WildZests: Blackbucks of Velavadar!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Blackbucks of Velavadar!

I've been to the Jayamangali Blackbuck Reserve quite a few times earlier and my experience with the blackbucks there was always that they're too shy and would always maintain a good distance from the car. The terrain also made it difficult to position yourself for a good angle to shoot. I was hoping that things would be different at Velavadar!

It was a pleasant surprise to see that the blackbucks are seen in quite high numbers at Velavadar as compared to Maidenahalli, to add to that, the grassland give a very nice feel to the surroundings. The bucks are quite used to human presence and though they're not exactly friendly, they're not too shy either. You'd not see them curiously wanting to come close to you but the distance they maintain is good enough to get some close up shots of these beauties.

I was so keen on getting a silhouette shot of the blackbucks with the sun setting in the background, but you simply can't get them to be where you'd like. It's a matter of positioning yourself and waiting for the perfect setting, but it's not always a success when you have limited time at hand.

I must admit that watching the blackbucks grazing for prolonged periods isn't a very exciting thing, but they can spring up quite a few surprises at you. Jumping Blackbucks are a treat to watch and if you can get a shot with them in the air, you're done for the day! I tried that a few times but failed to get a crisp shot, they're either too fast to focus while they jump, or too close to get them fully in the frame. Apart from jumping, even the mock fighting drills can get you some interesting shots. I got lucky with these two males wanting to be captured on camera. To be honest, it was difficult to get them both in the frame since I was shooting with a 1.4x TC on the 600mm, but with a little bit of adjustment in my position I finally managed to fit them in.

Tech Specs:

Canon 1D Mark IV + Canon 600mm F4 IS L with 1.4x TC
Shot at 840mm, 1/160, F8 at ISO 100
Blackbucks Fighting

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