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Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve - November 2017

About Bandhavgarh Tiger reserve

Bandhavgarh National Park is one of the popular national parks in India located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh. This park has a large biodiversity. The density of the tiger population at Bandhavgarh is one of the highest known in India. The park has a large breeding population of leopards, and various species of deer.

The four main zones of the national park are Tala, Magdhi, Khitauli, and Panpatta. Tala is the richest zone in terms of biodiversity, mainly tigers. Together, these four ranges comprise the 'Core' of the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve constituting a total area of 694 km². The buffer zone is spread over the forest divisions of Umaria and Katni and totals another 437 km². The wide valleys along the streams carry long linear grasslands flanked by Sal forests. Rich mixed forests consisting of Sal (shorea rubusta), Saja, Salai, and Dhobin, etc. with dense bamboo thickets occur in many places. These together provide Bandhavgarh its rich biodiversity.

Recommended Equipment
Bandhavgarh is a Tiger centric sanctuary but you do get opportunities to capture other mammals and birds. Here are the recommended lenses for the tour.

100-400mm Zoom Lens
This is a versatile range to capture the Tigers at Bandhavgarh as sometimes you get them at very close range.

300mm f/4 + 1.4x Converter
You can use this at 300mm or with the converter to get a good range of 420mm or even 600mm+ on a crop factor body. This being a prime lens, the quality of the images will be good and you can easily hand hold it. The lighting conditions at Bandhavgarh will be excellent and you will get good shutter speeds.

400mm f5.6
This is a very sharp lens and suitable for making good portraits of the Tiger.

70-200 f2.8 + 2x converter
I would highly recommend this lens over the 100-400 as you can get two different ranges of focal length and even with a tele-converter, the quality of images is good. At 70mm it can also act as a decent landscape lens. Good choice to capture the Tiger in its habitat.

This is the Sigma 150-500mm zoom lens with a Canon and Nikon mount. Though this is a slow lens, this works well in good lighting conditions and will be an excellent choice for Bandhavgarh given the good lighting conditions here.

300mm f2.8 + 1.4x or 2x converter
This offers the flexibility of multiple focal lengths and is a light-weight lens which can be used for hand held shooting.

500mm + 1.4x converter
This lens is highly recommended for a place like Bandhavgarh to get close/tight portraits of the Tiger. You will need a good tripod and a ball head/gimbal head to support this. A bean bag is also recommended. 

600mm or 800mm
These are super telephoto lens and will be an excellent choice if you can manage to get them.

Along with the above recommended lenses, you can also get wide angle lens or any other lens of your choice for making landscape images. You could also rent an additional body to ensure you have two sets of camera/lens ready to shoot at all times.

Sudhir Shivaram Photography recommends www.bookmylens.com in case you want to rent any of the above lenses. Please do visit BML website to make your rental booking.

Wildlife Photography related learning during the workshop:
Today's Wildlife Photography is all about action, creativity and uniqueness. The aim of this tour is to ensure on-the-field knowledge sharing & instruction with respect to wildlife photography, enabling participants to master creative photography skills and handle dynamic subjects such as mammals(mainly Tigers) with greater confidence.

During the workshop your mentor Sudhir Shivaram will help you master the core principles and concepts of Wildlife Photography. The sessions will help you to progress from taking images to making images. You will understand the concepts of storytelling images and what it takes to get your images published.

The below topics will be covered and the participants will learn how to apply these concepts in wildlife photography.

  • Manual and autofocus (focusing points, autofocus lock, single or continuous focus)
  • Manual exposure (ISO, shutter speeds, f/ stops and the light meter)
  • Metering modes (evaluative, matrix, spot metering) 
  • Depth of field (shallow, deep, hyper focal distance)
  • Motion (freezing, blurring and panning)
  • Picture styles / picture control (colour, black and white, sepia etc…)
  • Aperture priority, shutter speed priority, Manual exposure and other program modes 
  • In-depth coverage of Spot Metering, Evaluative / Matrix Metering, Partial Metering and Centre-Weighted Average
  • Understanding exposure - the 18% concept
  • White balance (pre-set and custom)
  • Different kind of outdoor lighting and how to study / make use of it.
  • Composition (framing)
  • Elements of design (seeing v/s looking)
  • Lenses and perspective (the right choice of focal length)
  • Pre-visualization
  • Completing the story

During the course of the workshop, you will be taken through the fundamentals of image processing and the following topics will be covered:

  • Colour management policies (colour settings, working space, ICC profiles etc.)
  • Working with RAW files
  • Cropping and image editing
  • Levels, curves, contrast, saturation adjustments
  • Image sharpening, cloning, dodge and burn
  • Noise reduction
  • Advance concepts of targeted adjustments using masking and layers technique
  • Saving for web/ printing

During the Field Outing: 

During the field outing, your mentor Sudhir Shivaram will help you make memorable images. Inputs provided on the field will enable you make the most of the opportunity.

