Home >> Podcasts >> Piyush Tiwari on Photographing Monuments and Wildlife
Show Notes

We’re back with another fantastic episode of Photosynthesis!

We got candid today with Piyush Tiwari, a monument and wildlife photographer. He has been doing photography for 35 years, covering wildlife sanctuaries, national parks and monuments across India.
How do you take pictures of a monument during golden hour? How do you decide the best angle and direction while photographing a monument? What measures are taken by the Government to upkeep the monuments? What is the difference in skills between photographing a monument and photographing wildlife? What are the best places to go? Which are the best times to go? What are some tips for aspiring photographers?
That’s what we talked about in today’s session.

Listen to the full Podcast on Spotify

Check out Piyush’s stunning work on Instagram – Piyush Tiwari

References mentioned in the podcast –
Swachh Paryatan App to keep Monuments Clean
Indievisual’s Stock

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Transcript

Vineet  

Hello and welcome back to Photosynthesis, Individuals Podcast, where we talk to some of India’s best photographers and videographers and go deep into the art and craft of photography in India. Today we have with us Piyush Tiwari. Piyush has been actually doing photography, you’ll have to ignore my cat. Piyush has been doing photography as a hobby for 35 years now and started out with a Zenith camera. I’m just going to jump straight into that story. How, when, how did you begin? 

Piyush Tiwari  

too. 

Piyush Tiwari  

Hi Vinit, in fact as I told you I joined my job after I was to be a student in 1986 but I could never afford a camera because those days having a camera used to be a luxury so while my posting in Agra what happens lots of Russian tourists used to visit Agra and going back they used to sell their gadgets so I could lay my hands on a Zenith camera sold by a Russian for 900 rupee and that was the first camera which I owned but 

Photography used to be very costly those days because of those rolls. We had to buy almost 99 Rupees that roll and then develop them and it had a limitation of only 36 shots. So any wrong shot used to cost you dearly. So I think in 91 or 92 UP tourism conducted its first Taj Mahal saw. I went in there and asked for some entries of the Taj Mahal. Because oil was always in love with monuments. So I decided to take a photograph of Taj sitting at Red Fort. 

So from Redford I took a photograph of Taj and submitted my entry and I got first prize in that, first Taj Maul Saab. That is what encouraged me also. Of course I had to spend almost 7-8 hours sitting in a place. Because I wanted Sun to be at a particular angle, then lots of geometry, physics and chemistry, everything. So that is the reason why I chose to study in a Taj Maul Saab. 

Vineet  

Bye. 

Vineet 

That’s fun but I never understood, like you know, figuring out exactly the angle of the sun. I know it’s very important. 

Piyush Tiwari  

See, in fact, at least for monuments, the warm light is always very important. If you see, what I say, golden light is around in the morning, 9 to 10 or 10.30 and evening around 4 to 5.30 because sun is at almost the horizon and it sends that golden light on the monuments. Otherwise, during the day hours between 12 o’clock, 11 o’clock, 3 o’clock, sun is very harsh and this is right on the top of the monument causing lots of shadows in the architecture. So golden light is the best time for any kind of photography actually. 

Vineet  

Sorry. 

Piyush Tiwari  

So in fact, I kept on taking photographs, but as I told you, we had limitation of clicking only 36 photographs in a reel because you couldn’t afford it to waste two full rolls in a day. So I used to take a photograph because you could never even see also in digital camera, you have luxury of seeing it immediately. So, but I myself thought, don’t know this photograph is not coming properly because that is looking too harsh. So still I clicked around 9 or 10 photographs and got it developed after 15-20 days, submitted my entry and won a prize. 

That boosted my hobby into photography. That is how. 

Vineet  

So in fact we jumped straight into the history without even actually covering or at least talking about the topic. Today we’re going to be talking about like Piyush has been basically going to Indian sanctuaries, wildlife sanctuaries, national parks for many years now and a lot of Indian monuments too as we just found out. That’s what we’re going to be talking about. What kind of precautions to take? What are the best places to go? Best times to go? Most memorable experiences and just some tips that Piyush might have for people who are 

either starting out or fairly young in their journey. Let’s pass it through it. So, the Taj, how many times have you been to the Taj? 

