Best of 2011 in photographs

Best of 2011 in photographs

The year 2011 has been one crazy ride. I ended up spending most of the time in the field – photographing and filming across India, Africa and southeast Asia. This also explains the lack of updates on my journal the last few months. Below is the collection of some of my favourite photographs from the field.

The year started with a long filming assignment starting in Rajasthan and then Kutch in Gujarat. After filming there, we moved to Tadoba Andheri Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra, where we spent 2 months filming tigers. Then again back to Gujarat to film lions in the famous Gir National Park. Spending long periods of time in each of these places was very rewarding in terms of the individuals we were able to follow over time. Watch out for the film ‘Secrets of Wild India’, which will air sometime in 2012.

After the filming assignment, I spent July in Borneo, August in Anamalais and September in Kenya. The year ended with a personal trip to Assam and Arunachal Pradesh in northeast India.

Below is a selection of some of my photographs from these journeys

Leopard cubs in landscape
Some of the small hills in Rajasthan are excellent habitats for leopards and they are quite easy to see in human dominated landscape
Langur
A langur gives out an alarm call having sighted a leopard sitting on a boulder below
Desert beetle
A beetle on the dunes in the Desert National Park in Rajasthan
Demoiselle Cranes
Demoiselle Cranes in Keechan
Demoiselle Cranes
Thousands of Demoiselle Cranes come to Keechan village during winter every year
Hedgehog
A Hedgehog rolled up in defence on a highway
Desert cat in Kutch
A Desert Cat kitten in Banni Grasslands, Gujarat
Desert fox in Kutch
Desert Fox from Little Rann of Kutch
Desert fox
Desert Fox pups playing while the mother is out hunting
Flamingos
Flamingos in Kutch
Tiger in Tadoba
A young male tiger from Tadoba Andheri Tiger Reserve
Tiger in Tadoba
One of the tigers who would sit inside the bushes all day long and only venture out when all the tourists had left
Tiger in Tadoba
Known as the Telia tiger, he was the dominant male in the area and had the best places of Tadoba as his territory
Tiger in Tadoba
My most memorable moment in Tadoba was when this tigeress walked towards us, while we were on foot, setting up camera traps
Cicadas
Cicadas are sap suckers and excrete a spray of water. During summers this is a common sight in central India
Gir Lions
A young male Lion in Gir
lion cubs
Lion cubs sit with one of the mothers as the other one goes out hunting
Lion cub
A lion cub sleeps in the shade of a tree

Lions in the shade of a large ficus
Jackal
A Jackal tries to catch winged termites that emerged after a downpour
Lioness
Lioness
Lightpainting
A Koompassia tree in Borneo
Slow Loris
Slow Loris, one of the small, nocturnal primates from southeast Asia

A Spider, with excellent camouflage
Orangutan
A male Orangutan in Danum Valley, Borneo
Tarsier
Tarsier – a small, primitive, nocturnal primate, Borneo
Long-tailed macaque
The Long-tailed Macaques enjoying a grooming session
Impatiens
Impatiens growing on wet rocks along a stream in the Western Ghats

Extreme close-up of veins of a dried leaf

Imago emerging
Stream
A stream in the Western Ghats during the monsoon
Indrella ampulla
A close-up of Indrella ampulla — a snail endemic to the Western Ghats
White Pelican
A White Pelican joining a group of foraging Pelicans at Lake Nakuru, Kenya

A Masai Giraffe rests under a Balanites tree in Masai Mara, Kenya
Cheetah with cubs
One of the highlights of my trip to Masai Mara was the time I spent watching this playful family of Cheetah with her three cubs

Two of these cubs were later predated by Eagles
Cheetah hunt
Cheetah hunts an Impala in Masai Mara, Kenya. This is probably the best picture I made this year

A tower of Masai Giraffes. Two of them are necking — a ritual to establish dominance
Ground hornbill
A female Southern Ground Hornbill forages in the grasslands of Masai Mara
Rains in Masai mara
Rains on the grassy plains of Masai Mara
Stream Sapphire damselfly
A Stream Sapphire damselfly in Pakke Tiger Reserve
Stream Sapphire damselfly
Two male Stream Sapphires try to impress the female sitting on the twig
Manas
The Himalayan foothills in Manas
Eaglenest
Forest floor in Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary

294 Comments

  1. Ravi Nandhan · January 5, 2012 Reply

    Mind calms down when people watch these….delighted. Thanks Kalyan for such magnificent frames.

