Eye to eye, with the future of a troubled species.
The Bengal tiger is one of the largest of all cats, reaching a total body length of nearly 10 feet (3 m) and weighing up to 717 pounds (325 kg). Its most recognizable feature is the pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddishorange fur. Once found widely across the Indian subcontinent, the Bengal tiger is now listed as Endangered. ”After six days of sun burns, extreme heat, and dust we finally spotted three cubs. Burning bright in the fading light, slowly and curiously, one by one they approached our vehicle. My heart was pounding and it was very hard to keep the camera still. I feel so lucky to have been able to photograph the behavior of these majestic animals. Their presence seemed so innocent, bountiful, and unhindered—yet the future of their species so uncertain.”—KS
IUCN Status: Endangered
Bandhavgarh National Park, India
Shanti Path, India
Canon EOS 5D Mark II; 500mm ƒ/4 L IS II lens + 1.4x II teleconverter at 700mm; 1/250 sec at ƒ/5.6; ISO 2000; hand-held.
wildlife Highly Honered
On a winter morning at Jigokudani, Nagano Prefecture, monkeys come down to the montain pass covered with deep snow. The snow is deep enough to cover the monkeys’ entire feet. They walk slowly and carefully so as mot to get lost from their group.. This paticular mother and a baby passed by me once but they came back and stood for a while to observe what the other monkeys were doing. The baby monkey hung on to its mother’s stomach very tightly and looked around once a while. The baby seemed very comfortable in its mother’s arms.
Yamanouchi Shimotakai, Nagano, Japan
Canon EOS 7D Mark II, EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM, 1/1500, F2.8, ISO 1600
Eyes Tell Everything
Handsome Sub adult male Resting on evening Golden light with his mom and sisters which was resting Little away, This Lion was Curiously watching us in Gir sanctuary, from its Eyes Its Clearly seen So much Curiosity that what is going on in front, really love those eyes..
Gir- Sanctuary- Gujarat- India
Canon 550D, Sigma 50-500mm OS, 1/100, F/ 7.0 ISO 800
Mudbath Practice Session
I found these babies very fascinating and decided to keep a watch on them. While the adults were drinking water from the river they were running around without any purpose. As soon as the adults started having mud bath, the babies stopped their game and joined them. They started practicing the mud bath by imitating the adults. They kept trying to pick up mud from ground and throw over their back with those tiny trunks. It was indeed very special for me to see how these babies are trying to learn the art from the adults.
Vinod C L
Jim Corbett National Park, India
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM, 1/1250, f/2.8, ISO 100
The throat fan in males of Sitana ponticeriana is brilliantly coloured with red, blue and dark shades during the breeding months. When running quickly they often adopt very swift bi-pedal mode of locomotion. I shot this image at Chalkewadi in Satara district. I observed this male to repeat the path while patrolling his territory and checking out all the females resides in it. He was active during morning hours to mid afternoon. Anticipation and little luck helped me to get this image.This is the only lizard in India known to adopt bi-pedal locomotion.
Chalkewadi, Maharashtra, India.
Canon 7D, Canon 100mm L, 1/800, F/5.6, ISO 400
Leopards are very secretive animal; they hunt based on their skill of stealth & ambush technique. In India it is very rare to see a leopard in the grassland, so to create some different kind of leopard images I always wanted to see them in grassland, I eventually got this in Satpura Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, India. This park has a big and beautiful grassland with hundreds of spotted deer and because of large amount of prey base there were two leopard brothers used to visit this grassland regularly. My aim was to capture an Image which will best describe how they marge with the grassland, their secretive nature and how they suddenly appear from the grass to attack the prey. I have worked in this forest for two years so I knew their behavior quite well, but knowing them wasn’t enough to capture perfectly what I wanted unless this time when I saw one of them in the grassland and placed my car perfectly based on anticipation and finally he did immerge from the grassland as I wanted.
