Creative visions from foot hills of Western Ghats

I spent a week photographying at remote village in foot hills of Western Ghats last week. It was very hectic - was busy photographying both day and night. Here are a few glimpses from the trip. Hope to share more images in this page after couple of weeks.

Draco Dussumieri

Long since it has been my dream to freeze a wild draco (Draco Dussumieri) in mid air. Though I have made a few images of them during last few years I could never get them in flight (some of my earlier images are here at my site). All my attempts at freezing it on flight were in vain. There are several challenges. First of all it is very difficult to find one in wild. Secondly, even when you notice it on a well camouflaged tree bark it is very difficult to keep track. We need to spend days tracking it to make images in flight. It remains hunting ants on an average for about 45 minutes in a tree before it jumps to one of the several nearby trees in the wild. The transit time in flight is typically 1/2 second (depends on the how far next tree is). Its ability to maneuver in mid air is amazing (it can make easy turns) and all calculation of dof/focus easily goes for a toss. During three days I had about 3 chances to photograph it in flight after hours of tracking and contantly holding the finger on the shutter release.

I could not see them during last couple of my visits to this place but luckily Kiran Sham who was also with me photographing noticed this. Next three days we spent most of the time spraining our neck by constantly staring up and keeping track of it for hours. For every ~2700 seconds (45 minutes) of looking up all we had was on an average 1/2 second of it in flight. But we really enjoyed the challenge. Seeing it in flight is a pleasure by itself.

Quick search in Google for another image of Draco Dussumieri in flight did not show me an image. I have seen an image of a draco (Draco volans) in flight made by Frans Lanting but it was a *captive* Draco (Draco volans) . His image is here. This one is close to full frame. I could have cropped to show it bigger but some how I liked the composition as presented - giving me a feel of it flying to infinity, the vast space down there creates an aura of mystery in my mind. There is a novel in Kannada named Karvalo written by Poorna Chandra Tejaswi. It is a story of a scientist searching a flying lizard in our jungle of Western Ghats. At the end he indeed finds out one just before it flew down a vast valley in Western Ghats. This image relates to that story in my mind.

Dance of a moth

Bat and a Moth

Path of a Moth

Moth Ballet

Garden Lizard

ID ? Wings mimick a leaf

Laces of Pearls

Draco Graphic

Mushroom - Seeking sun

Hard work - tunnel spider with its prey

Friends - Rain Drop and a Frog

Draco Dussumieri in Flight (Cloned out a few twigs in between two trees)


Will add a more after two weeks (away till then, yet to process images)..

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