Bear - A Perspective

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Ganesh H Shankar
Bear - A Perspective
I kind of liked the composition even though I have not made it seeing through the view finder :) Love to know your thoughts.
Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:31 pm
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Ganesh H. Shankar
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Ganesh H Shankar  Joined CNP On 24 Apr 2008    Total Image posts 630    -   Total Image Comments 5698    -   Image Post to Comment Ratio 1:9    -   Image Comment Density 39     -     Total Forum Posts 832

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Commentby Praveen P Mohandas on Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:03 pm

next generation photography......how do we title this ? "walking into the lens"....

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Commentby Guest on Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:19 am

this is my dream!!!!!!!!!!!!just fantastic shot...sir..i like this very much .since i have been observing this kind of shot and techniques in national geographic channel..,. was thinking weather i m gonna be able to shoot like this somday or not ..full marks to this fantastic image ..and the composition is perfect .

Commentby Nilanjan Das on Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:37 am

Are you still keeping your camera exposed to the bears or found some fibre mould stuff to keep your camera inside and shoot ? :) One day we might get to see a D700 getting chewed. Now about the image, the last few days I had been thinking of these images. Yes it gives a very different perspective but these techniques can come handy to see such behaviour which we do not get to see otherwise. The importance of this technique in showing a lion or a tiger or bear walking on it's path and showing curiosity on a stuff unidentified to it would soon perhaps fade out, unless this strong technique shows some rare species or some rare moments. This is where your image is so different. Never seen such intense looks of a bear, curiosity exposed I would say :). Execution, presentation and composition is always flawless and perfect. The idea of making an image is more stronger than seeing through the view finder. Good to see these one's again. The night image too is just amazing.

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Commentby Nilanjan Das on Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:39 am

Praveen what about naming this Curiosity Personified :), or The Exposed Curiosity ?

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Commentby Ganesh H Shankar on Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:41 am

The importance of this technique in showing a lion or a tiger or bear walking on it's path and showing curiosity on a stuff unidentified to it would soon perhaps fade out

Perfect - you are spot on with that observation Nilanjan. Infact I was thinking other day whether a closed eyes connected to mind is as powerful as the open eyes. I think next step for me in this direction is to master the technique to the level of "open eyes" and portray the perspectives/behaviors (not just curiosity towards the new object) which otherwise are not available using regular techniques. It is tough and frustrating at times but I *think* can be mastered over time. It takes about one and half hours to two hours for me to set up a trap now. Every detail need to meticulously worked out - for example some set up error caused 12GB worth of empty sky images during my last trip and it took some time for me to understand mysterious triggering of camera without anything showing up in the frame. During last several months I have been experimenting with these techniques with different kind of trap/unmanned devices, I think it can be mastered over time - but not without first baby steps - these images indeed are those first baby steps. That said the above image is not representative of possibilities that these techniques offer. The perspectives like these below are possible using this technique which are not "subject looking at the new device" out there :)

http://naturelyrics.com/galleries/fauna ... ney_1.html
http://naturelyrics.com/galleries/fauna ... ood_1.html
http://naturelyrics.com/galleries/fauna ... rocks.html

Some of these perspectives are not possible otherwise. Then we have a question on natural history aspect of these images. My take on them being, purpose of nature photography goes beyond portraying natural history alone. Portraying the forms/shapes/colors of nature in a unique way that touches human senses is an integral part of nature photography. Not that there is no place for portraying natural history using such techniques, it indeed is there - if we can spend multiple weeks/months in the field.

At the end the question of open eyes and closed ones still remain open. May be time will answer though I am fairly confident about possibilities.

Anup Shah seem to have mastered this quite well. Some of his collections here in the below link. While there are images of "curious look" there
are other stunning perspectives there -

http://www.shahimages.com/index/gallery ... mages.html


Coming to animals chewing camera, I recently worked with someone and got a hard hollow stone designed which houses my camera :) so the safety of camera *may* be a non-issue (not sure of the lens though).

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Ganesh H. Shankar
Wishing you best light,

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Personal Websites Fine Art Nature Photography
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» Last edited by Ganesh H Shankar on Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:01 am; edited 13 times in total

Commentby Sriharsha Ganjam on Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:20 pm

I am just glad I know this maestro :)

Commentby Praveen P Mohandas on Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:00 am

one good aspect of this kind of photography i feel is that u have a lot more of intimacy to the subject.....u can really feel the subject.....imagine watching this image at a size of 4'x6' print on archival paper which gives more depth to image....it would be a great experience.....i saw a talk by national geographic editor chris jones about his fav image made last year was that of elephants photographed at samburu by nick nicholas using wide angle lenses....the point he made was that when we see the images we can go close and feel them....same type of comment was made on one of the image of snow leopard by steve winter......
coming to this image...once this image was posted every few hours i come back to see this image again and again...each time i see this , feel like touching the nose of the bear...probable a new emotion that is being triggered in our mind by perspectives like this....that is y i mentioned earlier that this is next generation photography...

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Commentby Sriharsha Ganjam on Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:07 am

Agree with Praveen on the next generation photography. If the last trip to Daroji was path breaking this one is revolutionary. And good choice choosing a location far from the usual rocky terrain we are so used to seeing from Daroji.