Satpura Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, India
Canon EOS-1D mark IV, EF300mm f/4L IS USM, 1/2500 sec, F/ 6.3, ISO 800
This huge vulture is perhaps the largest and heaviest bird found in the Himalayan Mountains. Their weight can average 20 pounds (9 kg), and the wingspan varies from 8.4 to 10.2 feet (2.56 to 3.1 m). They soar in thermals and are not capable of sustained flapping in flight. ”I noticed vultures roaming just in front of the massive Himalayan mountain range. I took out my 80-200mm lens and started clicking, but the birds were too far off in the distance. I waited until one of them came close enough for me to get a shot at medium focal length. This gave me good field of view and also showed the bird large enough in the frame.”—SS
Chaukori, Uttarakhand, India
Alinagar, Mohammadi, India
Nikon D90; 80-200mm ƒ/2.8 lens at 135mm; 1/1000 sec at ƒ/10; ISO 400; hand-held.
landscape Highly Honered
Yasunotaki waterfalls in Nakanomata Valley in Akita is one of the top 100 waterfalls in Japan. It consists of a top and bottom section and has a total drop of 90 meters. The entire fall is beautiful but I think the shape of the rock at the top of the waterfall is unique and I feel that is nature’s most beautiful creation. I used a PL filter to suppress the shine from the wet rock and make the top of the waterfall standout. It looks as if the water is drawing a line around the coal black rocks. Fallen leaves and branch decorated the waterfall as a picture frame.
Nakanomata Valley, Akita, Japan
PENTAX K-3, 50-135mm F/2.8 lens at 95mm, 1/2sec, F9.0, ISO 100, Gitzo G2220
Winter in Japan in 2015 started with a huge snowstorm. The ancient capital of Japan, Kyoto, was no exception and it received over 20 cm of snow on the ground the most it has seen in 61 years. I struggled to get to this location because many of the roads were closed due to the snow. But I finally made it and was able to see a most magnificent view with the famous bamboos covered in snow. Probably it will be another few decades until I can see such a beautiful sight like this again.
Sagano Kyoto, Japan
Nikon D800, Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, 1 sec, F/8.0, ISO 100, SLIK Pro 700 DX III N
I took this photo on a bitterly cold frosty mid-February morning. Because of the high humidity and cold temperatures a dense fog formed over the Kiso River. I waited for the right moment to capture the movement of the fog and the sunlight. The fogs density was changing rapidly and I had to shoot this fog while running. I have had my photo collection of Sakaori’s terraced rice fields published twice in a Gifu newspaper.
Kiso River, Gifu Prefecture, Japan
NikonD800, AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II, 1/125second, F13, ISO 100, HUSKY
Lost in the mist
On a winter early morning, I was on a boat safari ride in Kabini river of the Nagerhole National Park in Karnataka, Southern India. When the boat was in mid way, heavy mist surrounded and we got lost for nearly an hour. Suddenly, the mist cleared partially and the motor boat took of in full speed. I was at the read end of the boat and when I turned around to take a look, I saw this lonely Egret perched on a submerged tree trunk. I immediately grabbed a few shots even though the motor boat was moving away from the subject. I was able to get this shot as I was on a manual mode. Auto focus and auto exposure mode would not have captured this shot due to lack of contrast.
Kabini river – Nagerhole National Park Karnataka South India.
Nikon D 300 with F.2.8/70-200 AF ED VR 1 zoom lens 1/320 F.11 -1/3 EV ISO 400. Manual mode. Matrix metering.
Sunlight Through a Forest
This photograph was taken at Jigokudani (Hell Valley) in Nagano, Japan.As I was walking through the forest,I had a feeling that some incredible light was on its way.After about 5 minutes,this beautiful light appeared.I read the light and rushed to find the best position.The light changed slightly from moment to moment,then quickly disappeared.