Piyush Tiwari  

Taj must have been more than 100-150 times honestly because Taj is a place which you can visit any number of times and every time you visit different time of the day you get a different angle, you get a different shot and that is the problem, photographs are very greedy by nature especially with the digital cameras this greed has become even more deeper 

because you are not wasting any role, you can delete it and there is no limitation on cost or the number of roles you can click. So I have got lots of data of almost 3-4 terabytes which I have collected in last 7-8 years which now I am in the process of downloading and processing In fact I don’t do much of processing but since we take lots of photos in raw format so we need to convert into JPG format I am going to take a lot of time so I am spending most of my time into that only 

So that’s how it is. 

Vineet 

That’s interesting. And by the way, if you do need a place to put all your the 7 or 8 terabytes of photos you have, you know an India centric stock footage site now. Yes. So, tell me one thing. You’ve been documenting in a way, archiving the Taj for many years and many other monuments. And we just mentioned stock footage but commercially, how have you ever thought about commercially, I know you’re doing this as a hobby. 

Piyush Tiwari 

Yeah. 

Piyush Tiwari  

Yeah. 

Vineet  

Right, but commercially have you thought of using these photographs, selling these photographs? Have you sold these photographs? 

Piyush Tiwari  

In fact, in between, yes, I started through images bazaar and my lots of my photographs were sold also, but they kept on asking me different photographs also. As I told you, I was taking photographs, I was not getting time to process them, download them and then upload. 

their website, then giving keywords and all that thing. So in fact, I wasted my seven, eight years. I won’t call it wasted. I was doing this since my professional career also at a senior position. So that at least it was giving me an opportunity to visit places and take photographs, which I will be using now. So I wasn’t into commercial activities, but in a very limited sense. And that came from my side only. 

I have got lots of raw material, lots of demand side, supply side there is no issue. And I am sure demand side also there will be no issue. So I have to start my supply side. I have to process myself. 

Vineet  

So, I am going to go back to golden hour. How do you actually calculate when it is going to be the perfect golden light? What do you use? 

Piyush Tiwari  

See, it depends. It depends what direction you are sitting into, what direction sun is, sun will always rise in east only But we may not be in a position to be always at the towards the east depending on the location of the monument depending on the place where I’m sitting So it has to be there in the morning hours or in the evening hours Now maybe you are sitting towards the north or the south where you are not getting direct light on any of the wall so you see if it 

you can walk around the monument and take photographs in that golden light. But otherwise you have to make the adjustments, what is the best viewing angle, because I find a totally different perspective in taking low angle photographs of the monuments. Because water pass that cuts the ground level crowd and brings it into lots of cloud and sky. And of course, clouds and sky, they always have a dramatic effect on your photograph. 

Vineet  

Yeah. 

Piyush Tiwari  

But problem is now when I am trying to do this kind of photography in Delhi, which is so polluted city that you never get a blue sky. You only get grey kind of flat sky. 

Vineet  

It’s all great. At least April to September is nice blue skies. October to March is all gray and dull and dead. 

Piyush Tiwari 

I would say once it rains, lots of pollution also settles down. Let me tell you because during this Covid period when there was a lockdown, because as a senior government official I used to travel also during lockdown also, we had curfew passes, I used to carry my camera. The kind of clouds I have seen in Delhi during those periods, I have seen in the last 10 years. Such kind of clarity of clouds and the monuments. That was a bleh. 

Vineet  

I agree. 

Vineet  

So now, but let’s say you are at a monument, so you decide what angle you want, so then you basically know the direction, you know where the sun will be. What else? 

