My recent trip to Bharatpur last week was totally different from the rest of the trips I have made in years. That’s because the purpose was different this time.
Before I tell you about my purpose of the visit, I’d like to give you some background.
Five years ago, I decided to visit Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, officially known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park, for the first time. I had a lot of expectations from this trip as I had heard about Bharatpur being the best for bird photographers. I had even seen some very good photographs from this place on social media.
In all excitement, I made a booking for 15 days. Yes, fifteen days!
As I was ready to pack things up before two days of my departure, I called up Devendra who owns Iora Guesthouse where I was supposed to stay. To my shock, Devendra asked me if I had any plans to visit other nearby places too. I said no. I was curious to know why he asked me about it.
What followed made me go bonkers.
Devendra said he’s not sure what I’ll do for so many days. He said most photographers would stay between 3 and 5 days there. Max up to a week.
That got me worried. But, I said I’ll find something there as I usually prefer to stay in a place for longer than usual.
However, I had my doubts. I felt I should check about Bharatpur. Yes, till then I just believed it to be good if everyone tells about this sanctuary.
It wasn’t what I wanted to see…
Let me tell you that I was totally in despair when I saw photographs in the articles and Google Images. It looked like I had made a huge mistake by booking for so many days as well as for having huge expectations.
Then, I checked some YouTube videos. Tell you what…the videos were totally unimpressive. I wouldn’t have ever gone there if I saw these videos first.
But then, it was too late for me to do anything. Flight tickets, Hotel, & Train tickets were all booked.
I was at a point of no return. I had to go to Bharatpur as planned.
With a lot of reluctance and doubts about my choices, I entered Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary on the first day.
What I Saw There Was Nothing Like What I Imagined. Ever.
Bharatpur bird sanctuary was nothing like what I saw in those articles or Google Images or the YouTube videos. It was incredibly beautiful. It was nothing like what I had seen before or imagined. It was magical.
Not before long after my entry to the sanctuary that I decided, I have to change the perception that anyone gets when they search for Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. I wanted every nature/bird/wildlife photographer, nature lover, and tourist to visit this amazing place without fail.
And, I am happy to say that I have achieved this goal to an extent as my article A complete guide to Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary—Why, What, When, Where, How is in the first page in the Google Ranking system from several years.
Several photographers and tourists from India and other countries have sent me emails saying how helpful the article was and how it helped them to plan for the trip all by themselves.
And that made it all worthwhile.
I am yet to flood the internet with good images and videos. Hopefully, that will happen in the near future.
Fast Forward to Today
You might have noticed that I have stopped my photography workshops from the past year. There are several unavoidable circumstances and changes that have happened in my life that didn’t allow me to do so.
So, I was thinking about other ways of sharing my knowledge other than writing blog articles and eBooks. Then, I thought may be a video course would do.
While it’s extremely comfortable behind the camera, you know how it all turns out if we have to face the camera.
That’s what I thought for many months.
Everything Changed This Month With Just One Decision
After the inauguration of my Solo Photography Exhibition on Leh-Ladakh on Jan 4th, 2019, my wife and my princess went on their long-pending vacation to my hometown. I suddenly felt a sense of vacuum.
It got me thinking what project shall I work upon. Then, for some reason, I decided it’s time that I ventured into making video course. Because somehow I always felt that I wouldn’t be able to teach everything I’d like to teach, in the way I want, in any other format.
I Decided To Give It A Try
I decided to go ahead and do the video course. And I thought there’s no better place than Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary as I had conducted the maximum number of photography workshops there. I knew I’d be able to cover the field techniques in the best possible way as I know this place very well now.
That gave me much needed the confidence. I enrolled one of my earliest workshop student, Vivek Deepak, who did his Masters in Cinematography just a few years back.
Then, It Happened
The next thing I know is we were in Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary last week with everything packed and ready to shoot.
I decided to do it as candidly as possible. Instead of aiming for perfection in my speech and look, I aimed at concentrating on covering as many concepts as possible with as much accuracy as possible.
We Then Shot For 6 Days Relentlessly
Yes, for six full days, from Sunrise to Sunset, we shot. We shot like crazy. I was going on and on like crazy speaking to the camera and also shooting through my camera explaining the concepts as the cycle rickshaw people, onlookers, and other photographers looked on.
I was guarded relentlessly by Vivek, Gabru Ji (our cycle-rickshaw person and ever caring person) to keep everyone silent and not to disturb the video shoot.
I Was Lost In My Own World
For six days, I was lost in my own world of thoughts as I explained every concept, every field technique, & every nuance that I could remember. I’ve never been able to explain the concepts so deeply and with so much variety. I don’t know how I did it, but I did it.
And, here I am telling you the story about it today, back in Bangalore.
The outcome of this exercise is a Video Course on Bird Photography that aims to help you learn the field techniques like never before.
It might not be the same as a photography workshop that you can attend in person, but it’s much more than that. It’s like getting into my mind and understanding my thought process as I share it all in the field.
You’ll see me working in the field and would be able to get a first-hand account on how things work in the field.
Coming Soon….Bird Photography Video Course
The video course is in the editing phase now. I am keeping my fingers crossed. It’s not going to be perfect for sure. Hopefully, it’ll be very useful as intended.
It’ll take a few weeks before it’ll be released. Soon, I’ll share an intro video of the same. Stay tuned.
Here are the few photographs from Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary while I was making this video course.
I hope you like my idea of making the video course and my photographs. Let me know in your comments.