Jigokudani, Nagano, Japan
NIKON D3200, AF-S NIKKOR 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G, 1/320, F/14, ISO 400
Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins tend to live in shallow water near the shore at depths of less than 984 feet (300 meters). They are able to alternate between no breathing while deep diving and normal breathing while swimming along the surface. The dorsal surface of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin is slate blue or dark gray, with darker flippers and extremities and lighter, often pink tinted, undersides. ”Dolphins live in the sea of Toshima, which is located about a half mile south of Tokyo. My approach is to shoot the lives of such dolphins to show their importance. This time I had the opportunity to capture a baby dolphin only a few months after birth. A family of dolphins seemed interested and approached me as I held my breath in the seabed at a depth of 16 feet (5 meters).”—TA
Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins
Toshima, Tokyo, Japan
Canon EOS 5D Mark Ⅲ; EF 14mm ƒ/2.8 L Ⅱ USM lens; 1/320 sec at ƒ/11; ISO 3200; UW housing.
ocean Highly Honered
This is a behaviour shot of mantis shrimp carrying eggs, It usually hiding in their hole & it’s very unusual to come out.
Canon 5D mark 2, EF 100mm f/2.8L, 1/200, F/18, ISO 160
It was spring in Shiretoko, Hokkaido and the ocean was clear, I was given a present from the nature which was this special moment brought by the killer whale’s breath and the light.
Shiretoko Hokkaido, Japan
Nikon D4s, Nikon 80-400 VR 4.5-5.6, 1/200, F/5.6, ISO 400
Silhouette of Manta Ray
Over the years, I have made more than 1,000 scuba dives with my underwater camera. This shot was taken in the summer of 2012 at “Manta Scramble”, near Kabira Bay of Ishigaki Island in Okinawa, Japan. As the name suggests, this diving point attracts many manta rays. They come for the “cleaning stations”, which are sections of reefs that are home to small “cleaner fish”, who clean larger marine animals by eating parasites off their body surface. To avoid disturbing the “cleaning treatment” of manta rays, divers are prohibited from swimming above the cleaning stations. Positioning myself beneath a reef, I gazed up at these creatures hovering gracefully, slowly circling around the reefs while cleaner fish performed their treatment. The perfect moment came when a manta ray flew right above me as it left the cleaning station. Just when this manta ray swam past the sun, I succeeded in capturing its silhouette.
Ishigaki Island, Okinawa, Japan
Canon EOS50D, Canon EF8-15mm F4L Fisheye USM, 1/125, f18, ISO100
Focusing on the beauty of Dendrophyllia ijimai, I frequently visit Izu Oceanic Park. I spent a year trying different photo techniques such as different distances and different angles while photographing these. It wasn’t easy because the objects were very sensitive. Sometimes these flower looking tentacles were not open or even if they were open they closed quickly as soon as it sensed the air from my tank. When it was fully open I would get so excited I sometimes missed the shot. In this shot I was finally able to capture the excitement.
Izu Oceanic Park, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
Canon EOS 40D, Tokina AT-X FISHEYE 10‐17 F3.5-4.5 DX, 1/20, F/11, ISO-100, INON D-2000
Like a Rising Sun
Yakushima is registered as a World Heritage site. The ocean around Yakushima has just as many living creatures as the land. This pictures was taken on the sandy bottom of the ocean surrounding Yakushima. It is the home of a school of the small fish called Spotnape Cardinalfish. Usually small fish like these are quickly eaten by larger fish but they can survive as a group because of the help of a red big fish called Cephalopholis Sonnerati that is in the center of the picture. He chases the larger fish away from the school. Even though he protects the school of the small fish from larger fish, he eats the small fish as well. There is a message in this picture that through “The law of the Jungle” they help each other to survive. On the 11th day of the shooting under the ocean in the winter, I was finally able to capture this red Caphlopholis Sonnerati coming out of the school like the rising sun.
