In the coursework, it says that the responses to the third assignment can lack in creativity and has often led to “comfort zone” within the students. Having read ahead of starting this course I definitely knew that personally this is an important part for me due to my having avoided this mode somewhat in my photographic journey so far. Edward Muybridge’s experiments in stop motions have inspired me immensely and also brought me face to face with two areas that I am apprehensive about. Firstly the fear of the shutter priority mode that I have always found tricky and bird photography that has been a recent development for me. Birds in flight is something that I have far to go in and at the threshold of this part of the module, I think I am ready to take on these challenges head on.
A recent out of the blue opportunity took me to the jungles of Ranthambhore National Park in Rajasthan, India. I was there firstly to be a part of a dry run that one of my clients from the hotel industry wanted to conduct by opening their hotel for ten days to ensure a practical run of all the safety measures combined with a work assignment to produce small COVID videos for them, to show how they have prepared to welcome their guests once again – basically a safety measures video adopted by the hotel to be floated on social media and to be sent to their international clients. This led to me combining the trip with some safaris and an opportunity to see the most magnificent cat in the world in the wild again. I extended this trip by quite a few days in the greed to do as many safaris as I could before the parks shut down for the monsoons on 30th June.
My extending this trip meant that I cannot wait until I get back to begin my exercises for this part, so I decided to look for opportunities within the jungle to experiment with shutter speed. My apprehensiveness of this dreaded mode combined with my fear of losing precious data in case I failed was big on my mind but I decided to experiment in real field situations. For since a few weeks before, I have been practising this mode with birds on my terrace and have somewhat gained a bit of understanding of it in terms of what works and what doesn’t so I was a bit more prepared to experiment. The experiments that I have been conducting on my terrace are with crows and pigeons and my reasons for choosing these subjects can be found here.
The coursework further states that the success of the assignment in this part will be based on the practical experiments conducted in Projects One and Two and the quality of your research in Project Three. A successful experimentation can only be the result of in-depth research of one’s subjects, especially when that subject is birds. In order to be successful in the photography of birds, especially in flight, one has to know their behaviour and habits. My research, therefore, at the moment includes reading a lot of material on the behaviour of birds. Keeping these things in mind, I move ahead on this part of the journey, constantly experimenting with birds in flight, freezing them or creating a motion blur, finding new ways of creating beautiful images. It definitely involves a lot of failed experiments that I will record in my learning log at a later date, but the satisfaction of getting it perfect at times is way above the disappointment of the failed ones – the fact that every time I fail means that I learnt something new is an added encouragement.