  2. Apoorva · January 5, 2012 Reply

    Not just some of the best images you’ve taken but some of THEE most awe-inspiring images I have ever seen. A glimpse of the many faces that Nature goes puts on and the many names she goes by. Stellar.

  3. subbu · January 5, 2012 Reply

    severely brilliant !

  4. Soni · January 5, 2012 Reply

    All the shots were just Brilliant!!! the one in Borneo of the tree against the night sky, the Giraffe under the Acacia and The cheetah chase during sunset stood out. Ever considered trying to photograph for a novel by Wilbur Smith!:)

  5. Harinder · January 5, 2012 Reply

    A Magnificent Album. Real pleasure seeing these pictures

  6. Smevin Paul · January 5, 2012 Reply

    Amazing photographs as usual. wish you a wonderful new year ahead. Happy clicking. 🙂

  7. Niranjan · January 5, 2012 Reply

    Lovely Shots Sir. Seriously, as someone posted it up, being an Amateur photographer myself, to see all this photos and get Awestruck, I am blessed.

  8. Vinoo · January 5, 2012 Reply

    Lovely shots and amazing photos..You are really an amazing photographer…Hats off

  9. krishnan subramanian · January 5, 2012 Reply

    wonderful pics Kalyan…time spent in the jungles are really worthwhile and soothing.
    they take you into a ddifferent world…a world which city dwellers rarely can see.
    best wishes for 2012

  10. Debmalya · January 6, 2012 Reply

    Amazing captures!!! Nature unfolds only before its most passionate Lovers… Will be looking forward for some more exciting moments!!!!!

  11. N.Manjunath · January 6, 2012 Reply

    It is very very nice photographs i liked it very much
    thanks again for sharing

  12. Vinay Pothnis · January 7, 2012 Reply

    Thanks for sharing these Kalyan!
    A year truly well spent! Congratulations and wish you the very best!

  13. Govind · January 7, 2012 Reply

    For a learner like me , this is mesmerizing and inspiring . Feel blessed to have seen these great pictures . Truly great Sir

  14. Diinesh Kumble · January 7, 2012 Reply

    Hi Kalyan,
    Great work! Thoroughly enjoyed them, especially the Pelicans and the image of the cheetah hunting. Award wining pictures these. Have a super 2012. All the very best,
    Diinesh

  15. Otis · January 7, 2012 Reply

    Awe inspiring! How intricate and dazzling is nature! And what genius to be able to click the lens at exactly that moment!
    I loved the Cheeta Mum and her playful threesome.

  16. Best blog posts from the Indian Bloggers community on current issues. · January 7, 2012 Reply

    […] : Kalyan Varma What : Best of 2011 in photographs Spicy : Kalyan Varma has brilliantly accounted his year in pictures, remembering his trips to […]

  17. Vengatesh · January 7, 2012 Reply

    Each Photographs are very Exploring the Beauty of Nature ! …nice la !

  18. Ashwin · January 8, 2012 Reply

    Truly Amazing pictures!! Great Work!

  19. Gyanendra · January 8, 2012 Reply

    rare collection…nice to see once

  20. srikumar · January 8, 2012 Reply

    waiting for you to visit Corbett/Kalagarh/Sonanadi

  21. Raji · January 8, 2012 Reply

    Wow! Wonderful pics! Nicely taken!

  22. Mandar · January 9, 2012 Reply

    You are amazing buddy,,, please post details about your cam and exposure details..

  23. N.A.Varun · January 9, 2012 Reply

    Your photos are just stunning , especially i would say that your photo of the hanging orangutan could virtually take the viewer to the location, and the silhouette of the cheetah chase is the best action stilhoute I have ever seen before. Good luck for you for your further efforts. I am from kerela. My house is in Mannarkkad, near Silent Valley NP. In case of any needed assistance for your trips to nationalparks of kerala,you can contact me at 9524778620.I am also a young wildlife photographer and would like to get your views about my recent blog, wildindianexplorer.blogspot.com

  24. Chandramohan · January 11, 2012 Reply

    As always, stunning photos. Hope 2011 was a very interesting year for you.

  25. Mercedes M. Martini · January 12, 2012 Reply

    FELICITACIONES POR TU TRABAJO!!! UN GRAN DELEITE PARA LOS OJOS Y EL CORAZÒN… MERCEDES

  26. Manini · January 12, 2012 Reply

    These are simply stunning, each one better then the other!

  27. vinayak mane · January 12, 2012 Reply

    I remember the cicadas of Kolsa range.learnt something new about them from your pics.Thanks for the visual treat

  28. Preethi Sundram · January 14, 2012 Reply

    WOW!!!…Speechless….