Piyush Tiwari  

Yes. See, as I told you, at times a crowd may be a part of your photograph, at times a crowd may be written for you also. And especially in the present context, what depends, nowadays, since everybody has become a photographer by virtue of them having a phone, and most of the people, they don’t take monument photographs. The purpose is to take a selfie or make a reel in front of that monument. So as a photographer, you have to have lots of patience, wait till that crowd clears out. 

you have to spend lots of time because if you are making a crowd as a part of monument because see without a crowd monument would like a graveyard so crowd is the important part of monument see if you are telling a story 

When you are taking specific parts of the monument highlighting some specific architecture, specific designs of the monuments, then crowd is not needed. But otherwise crowd is a national part. So you need lots of patience again. Then you know at times you presume that okay if I get into that position I will make it a very good view. But that may not be allowed. At times what happens by seeing your photo equipments, even those who are maintaining the monument they allow you, sir you take the photo from here. But problem is the moment I go there 

There are thousand people carrying their mobile and they will follow me. So I don’t want to set a bad precedence that every person follows me and they also try to come. Because then that poor fellow will not be able to stop them. 

because Sinti has allowed me to go. So I never misuse my thought of having a camera because lots of people get impressed by length of your lens and length of your stand, etc. Lots of people get impressed. But never misuse your equipment to impress people. Secondly, follow all the rules and regulations. You never go to the places which are not allowed. Never click a photograph inside the monument if it is not allowed, because seeing you, others will also start doing that. So let us not violate the sanctity of that monument. 

Piyush Tiwari  

because that monument is monument because of its sanctity and its nature. So we have to respect. Then earlier I remember, now I would say it is on the declining trend. People, there used to be lots of incidents of people writing their names, expressing their relationships on the wall. But I am seeing now at least the new generation is not into that. Maybe they are more aware. And even people, those who are maintaining monuments, they are also teaching, see, you can never control the crowd with a cane. 

Now people have got understood that okay now we are competing internationally. Foreigners are coming to us and in fact what happens lots of Indians also visit abroad now. They see what kind of behavior tourists have during those monuments. So they have said okay let us not give a bad name to our own country. So these incidences have gone down. So that is also a thing. Oh nice camera. 

Vineet  

Yeah, yeah, he’s generally a little angsty right now. I don’t know why. 

Piyush Tiwari  

close my door otherwise my lab Mr. Barfi he would be sitting next to me 

Vineet  

and he started wondering where is that cat noise coming from. 

Piyush Tiwari 

Yeah. And then one more thing, in fact, in tourism industry, I have been representing to ministry also. See what happens a monument looks totally different in daylight and if you see it in the night artificial lights and in night hours and in the artificial light it offers a totally different perspective. Entire architecture becomes different. It looks different. So, but somehow in India our monuments are generally not open after. 

certain 5, 6, 30 hours. In fact, I have been suggesting government because that will also help in promoting tourism. Because what happens in India, there is extreme weather during summer. If you open monuments towards the evening hours or late in the evenings, lots of tourists who are not able to come out during the hot weather of May, June, July, during the day hours, they can visit those places in the evenings also. 

So that is also a part but see the monument clicking from a distance is not an issue even in the night light also But like if you want to take Kotho Minara from inside that is closed after 5.30-6.30 Lots of monuments are closed after a particular time 

Vineet  

So, Kukunar, at least the compound is fantastic lighting now, like inside the compound. But I went to Humayun’s tomb and I found two very funny things. One is even during the day, they take a subjective call if they want to let your camera in or not. Which I have never understood. They are gauging how big is this lens. Either you make a set rule that look, cameras are allowed, but no interchangeable lens cameras, let’s say. 

Piyush Tiwari  

Yes, yes. 

Piyush Tiwari  

Yeah. 

Piyush Tiwari  

Yes, yes, yes. 

Vineet  

Or you say that’s also allowed but no tripods are allowed. But this just seems a little subjective. 

Piyush Tiwari  

No, why to have even this kind of restriction I would say. See, if I am photographing, I am definitely going to, especially these days, each and every person carrying a mobile phone or camera is an ambassador for that monument. Because once he clicks a photograph, he is definitely going to put it on Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, somewhere. So ultimately, he is also promoting that tourism spot. 

So I really don’t reason why any authority should be objecting to it happens like lots of monuments They don’t allow you to carry a tripod. They say you need to have permission. I can understand there are such reasons because in the past No, not only commercial angle in fact the past there was an incident where somebody uses a tripod to hit a person so We keep on setting different kind of examples 

Vineet  

It makes sense, like you worried about commercial shoots, people coming and doing model shoots and all, that is perfectly fair. 

