the Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary. Group reached Bharatpur and checked into Iora Guest House and another hotel. The Keoladeo sanctuary had a good number of birds this year as there was enough water and food for the birds. The participants got to shoot a lot of migratory as well as resident birds feeding, collecting feed from the water and feeding their young ones etc. After a good winter, the weather was quiet pleasant and there was plenty of sunshine which gave an ample opportunity to all the delegates for shooting.

The participants were excited to see such a large number of birds in action and made some very impressive action packed photographs. Lunch was served inside the forest and workshop continued after lunch till sunset. There were plenty of birds like Pelicans, Darters, Heron’s and Geese to shoot. The group witnessed a wonderful sunset and everyone returned with good pictures post sunset to the hotel for some tea and snacks followed by a discussion and a slideshow.

Next day it was planned to go a little early for sunrise pictures in Silhouette with birds and later with some angular light. The group spent a full day inside the forest and it turned out fruitful as the light was really wonderful with clear blue skies. The group made superb photographs of White breasted Kingfisher, Darter, Grey Heron, Spot Billed Ducks with chicks , Egyptian Vultures, Crimson breasted barbet etc. There is so much at Keoladeo to see, shoot and absorb that one never feels satisfied. One can spend days together and this forest will never betray you. For next four days the delegates spent full days inside the forest shooting a lot of Birds and other mammals. The group went for Boating in the canal for Photography and also covered most of the walking trails on foot. On the walking trails you get to see a lot of small birds and also jackals especially early in the morning after sunrise. On 25th Morning the group departed early for Delhi by train. The participants had loads of good photographs and some good memories of Keoladeo.

The Second Workshop was held at Dhanauri Wetlands and Surajpur in Uttar Pradesh. Workshop was held on 23th and 24th December 2019. This workshop was again attended by many delegates from Delhi and NCR region. The Dhanauri Wetland has been declared a wetland recently. It is a breeding ground for many bird species of different kinds. One can find resident birds as well as migratory birds such as Bar Headed Geese, Grey Lag Geese etc. Dhanauri and Surajpur are excellent examples of an urban wetland in the Yamuna River basin and form suitable breeding ground for waterfowl such as Spot-billed Duck, Lesser-whistling Duck, Comb Duck and wintering waterfowl such as Red-crested Pochard, Ferruginous Pochard, Common Teal, Northern Shoveler and Gadwall. Common Swamp-hen and the Sarus Crane can be found in abundance.

The delegates shot large number of pictures one after another and had their cards full in a short while. The participants were transported to Dhanauri and back on both the days from IIPC Office. Breakfast and Lunch was served at the location to all the participants.                  Mr. Hemshankar Pathak and I mentored the participants, many of the participants got to learn about Bird Photography in detail. During this workshop the group got to see plenty of Sarus crane –some with young ones and also the Black necked storks. Delegates shot some excellent photographs of these rare Birds in Flight, and some feeding their young ones etc.

A contest was organized for participants of the workshop at Bharatpur. There were 3 sections in the contest (Nature, Birds in Action and Bird Close Up) and 01 medal and 3 certificates were awarded in each of these sections. The Medals were awarded to Dr. Himanshu Agrawal in Nature Section, Mr. Hemant Chopra in Birds in action section and Mr. Shehaan Khan in Bird Close Up section. Certificates were awarded to : Mrs. Tanuja Chauhan(in all 3 sections), Mr. Shehaan Khan (in 02 Sections), Mr. Hemant Chopra (in 01 section), Ms. Prachi Pathak (in 01 section), Mr. Sunit Sharma (in 02 sections), Mr. S.P. Singh (in 01 section),

Ms. Yogita Singh (in 01 section), Ms. Garrima Chopra (in 01 section).

I extend my heartfelt thanks to all the delegates who attended the workshop and made it a great success. Small group workshops like this ensure that you as a participant get plenty of attention and help from the mentors to improve your photography. Especially beginners and amateurs must join these workshops and discover the most photogenic locations on the planet.

For upcoming Photography Workshops see the events section........

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