  29. Siva · January 17, 2012 Reply

    Kalyan.. yet again amazing pictures buddy. My Favs’s –
    1 – Cheetah hunts an Impala in Masai Mara, Kenya
    2 – The Himalayan foothills
    3 – Family of Cheetah with her three cubs

    Way to go! All the very Best!!

  30. Arvind · January 17, 2012 Reply

    Great snaps Kalyan. It was a treat to watch ..and thanks to my friend Madan Rai for sharing as well 🙂

  31. Varghese M · January 17, 2012 Reply

    Amazing! Tnx for sharing:)

  32. Karthik · January 18, 2012 Reply

    Fantastic! The expressions you have captured are beyond words.
    You should have a followup thread on how much you have struggled to get these photos 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!
    PS: One of the agenda’s for this year is to go on one of your photo tours. Hopefully it will materialize

  33. Govind M Nair · January 24, 2012 Reply

    Amazing work Kalyan!. You really have an eye for wildlife photography and your work is truly a feast for the eyes and mind…Keep up the excellent work.

  34. Visvanadan R. · January 27, 2012 Reply

    Just turned in the page Yahoo “Maasai Mara – The Greatest Wildlife Spectacle on Earth” and found out your personal website. The opening page with Lion with black background is really awesome. Went thro all your photographs for hours. A trip to Western Ghats made online in hours free of cost. This year’s photographs were really stunning in quality. Grt to hear an Indian did all these works…When I can see ur webpage with “Yellow-throated Marten and Manjampatti White Bison.” Also expect some action shots with Shutter priority mode in Wild India and Wild Africa. Also pls include an article describing the differences that you have come across from experience reg. wild India and wild Africa.

  35. Rosita · January 27, 2012 Reply

    Jawdropping photography – thanks for posting

  36. sourav · January 29, 2012 Reply

    just an esctacy to watch and learn from, i hv always wanted to b a wildlfe photographer like u buddy but cant get the right way, wil u make me ur apprentice!!!!!!

  37. Resmi · February 3, 2012 Reply

    You are amazing Kalyan…. Nice pic… showing your hardwork…. Speechless…..

  38. Abhilasha · February 4, 2012 Reply

    severely brilliant,Amazing work Kalyan!

  39. Kartik Bhat · February 8, 2012 Reply

    Woow !!! I am speechless!!

  40. Rukesh C · February 8, 2012 Reply

    Absolutely elegant. It is truly a visual delight..

  41. Deblina Kundu · February 8, 2012 Reply

    Hey Kalyan,

    Was going through all the photographs and realized it must be a breathtaking experience to witness nature and nature’s creation so closely !! Extreme close – up of veins of a dried leaf .. must say the beautifully complicated pic among all. Keep sharing and inspiring .. wishing u another thrilling year 2012 🙂

  42. Ashwin · February 16, 2012 Reply

    What a splendid year you have had :). Let 2012 be more interesting! good luck

  43. Ketki · February 17, 2012 Reply

    Nature has it all.. Every color, every shade, every thing that we are and cannot be. In every pic there is this sense of freedom.. Freedom that is visible because there are no inhibitions that man has developed with time. Kalyan when you are so close to the nature, is it the time when one can understand the basic purpose of being ? just curious.
    I have always loved the landscapes and jungles and have seen a lot of pics but there is something different about these pics. Took 3 days to figure out..
    Every pic shows a connection. Everything does exists in duality and these pics look complete because they show the comfort of fair give and take.

  44. Riya · February 20, 2012 Reply

    awesome pictures….good work, thanks kalyan.

  45. sayaji Dhumal · February 21, 2012 Reply

    it is very very nice photographs i liked it very much
    thanks again for sharing

  46. Shikha · February 25, 2012 Reply

    WOW!!! is all i m left to say!!!

  47. Yagnesh Parekh · February 27, 2012 Reply

    They all are mesmorising…. You have visited almost all the dream destination…. You should have initiate a thread on how much you have struggled to get these photos , which kind of camera accessories used etc….

  48. Partha · March 3, 2012 Reply

    Cheetah hunts an Impala in Masai Mara, Kenya.

    I was frozen for a few seconds after seeing this picture. Your comment on it was less exciting as it was redundant in my point of view 🙂 I’m not a big fan of digital manipulated pics ( water ) though.

  49. zara karthi · March 7, 2012 Reply

    I Like most Cheetah hunts an Impala.

  50. Shishir · March 7, 2012 Reply

    Highly inspiring photography, especially the one where the cheetah is hunting at Dusk.
    Lot to learn from watching your photos.

    Thanks

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