Canon5D Mark2,canon 14mm, 1/40, F/13, ISO 800
Life is like a roller coaster
The lady beetle is tiny, round, and less than half an inch long (1-10 mm). The head is often shiny black with white markings, while the wing-covers (elytra) are often orange-red with black dots. Ladybugs are considered beneficial insects that feed on pest insects. Their bright colors are actually warnings to predators of the distasteful defensive chemicals in their blood. ”I captured this ladybug climbing along a vine. The spiraling line adds a soft, aesthetic feeling to the image. The bug was crawling around as if it were on a roller coaster reminding me of life with its many peaks and valleys.”—MY
Lady Beetle on Vine Coccinellidae
Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China
Canon EOS 70D; Tamron AF-S 90mm ƒ/2.8 macro VR lens; 1/100 sec at ƒ/8; ISO 640; handheld.
small world Highly Honered
A newborn little mantis standing on Albizzia julibrissin its own front foot. It is hiding in Albizzia julibrissin petals; petals just can withstand its light weight body. I am waiting for its head to face my moment. When I captured this moment is; I think mantis like a shy little kid. It licked his fingers at me shy. Behind it was a blue sky; we humans and small mantis has the same blue sky; we are all children of the earth.
Wuhan City，Hubei Province，China
Nikon D3S,Tamron AF 90mm/2.8 macro lens, 1/100, F/13, ISO 400
Waiting for a meal
When I saw a frog in the pond, a frog in the pond took two feet of it to the edge of the lotus leaf,. In order not to disturb it, I carefully around the frog to shoot it. Like the frog is to keep people like sitting in front of the lotus leaf, it is like a large round table. It’s smart, and it waits patiently for insects to feed on the lotus leaf.
Wuhan City，Hubei Province，China
Nikon D3S, AF 200mm /4 macro lens,1/400 s, F/9, ISO 400
Life like Jewels
Rose sawfly larvae along the two branches to climb, they are looking for new leaves to eat. Light shines through the verdant woods in their body. Sawfly larvae as is now done with jade crafts, while the red rose thorns on the branches like a ruby crystal.
Wuhan City，Hubei Province，China
Canon 70D, Tamron AF-S 90mm /2.8 macro VR lens,1/160, F11, ISO 400
Hugged After the Storm
After the spring of Wuhan, a big rainstorm, I came to the woods. I saw a lot of space to grow moss growing shoots. I see them crowded close together. I am looking for a while, I found that two buds with rain stuck together. I think it’s like a husband and wife have experienced trouble, they have joy after the storm. They grow up in the rain, but also the rain harvest of love.
Wuhan City，Hubei Province，China
Nikon D3S, Tamron AF 90mm/2.8 macro lens, 1/80s, F/14, ISO 800
I encountered with this dragonfly while looking for some flight shots of insects. I chased this fly around three minutes, one branch to another but could not get any satisfactory flight shot but I feel good position of insect, over all composition and against light make this photograph interesting.
Lakhimpur Kheri, India
NIKON D90, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8, 1/50 sec., f/5.6, ISO 200
Look at my Tail fins!!
Named after the early 19th century ornithologist Colonel George Montagu, this bird appears larger than it really is because of its large wingspan of 38–45 inches (97–115 cm) for its small body weight of a little more than one half pound (265-345 grams). This migratory bird of prey is a winter visitor to the Indian subcontinent. ”On a visit to Tal Chhapar Sanctuary in search of these graceful birds, I was able to locate a female Montagu’s Harrier flying low as it was scouting for prey. It was daytime during a dust storm and the lighting conditions were poor. Realizing that my existing camera gear would not suffice, I switched to more advanced equipment. Just as I was ready, she took flight and I was able to freeze the action.” —PCL
Tal Chhapar Sanctuary, Churu District
Northwestern Rajasthan, India
Canon EOS 5D Mark III; EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens; 1/2500 sec at f/2.8; ISO 100; bean bag.
birds Highly Honered
Swallowing down painfully?