Vineet  

Wow. 

Vineet  

Yes. 

Piyush Tiwari  

We keep on with the population of 130-140 crore, we keep on setting 140 crore kind of examples. So how many restrictions would you have? But I see gradually now government is also opening up their stand. And let me tell you people have also become intelligent as I told you. Seeing that having international exposure that this is not correct to do. More so, they also know that somebody is the way they are shooting, somebody else will definitely be recording them also. If they are misbehaving or they are doing some mistake. 

Vineet  

Yeah, absolutely. 

Piyush Tiwari  

somebody is recording them and somewhere it is going to be put on the web so that helps for good also 

Vineet 

Now the second funny thing was that exactly as you were saying at night, I can enter the complex but okay 6 pm is when the changeover happens. 6 pm they will empty out the complex, everyone go and now you can come back till this rope and you can take photos from there. It is very well lit but you can only take photos till this rope, you can’t go beyond that. 

Piyush Tiwari  

Yes. 

Piyush Tiwari  

If you remember in between they used to open Taj on full moon nights That happens to, used to happen only on the full moon night but entry was restricted only to the entry gate You enter there, go on to that, I mean you were almost 400 feet away from the Taj Mahal Okay, you could see the building But naturally they also have got the security concerns Earlier security was not that kind CCTV cameras are not there But now government, let me tell you this present government 

Vineet  

Yeah, exactly. 

Piyush Tiwari  

under our Minister Modi Ji, because tourism is a spread subject. Because I went into tourism ministry for 8 years. And he is taking all these steps to promote tourism in country. And he is, India is opening up entire tourism ministry. They are working day and night to promote, how to promote tourism, how to make our even monuments tourist friendly. They have come up with various apps also, because you want to be a little bit cleaner, this used to be a big issue. 

Vineet  

Nice. 

Piyush Tiwari 

Now government has also got an app if you see some dirt line somewhere in the monument ASI protected monuments You click a photograph upload it on that And that app and somebody will definitely will visit by the shortest possible time to take care.  

Vineet  

Yeah, yeah, this is 140 crores of us. We have to, we have to take responsibility. 

Piyush Tiwari  

Entire ministry they have been working overnight day and time how to do opening different peaks. So government is literally doing now it’s us to respond back. 

Vineet  

Agreed, agreed. And plus a lot of the work the Aga Khan Foundation has done in Delhi, Kutub Minar, Humayun’s too, it’s fantastic work. Sundar Narsari. 

Piyush Tiwari  

See, now government has come out with a scheme you must be knowing, Adopt a heritage, adopt a monument. Now what happens is, see earlier, see government always definitely does not have so much of money and resources to be spent to be spending on the upkeep of the monument. Because they have got different priorities as well. So government has a scheme where different corporates, they are adopting a monument for 3-4 years. They are allowed to advertise in certain places about their company. 

but entire upkeep, maintenance and improving the interiors of that monument is given to those trust of corporates and it has really worked well you see Red Fort, you see even this as you said Humayun’s tomb which is under Aga Khan trust 

Vineet  

No, no, makes sense, makes sense. And so, other cities, which are your favourite monuments, like besides the Taj, everyone’s favourite. What are your favourite monuments to visit and which are the best, if this is even a relevant question, which are the best ones to photograph? 

Piyush Tiwari  

See, let me tell you any monument is a challenge to photograph. See, when you see Taj Mahal, you presume, okay, there can be nothing better than Taj Mahal. If you are like, in fact, I have uploaded also some photographs recently on this individual only. This Goto Minna was lit in our tricolor. It was so wonderful a monument. I have just uploaded 3-4 days back only, around 30-40 pics on your site only. From my account. If I visited Meenakshi temple. 

The best part is actually temple is visible from a distance also in the artificial light as well So seeing it in the during day time seeing it in the night seeing it in the evening during sunset Against the sunrise against the sunset see any monument offers you so many perspectives so many Options to choose from it is very difficult to say which monument is better from photographs See only thing is if it is a bigger place like if you visit Ajanta Yaloda, it is such a huge place 

and there is a monument as well. It has got different caves, it has got different kind of rooms, different temples. So you get to photograph almost 1000 photographs in a time of 3-4 hours. So every moment is a challenge. Every monument looks beautiful as a photographer, let me tell you. 