Commentby Ganesh H Shankar on Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:42 am

Honestly, I don't think this image deserves 9 from creativity perspective since it resembles some of those trap images. However I think usage of this technique today appears focussed more on getting perspectives like this or other perspectives which I think mostly
are accidental and un-planned. For example this image
retained in my files since I kind of liked what I *got* (an after thought). That said, un-manned photography can open up a new array of opportunities more so for unique wildlife photography at night. Only aspect which may come in our way of us weekend photographers is amount of time that we need for planning and execution of such plans in field. I did try some of those but ended up with nice black rectangle frames :roll:

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Ganesh H. Shankar
Wishing you best light,

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Personal Websites Fine Art Nature Photography
Facebook Pages Ganesh H. Shankar | Fine Art Nature Photography | Art Of Life



» Last edited by Ganesh H Shankar on Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:46 am; edited 2 times in total

Commentby Mahesh Devarajan on Sun Mar 21, 2010 11:38 am

I am trying to subtract the bear from the image and am trying to see if the image still has a creative element to it.
Looks like in unmanned photography there are some elements in control and a set of elements that are totally out
of control. Assuming we have a unique point of view for the elements that are in control will an unmanned image still fall
under creative genre ?

Hope i did not sound vague and abstract. BTW i have not tried any of this myself so i might be totally wrong. :(

Commentby Ganesh H Shankar on Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:28 pm

Mahesh, I think we need to see the image not how it is made to decide creative aspects. An image itself does not deserve to be creative if it happens to be unmanned, however by un-manned we often talk about perspectives which are not possible other wise (rarity/night/extreme close ups etc). Otherwise why take that extra huge trouble ? I did not get your views on "removing an element" (bear in this case) to see whether the image is still creative.

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Ganesh H. Shankar
Wishing you best light,

Image
Personal Websites Fine Art Nature Photography
Facebook Pages Ganesh H. Shankar | Fine Art Nature Photography | Art Of Life

Commentby Santosh Saligram on Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:06 pm

I think at best creativity is a very subjective term, given to a lot of analysis and scrutiny in art circles, but by a simple etymological definition of it, which is the creation, portrayal or presentation of something new, innovative, positive, constructive, unique, fresh or special, such perspectives of otherwise shy animals are definitely very creative regardless of whether the end result is exactly what was visualized by the creator. True, it's all the more special when the product is exactly as the photographer envisaged it and planned it to be, which as illustrated by your collage shared earlier on Facebook, you've emphatically managed to do with many of your images in Daroji, but some true gems are often born accidentally. However, one makes one's own luck and it cannot be termed truly accidental when an image like the one you've shown happens, simply because, through your preparation and setup, you've given room for it to happen and created it consciously so it's still very much deliberate and premeditated to a great extent.

Coming to this image and more generally the genre of wide-angle extreme close-up portraiture, what I like the most is the intimacy with the subject, and the opportunity to see it like one probably never will in one's lifetime (and nobody would want to see a bear from this perspective personally, for what would happen soon after would be deeply dreadful :-) ). So, what makes this image invaluable for me is apart from the extreme close perspective, which really resembles the view you would get if you were lying right beneath the bear's nose, and the habitat it includes thanks to the wide angle, it is the capture of a bear during the day that adds tremendous natural history value and opens up a new dimension of the animal's life and behaviour since sloth bears are otherwise known to be highly nocturnal, or at least strictly crepuscular. And although we know that Daroji is an exception to that, we also know that it is mainly because of the sweet attractions that lie for them in the crevices of the rocks, so the natural behaviour of the animal is altered. This image, on the other hand, is a portrayal of a bear doing something natural without being induced to do so.

As for its interaction with the camera, that's probably the only thing not natural, but we can't have everything, and if you have frames in which the bear's not showing curiosity towards the lens and is just hanging around without even looking at the camera, that would be the icing on the cake!



» Last edited by Santosh Saligram on Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:43 pm; edited 2 times in total

Commentby Mahesh Devarajan on Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:30 pm

I think Santosh's very well written comment sums up nicely what i wanted to convey. My comment on viewing the image without the bear is a confusing one. Sorry about that Ganesh. What i think i wanted to put forward was, have always felt in an unmanned image the creative and thoughtful aspect to making the image
is in the way the trap is setup ( Dont have experience to back this up though ). So even at the time when the image is made though the person is not behind the camera i would think the creative element is in the way the initial conditions were setup.

I remember seeing Steve winter's snow leopard images like this one
http://www.stevewinterphoto.com/index.p ... 0&at=0&p=0

and after reading comments in the BBC wildlife photography contest on his image saying they were unmanned and should not have won the prize i used to wonder even if given the same setup and tools, though it is unmanned how many would be able to replicate his initial planning and make images like him with the amazing punch they deliver.

Commentby Ganesh H Shankar on Mon Mar 22, 2010 6:38 pm

Santhosh, the place where I made this image just looks more natural than its regular rocky place where usual bear images are made. However this place too belongs to its usual everyday path down the rocky hillock - nothing great to talk about. That said the place do offer opportunities to make some really natural images if one can spend couple of months there. May be after retirement.. :)

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Ganesh H. Shankar
Wishing you best light,

Image
Personal Websites Fine Art Nature Photography
Facebook Pages Ganesh H. Shankar | Fine Art Nature Photography | Art Of Life

Commentby Shankar Kiragi on Mon Mar 22, 2010 8:01 pm

An excellent result of remote / camera trap photography. A curious innocent onlooker is what makes the image extraordinary.

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Cheers, Shankar Kiragi