A fervent naturalist
An IT professional and a passionate bird watcher, Yadunandan is firmly grounded in both – the virtual and the natural world. Having studied ornithology, he appreciates aspects pertaining to bird behaviour, habitats, physiology, and conservation of natural environments. He has also created a mobile app called The Birds of India, containing pictures and information about various birds found in the Indian Subcontinent.
Yadunandan never tires of wandering in the wild looking for avian beings. He has also participated in multiple Bird Races across Gujarat, which are specially held to record migratory bird species.
Yadunandan is a Microsoft Certified Professional and a Google Trusted Photographer. He is the Founder & Director of Softbox Labs, a Leading E-Commerce Marketplace service provider company based out of Ahmedabad.
the secrets of photographing like a pro
gir wildlife photography boot camp
What if porcupines posed for pictures or lions lounged around lensfolk? You could keep thinking wishfully or spruce up your wildlife photography skills. Capturing animals in a frame presents its own set of challenges, from their aversion to human company, to their speed of movements, to their camouflaging behaviour, to their elusive nature. What’s more, a photographer’s luck has to compound with ideal lighting and surroundings.
Sounds frustrating? Not quite, if you understand the subtleties of animal behaviour, and the tricks and techniques of capturing wall-worthy pictures. The secret isn’t in the expensive kits and stabilizers, but in wildlife photography ethics and experience. This workshop is geared towards building sensitivity towards wildlife, looking in the right places, and making the most of the equipment and the situation at hand.
Enjoy a memorable stay in the land of mango orchards and teak forests, and take home compelling photos of everything – from bugs and birds to the big beasts. Walk along the Hiran river spotting the myriad birds that the forest is home to. Spend the nights gazing at the dark firmament, observing constellations and galaxies rarely visible from the urban skies.
3 Jungle safaris
Bird-walk by the river
Stargazing through a telescope
WHO IS THE WORKSHOP FOR?
Pet lovers, birders, and wildlife enthusiasts eager to showcase their love for animals
Photographers of other genres – portraits, travel, landscapes – craving to delve into wildlife photography
Learn to recognize, respect, and appreciate wildlife – bugs, birds, and beasts
Understand your camera and accessories for best results
Practice with a professional during a 3D2N getaway in Gir
Discover basic editing techniques to enhance your images
Day 0, April 3, 5:30-6:30 pm
Orientation at The Hive
Get introduced to your group and instructor at The Hive before you depart for Gir the next day. Do a quick equipment check, and get a download on the Dos and Don'ts of wildlife photography. Questions? Now's a good time to ask.
Day 1, April 4, 2:00 pm onwards
Arrival & exploration at Gir
Arrive in your personal transport at the Hiran Holidays. Meet and greet your hosts, check into your rooms, and prepare to leave for a bird walk along the river after a sumptuous meal. Post dinner, wind down with your heads tilted upwards - admiring the brilliant constellations and galaxies never visible from the urban skies.
Day 2, April 5
Begin your day early with a guided morning safari in the majestic home of the royal king. Keep your fingers crossed for spotting the big cats but don't miss out on the capturing the smaller wildlife. There are more than 2300 fauna species to practice your photographic skills on.
Spend the late morning exchanging notes on your field exercise and return to the jungle in the afternoon to improve on your shots. After the safari, ramble again in the fields to pet the cattle. Post dinner, socialize with your group as you try spotting unseen nebulas through a telescope.
Day 3, April 6
Final safari & departure
Fill your lungs with the fresh air of the forests & the orchards as you take your last safari. Exchange notes on your learning with the instructor and your group. Depart after a brunch at 12:00 pm.
The lodging is at Hiran Holidays – a homely farmsite located slightly uphill, with the Hiran river flowing straight down below. The facility is clean and basic, suited to a camp-like experience rather than a luxury resort stay. Nature lovers are sure to delight in the rustic charm of this place while swinging in a hammock under the chikoo and mango trees in the front yard.
Behind the rooms is the host’s farm, from where organically grown vegetables are picked daily to prepare simple, but deeply satisfying, Gujarati meals. Cows and buffaloes at the farm are milked twice in the day to source fresh milk for tea, makhan, and buttermilk. Enjoy a tour of this farm in the daytime to get envious of the land’s fertile produce, and one more by the night to observe the quiet, twinkling skies that can never be seen from a city. And don’t forget to keep your ears open for a lion’s roar or a deer’s alarm call through the night. Because the jungle never sleeps.
1. Who is this programme for?
This programme is specifically for wildlife and nature lovers – from amateurs to national-park-regulars. Whatever level of expertise you are at, this boot camp can help you significantly enhance your skills, thanks to Yadunandan’s knowledge and experience in the field. The lessons will be a combination of theory and practical, with a high emphasis on field exercises. The instructor would show several practical examples, to demonstrate the effect that particular settings would have on your photos.
2. How long does it take to master wildlife photography?
While you can discover some of the tricks of wildlife photography over a weekend, it can take several photographic expeditions to gain proficiency in the art. So start small and practice on. A backyard full of trees or a nearby park with local fauna is often a good place to employ some of the techniques learnt in this boot camp.
3. Will I learn the technical aspects of wildlife photography?
Of course! The Gir getaway is a boot camp, i.e. a short, intensive, training programme for wildlife photography enthusiasts. We assume no prior knowledge. We shall have an orientation session at The Hive before we assemble at Hiran Holidays in Gir. In the session, Yadunandan will give a detailed explanation about the equipment you should carry, camera settings to explore, and wildlife etiquettes to bear in mind. We will also provide a field guide to help you identify the animals you may spot.
4. What camera will I need to bring for this programme?
A digital camera with a telephoto lens is the minimum requirement. However, for better results, we recommend a DSLR camera, preferably with a telephoto Lens, backup battries, and memory cards. For Nature Enthusiasts who do not have a camera, a regular binocular is also appreciated.
Cancellation Policy: In the unlikely event of The Hive cancelling any of its programmes for any reason, registered participants will be refunded the entire amount within 15 business days.