Vineet  

Agreed, agreed. No, on my list is the Kailash temples. Really, really want to go there. Very soon. 

Piyush Tiwari  

There are certain places which I have not yet visited but very soon I will be doing that also. 

Vineet  

Yeah. So what other precautions should, and again, I’m going to come back again to how do you tell like, because golden hour typically broadly, you can say, you know, just before it’s sunset or sunset, dusk time, right? But how do you specifically figure it? Because there are people using apps to properly figure the sunlight or fall, what time. 

Piyush Tiwari  

See that… If you are doing so much of processing of photographs and using apps for doing things, then you are not a photographer I would say. Then it’s better use of… 

Vineet  

I would say some of the best photographers globally, they go deep into it and come out with amazing photography. 

Piyush Tiwari  

They do that after leaving a certain level. You always say they are some of the top most photographers, then they got into this. So you see, definitely whatever can be done best within the camera, within the lens, that is the best photograph you can take. Otherwise what is your skill? So even let me tell you, most of the top most photographers even today, they do very little post processing. And because they know what they have in mind. 

Vineet  

Nah, fair enough. 

Piyush Tiwari  

and they don’t need to depend on an app. See, they are meant for those who are into Instagram. And let me tell you, there is a very famous photographer, Scott. I was visiting Dubai, in fact, in a meeting. And he said, he is a very good travel photographer. He said, these days, everybody has got a camera, but they are not going to see a monument or see a place. They are just going there to click an Instagrammable photograph. 

Vineet  

That is true. That is I would agree. 

Piyush Tiwari  

I have been telling everybody, even if you are carrying lots of lenses, cameras, put down your camera lenses after a while, have that particular thing or place or wildlife or monument with your naked eyes. Look at it with your own eyes. Because the kind of perspective you get with your naked eyes, seeing in the totality, you will never get in the camera. Camera always gives you a limited perspective. 

Vineet  

Yeah. 

Piyush Tiwari  

I have seen that you have asked me if I have seen the person I said no, I have never seen him So what happens when you are taking photos and missing the live from which you have gone to that particular place 

Vineet  

Also, any equipment like ND filters, I have seen people use ND filters to do a very long exposure. So, there is no people in the photo anymore. 

Piyush Tiwari  

As I told you see, again that is not your skill. 

Vineet  

I would disagree on that. That is of course, scale. You’re just using your tools very, very well. 

Piyush Tiwari  

See, there are always two views as I always tell you. I belong to a generation, I would say, where I would say I would believe in purity. If I’m into photography, let me use my skills. If I’m using, I would say, even, it’s not that I don’t like it otherwise, I would call it cheating. You take a simple photograph, then you process in a light room or a Photoshop, then you say, see, I have come up with this photograph. So what, I don’t see any fun in that. If you are… 

Vineet 

Yeah, meanwhile I was born digital so I spent… I love Lightroom. I enjoy editing in Lightroom. 

Piyush Tiwari  

See, a little bit of processing, nothing wrong in that. See, even when you’re using negatives, also some processing used to be there. Or definitely. But see, what about these is everybody’s, if you’re just trying to process, and see, you have to click the photograph at four o’clock, then you’re showing effect of sunset or sunrise. So you’re just cheating, I would say. 

Vineet  

Yeah, that’s fair. That’s a bit too extreme. You know, I see where you’re coming from. Yeah. 

Piyush Tiwari  

You can use the app to enhance the photograph to crop a little bit to have some kind of touches, but not to change it dramatically if you have clipped something and you are showing something that should not happen actually. 

Piyush Tiwari  

Yes, yes, yes. 

Vineet  

Now I am going to get into wildlife and specifically on the national parks that you visited in India, the reserves you visited and which one is your favourite. 

Piyush Tiwari  

Yeah. 