On fine day in November I went to Kyoto Botanical Garden in Japan to photoghraph a bird in a pond. The surface of the pond was dyed vermilion with beautiful autumn leaves. I found a Grey Heron holding a huge toad in the bill. The toad struggled to get free from, while the heron failed in swallowing it twice due to the big body. After about 20 minutes, the heron could swallow it up to the legs.Suddenly the toad offered the final resistences which were so unexpected and so dramatic, because the toad looked so being weakened before it was swallowed. I was overjoyed to find I had captured the moment. I am satisfied with the images that the astonishing winner’s face and the loser’s opening toes look somewhat funny, but I also felt great sympathy for the loser. I am a Bird Photographer for 26 years, and my photos have been selected after open contests for the calendar of Wild Bird Society ofJapan 8 times and also for the one of Japanese Society for Preservation of Birds 8 times.
Kyoto Botanical Garden, Japan
Canon EOS7D, EF400mmF5.6L USM, 1/640 sec, F/5.6, ISO 1600
Cherry blossoms and a Japanese White-eyes
A Japanese White-eye was perching upside down on a branch of a cherry blossom tree. These cherry blossoms look dense-pink in color and so called “Higan-zakura” of which blooms earlier than the well-known cherry blossoms “Somei-yoshino”. White-eye is an inexhaustible honey eater of these blossoms and very fast in its action. So to catch a good shot, an extraordinary high speed shutter speed is needed. My experience in photography of birds in nature is not longer than 4 years. But I really enjoy myself in capturing beauty of nature including birds even in the municipal park.
Canon EOS-1DX, EF500mm F4 IS II USM,1/4000sec, F/5.6, ISO2000, Gitzo GT4542LS
Ready To Kill
It was a bright sunny day in the Eastern Himalayas. Nearby peaks were shining with flowing light. I was searching for small hill birds around a small lake named Chayatal (Lake of shadow). Suddenly I saw this huge adult crested serpent sitting on a tree branch on the opposite side of the lake. I decided to wait for it to fly and took position accordingly. I got reward for my patience after some time as the big bird started flying. The bird was actually planning to cross the lake to reach the jungle located at the other side of the lake. By that time, I changed my camera settings to capture the flight. I focused the bird but didn’t click as I was waiting to get it in a perfect position. At a point, it was almost parallel with my position and was only about 15-20 feet away with a majestic glide with the northern wind beneath its wings. And it was the moment. With the clear sky and perfect position, I got two shots of it. Then the eagle vanished into the woods with a sharp call, which was echoed through the valley of the Himalayas.
Nikon D7100, Nikon 300mm f/4D AF-S + Nikon 1.4 TC, 1/1600 sec, F/5.6, ISO 640
This place has some shallow water bodies here & there. I found a small flock of barn swallows were flying over those water bodies with their usual fast wing beats & collecting food. I minutely observed their flying path for a while as I was planning to capture the bird in that action. It was a sunny & clear day, so there was no problem of increasing the shutter speed to a high range. The only problem was the marsh land was mud-filled and to get the desired shot, I had to stay low. So, I lied down on the mud and placed my elbow in way so that it helped me get a firm grip and enabled me to take this shot after a few attempts.
Nikon D7100, Nikon 300mm f/4D AF-S, 1/4000 sec, f / 4, ISO 250
Oriental Darter Territorial Fight-. This photo is taken at Keoladeo Ghana National Park,Bharatpur,Rajasthan,India.It is taken in winter, December 2014. These days you get little sunlight & foggy environment.One day before when i got this photo i was watching birds and doing photography. At one spot there was a pond and there were two oriental darters loudly calling and fighting each other but they were too far away from me i waited there for few hours but couldn’t get good shots because not only the darter were far from me but also there wasn’t good light because it was so cloudy then. The next day in the morning i reached there on the spot and settled myself. The sun was shining with morning light,darters were there only. One of them was fishing. I took some shots of it. The darters looked calm that day only sun basking, but after a couple of hours one of them gave the typical loud darter call and the other replying it, they both dived in to the water near to me and began fighting and at this time i got this picture.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3, 1/3200 sec., f/7.1, ISO 640, Benro A2190TB1