Before the Workshop (An e-mail will be sent to you to collect all these data before the workshop)

  • Your camera / lens details needs to be sent to Sudhir so that he can prepare a chart of best practices for that set of equipment which you can use in the field.
  • Your photos / portfolio to be sent to Sudhir for him to review the images and arrive at the areas of improvements for each of the participants.
  • Your expectations from the workshop - This needs to be sent to Sudhir to ensure these are addressed during individual interactions with the participants.

During the Workshop

  • Sudhir will demonstrate the best way to approach and shoot the subjects and also give deeper insights on the behaviour of the subjects.
  • He will introduce to the participants the advance custom function settings of the camera and teach them to shoot like a professional based on the chart he would have prepared for each individual.
  • He will continually guide participants during the hands-on field outing, review images and provide feedback.
  • Knowledge sharing and image review will continue through the evenings in the conference room where he will interact with participants to further reinforce the day's learning.
  • Assignments will be given to individuals which needs to be completed during the course of the workshop. This will enable better learning for the participants as they will have deliverables as a part of the workshop.

After the Workshop

  • Participants will select and upload their best images from the photo tour in the '"SSP Community" Facebook group.
  • Sudhir will personally review them and provide detailed inputs.
  • The learning continues through facebook and e-mail interactions, where doubts and queries related to their learning from the tour will be addressed and resolved.
  • The facebook group will also facilitate peer group interaction and contribute to the overall learning experience.

Day 1, Wednesday, 22 Nov, 2017: 

Participants of the workshop arrive from various destinations and check-in to Kings Lodges, part of Pugdundee Safari group of resorts.
In the evening, the participants meet the mentor Sudhir Shivaram and go through the tips and tricks of wildlife photography along with understand the core concepts of photography.

Day 2,3,4 : Thu/Fri/Sat Nov 23/24/25: 
Morning and afternoon safari.
Interactions with Sudhir Shivaram after the morning and evening safari on topics of photography as conveyed in highlights tab.

Day 5, Sunday 26 Nov, 2017: 
Morning Safari and checkout after breakfast.

How to get to Kings Lodge, Bandhavgarh:

There are no questions related to this program!

Workshop Cost

For Indian Nationals:
Rs 50,500/- (plus Applicable GST as per Indian Govt rules)

*Price is per person on double occupancy basis.
* Additional Rs 15,000 for single occupancy

Foreign Nationals:
USD $773 (Same price as Indian Nationals)

Cost includes

- All costs are ex-Kings Lodge Resort at Bandhavgarh. However, at an added cost, we can arrange for transportation. 
- 4 Nights / 5 Days stay at Kings Lodge Resort. Price inclusive of all meals, safaris, forest entry fee/ camera fee/ guide charges.
- 7 Safaris in open Gypsy with 4 participants per Gypsy

*Any other expenses outside of the above will have to be borne by the individuals.

Group Size: 12 - 15


Kings Lodges Bandhavgarh

The lodge is set in a forested estate of 32 acres over looking sal forested hills on both sides. Bandhavgarh was established in 1968 as a National Park, and is spread over an area of 448 sq. kms. This national park was declared as a tiger reserve under Project Tiger in the year 1993. It is predominantly covered with vegetation like SAL, SALI, DHOBIN and has vast stretches of grasslands spread over 32 hills, the region though smaller than other wildlife parks has one of the highest density of tigers in the world.


Rs 25,000 is non refundable once the Safari Permit is done for the participants. The refund policy below is applicable to remaining amount.

Refund policy:

80% fee to be refunded if cancellation is done 45 days prior to the event.
No refund if cancellation is done between 0-45 days of the event.

Please note: The date of written (email) communication of intent to cancel is the date considered for calculation of the cancellation fees.