Piyush Tiwari  

I have visited most of if you say Jim Corbett, Ranthambore, Dhantha, Bandawar, Girr National Park, Keuladev. 

what not, not able to recall immediately but I think there are very few left which I have not visited. Only thing is in India see because after having visited Masai Mara Kenya, see in India, Indian National Park only issue is that in a particular National Park you don’t find all kind of animals the way you find it in India. I think many species you can see is in Kazirang I would say because of virtue of its size. You can see elephants also you can see. 

Vineet 

Yeah. 

Piyush Tiwari  

I know also at times you get to see tigers as well in them. Then you see lots of this gazelles etc. So mixed number of animals I think you can see is in Kaziranga. And the second thing is our wildlife sanctuaries are still not as equipped with respect to infrastructure. Even with respect to connectivity. See a beautiful like place like Kanha, Bandhavgarh, even Jim Corbett. Lots of road travel is involved and then even at after a particular places even road is not that good. 

and within the national parks you don’t have good safari vehicles there are certain vehicles which are good for those who are sitting and taking photographs if you take from a photographer point of view either you have to hire an entire gypsy and remove its seats and then use it or else you have to be within the gypsy and try your luck so infrastructure wise our national parks are still a bit lacking I would say 

in terms of vehicles, even stay also within the infrastructure and even guides and our drivers. See usually what happens, a driver is the best guide and if driver is the guide, he knows which place to go. Now because I witnessed, I am just comparing it from my Kenya experience, the driver who was driving, he knew, sir, I think this is, at this point of time, at this particular location, usually this pride of a lawyer comes and we went there and waited for one hour, two hours and it came. 

Vineet 

Nice. 

Piyush Tiwari 

and they are good at spotting. See if you see savanna grass is totally almost golden color and if a lion or a panther or cheetah gets into inside that we cannot simply see it. But those drivers who are working as guide as well they used to see from a distance of 500-600 meters so there is a panther inside those grass there’s a lion sitting there and we had to struggle where is that where is that and somehow our guys are not that adaptive. 

an expert in taking through wireless safari. But let me tell you, Kajiranga is a place to be there. Kanha, Bandhavgarh. 

kind of a place they are. Only thing is sighting is not that sure in these places because of limited number of animals. Kaziranga seeing rhino is not a task. It has got plenty of rhinos. You will definitely see rhinos. You will definitely see elephants. But when it comes to herbivores like tiger, lion or any such kind of a… It depends on the chance. If you visit three times, in fact I know some of my friends who have visited thrice, even Jim Corbett, which is supposed to be better. 

And three times he has not been able to see anything. 

Vineet 

I had a question to Jim Cobbett, I saw 3 chickens and a mongoose. 

Piyush Tiwari  

But did you see a tiger? 

Vineet 

Nothing else. Three chickens and mongoose. That was my total tally from Jim Corbett. 

Piyush Tiwari  

That’s what I see. But you have to have a definite sighting. You should visit GearForest. 

has got plenty of loins there because within the main sanctuary also you are bound to see some 4 or 5 loins otherwise they have created a separate I think 10-15 acres of a separate buffer wherein they have kept some 15-20 loins and once you’re moving in that safari you are bound to see that entire herd of 20-25 loins but it is totally different seeing in open looking for them the driver telling you sir this is the pug mark of the loin he is just passed through 

Piyush Tiwari  

one has just passed, this animal has just passed. So that kind of expertise is still not having in our wildlife. 

Vineet  

That’s true. So what would you recommend if someone is going? So typically it is those safari jeeps, right? That are run by the guides. You can’t take your own… I don’t even know if you would want to take your own car inside. Even if you were… 

Piyush Tiwari  

They do allow but it’s not advisable. You don’t know the rules, you don’t know which place to go, you are not expert in hearing an animal’s call because at times it’s not only a lion which makes you present, even birds and lambs and monkeys also like that lion is passing through this area. So you have to be an expert into that. So it’s always a good idea to be an expert. 

Vineet  

I find that lenses are hardly the most convenient, right? They’re heavy. 

Piyush Tiwari  

See that is the basic difference between I think monument and wildlife photography. Wildlife photography requires lots of carrying lots of gadgets. See if not a tripod you have to carry a bean bag or a tripod mount you have to carry. See at least generally what I carry is lens of 18-300 and then I carry 200-500 Nikon lens. 

and I carry two bodies because 500 covers almost entire range of animals. 

Vineet  

So it’s a 18 x 3 or an 80 x 3? 

Piyush Tiwari  

18300 because at times see what happens at times you need that Because at see at times you on one animal can you tell you the story if you’re taking off Where where is this thing it tells you about it? Where is the very habitat where is kill lying like we had an opportunity in Kenya where a cheetah where a leopard had taken its Kill on the on one tree and he himself was sitting and watching from the other tree So unless you had a wider lens you could not have captured both 

Vineet  

Yes, I would. 

Piyush Tiwari  

So it requires lots of carrying, lots of gadgets when you are into this wildlife photography and the other basic difference between wildlife, let me tell you the difference in my hobbies, wildlife and monument is, see monument is going to remain there any time of day you go, any season you go, any kind of weather you go. It is going to be there, only difference will be in lighting. But in the wildlife photography, you are not sure whether those subject will be there. 

If he is there, how far he will be there from you. Even if he is as far or closer to you, what activities he is doing, he may not be posing for you the way monument can pose for you. You will not be able to move around that animal the way you can move around monument. And then you are not certain. You have to see, you need to take at least 15-20 photographs to expect one or two good photographs. Because he is not sitting idle. He is not posing for you. He is continuously on the move. 

Vineet  

Yep. 

Piyush Tiwari  

do in monument photography settings are very minimal you know okay so I’m shooting at 430 you know what is the aperture what is the shutter speed what is the white balance but when you are shooting an animal you at times you generally I take aperture property when you are shooting an animal because you need to have a blur for the background but you never know at times you because maybe there are two three animals standing at a different distance 

So smallest aperture will not work. You need to change aperture. So you need to keep on changing your camera settings, even when your shutter speed is chasing, if it is walking, even white balance. Now maybe same when you’re sitting in the sunlight, then it goes below the tree. Again, you have to change your settings. Maybe higher ISO settings you have to change. So you are continuously working with your equipments when you’re doing wildlife photography. 

Vineet  

And do you ever change the lighting, like metering modes? Do you get into the metering modes, spot metering, multi-metering, or do you just leave that as standard? 

Piyush Tiwari  

It depends, if you are shooting very close up, you go for a spot metering But generally, see you don’t have so much of time when you are shooting in an animal as I told you Generally, it’s better to have a matrix metering which gives you satisfactory results throughout the camera Because you never know maybe when you are focusing, it is sitting at a particular point why the time it moves into, so you have to lock it also So as I told you, it has got a combination of so many things 

lots of permutation conditions work, so you have to continuously work on your camera settings when you are doing a wildlife photography. 

Vineet 

Yeah, and that’s the benefit of digital, right? Like, so for example, if I see something, I will immediately take like two, three photos in auto mode and then start messing around with my settings. Because at least now my backup is there. 

Piyush Tiwari  

Yes, yes, yes. Yes, something is there, something is there. At times what happens, all the photographs that you click are never sharp. Because you have decided settings or a particular position or location or time. By the time he started moving, something else came in front of him. Maybe his siblings came in front of you. So something will keep on happening. That is the reason you have to attend to if there are, if there are one animal, you really prefer to have a bust mode on the camera. 

because normally he will be moving. If there are two or three animals sitting together, you know that they will not be moving in one go. So you can have some kind of stability there. 

Vineet  

That’s true, that’s true. Anything else you would want to, as advice, give to younger, fresher photographers who are getting into wildlife photography in Indian National Parks? 

Piyush Tiwari  

See first and foremost thing follow the rules if it is beat monument, beat wildlife, see let me tell you in this Where I think I am this is experience of maybe Khajiranga itself Somebody who wanted it was insisting that no I am carrying lots of banana. Let me feed to those elephants The guide who was sitting on he is saying sir don’t do this but no I will do that I will do that I will do that then because there were four or five they prevailed on that fellow So let us not do that. Let us not 

Let us not deface monument. See, be a photographer. See, unless you follow rules. What happens after is, okay, I am out of my adventure, I simply break a rule and they confiscate my camera. Ultimately, who is the loser? I am the loser. In fact, this happens in Kenya once because you are late by almost 15 minutes in coming out. Because by 7 o’clock you have to be out of that camp. That driver had to do lots of explanation. 

That’s how the driver knew those rangers. Otherwise he says that they will be fining all the tourists $500 each for getting there by 15 minutes itself. So there’s no point in going on. 

Vineet  

And even the guys in the Indian National Parks are like, no, let me take you through this other route that’s my whatever because they want tips, they want good tips. 

Piyush Tiwari  

We encourage them, no, we will see you, we will do something You intimidate him by offering something or other So let us know, if you are a photographer, first and foremost thing is follow the rules And second thing is, as I believe in myself, see lots of photographers but never follow a photographer Never get to… you take some tips from him but never say he used to click like this You do your own experimentation If you really want to learn 

Vineet  

I’ve survived. 

Piyush Tiwari 

Never follow a particular trend. This is what I have done in my career. I avoid seeing photographs, especially when I am going on a particular assignment or tour or something. I never see any site or any video which pertains to some photographer or somebody else. So that I don’t carry anything in my mind. I go… See, his own choices and his own preferences. These are my preferences. May not suit everybody. 

Vineet  

Err, true. 

Vineet 

One monument and one national park, if somebody asked you. 

Piyush Tiwari  

In India? 

Let me tell you Fateh Pro Seekri. 

Vineet  

Oh, I love that place. I absolutely love that place. It’s haunted. Yeah, yeah. 

Piyush Tiwari  

It has got multiple monuments. Yes. And you’ve got lots of architecture. Indian architecture, Hindu architecture, mobile architecture. You have kind of a mix of that. And within that, limited periphery. And wildlife, if you say, I always read Kasi Ranga as the best for me. Bye. Sorry? 

Vineet 

Nice one. And what’s the best weather to go there? Best season to go there? 

Piyush Tiwari 

See, you cannot go during the Tumkur course, because during rainy season Kaisaranga is closed. Best thing is you go after October-November. 

Vineet  

It floods every area. 

Piyush Tiwari  

See for any wildlife let me tell you, never go in extreme summer, never go in extreme winter as well Otherwise what happens at least in India see if you see up to 8 or 9 it’s too foggy during the winter season Best thing is if you I think starting September maybe because then weather is also a bit cool and best time during the day is go early in the morning 

because that is the time when animals are most active. Animals, birds are most active during the early morning hours. So that is the best time. And preferably time I would say, go between September to November and then again from February, March. Based on my experience. 

Vineet  

Perfect, perfect. Thank you so much, Piyush. This has been great, very helpful both on the monument side, landscape side, wildlife side rather and just generally, well, I learnt something new today. 

Piyush Tiwari  

Pleasure talking to you Vinit. Hope I keep on getting learning lots and lots from your other videos. I have seen some of the videos what you have put on the Instagram also I have seen somewhere. So keep teaching. 

Vineet  

No that’s great, no that’s great. And yes, keep uploading. Now you’ve told me you have 8 terabytes of data, now I’m going to keep chasing you. 

Piyush Tiwari  

Yes, yes, yes. I’m in the pro… Here, only difference is because I have to be India’s first take in when it comes to loading into your website. Just one question because I think whatever photographs I have uploaded in last 2-3 months, none of them has gone live so far. 

Vineet  

Yeah, because our new site is going live soon. In fact, I don’t even mind discussing this on camera because like we’ve been working on it. We got a little delayed because of tech issues. But now the new site completely new with all items being migrated. We’ve got about now 20,000 odd clips and photos that are ready to just… 

Piyush Tiwari  

Okay. 

Piyush Tiwari  

Okay. 

Piyush Tiwari  

Thank you, thank you, thanks a lot. 

Vineet  

Thanks, Fusion. Thanks everyone for tuning in and see you next week. You can find us on YouTube, on Spotify and of course on short snippets on Instagram Reels. See you! 

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