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Old 30th of June 2009 (Tue)   #1
yabbie
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Default Planning a long trip to India - advice on gear and places to go

Iím thinking about going to India and maybe Bangladesh for four months starting in December this year. Iíll be going with my hubby, taking 2 bodies Ė 400D and 5DII. My usual travel kit consists of 3 lenses between the two of us Ė 16-35L, 24-70L and 135L (see my sig for the whole collection), and am planning to add my new little travel tripod to the kit. And no flash, I never use it much at home anyway. Anyone care to add other suggestions? Iíll be backpacking, trying to go Ďlightí so donít want to take the whole kit. Weíll be on a budget too, so no leaving gear in dodgy hostel rooms, itíll be on me most of the time, donít want it to be too heavy.

See here for example of pics I took in Nepal Ė to get an idea of what Iím into (ignore the trekking bit): http://www.lyrebird-gallery.smugmug.com/Nepal

I have Hyperdrives and CF cards to take care of memory and back up, tested and works well. Does anyone have suggestions of filters I should take (grad ND...hard, soft, reverse, #stops), as Iím planning to take plenty of time in the cool places to focus on taking some good landscape/other pics Ė or practice to get better....

Also, what places are great for photogs Ė landscapes, people/culture, temples, national parks etc? Travel guides are written for everyone, so it would be great to get some advice from a photographerís point of view of interesting - less obvious places to go.
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5DII, 35L, 50L, 85L, 135L, MP-E 65, 100 macro, Brolga the birding lens, macro twin flash, tripods, filters and a big box
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Old 1st of July 2009 (Wed)   #2
ajayclicks
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Default Re: Planning a long trip to India - advice on gear and places to go

Depending on what you wish to photograph, a flash might come in handy. There some ancient temples with nice stone statues with detailed carving placed in the interiors. The interiors are extremely dark though, and unless you used flash (permitted in many places), you wont get a good pic.

Regarding what to photograph- it depends on you- India will offer everything- right from beaches to ancient temples to wildlife sanctuaries, everything. Incase you are planning to visit the southern parts of India, Karnataka (a state, whose capital city is Bangalore) has relatively unspoilt beaches just south of Goa, and also ancient temples (Hampi, Badami) as well as bird and wildlife sanctuaries (Bandipur, Ranganathittu). if your planning wildlife, you will need more focal length though and will have to carry your 300 f4 and tc with you.

This might be a good resource: http://www.indiamike.com/india/ to help you decide on where to go, what to see, where to stay etc

Cheers
Ajay
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Old 1st of July 2009 (Wed)   #3
yabbie
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Default Re: Planning a long trip to India - advice on gear and places to go

Thanks for the tips Ajay.
I know my post was a bit vague on details, but I'm at the planning stage, ie completely blank slate, no plane ticket booked etc because I'm deciding where's good to go. Probably looking at landing in Deli, but there's a good PT system all over the country to get around internally.

I won't bother about photographing wildlife, but definately want to see it. I'm much happier birding through binoculars, than bothering with a camera and specific wildlife lens for now, specially on a long backpacking trip. But bring on the tips on good parks to see wildlife!

I'll just focus the photography on landscapes, architecture and people, to limit my kit to a max of 3 lenses for 2 people. Also to limit my weight, I'll only take pictures of things not needing a flash, as there'll be more than enough to choose from anyways. A camera body and two lenses is my absolute limit for a day pack (plus water, rain coat), walking around all day with anything more is miserable. My feet get too sore, back and shoulders ache. Especially for four months.
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Old 1st of July 2009 (Wed)   #4
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Default Re: Planning a long trip to India - advice on gear and places to go

Just take the 1 body (400D). If you loose the 5d2 you will be devastated. When i was there a few years back i had no problems at all caring around a slr etc.. But i just wouldn't risk taking such an expensive body and or lens. Perhaps take the 400d and a digicam? But up to you.. Just my suggestion..

I recommend you go to Rajasthan which is top leftish of inda.. beautiful temples and forts, and a lots of great culture. Theres also a great national park there (ranthambore national park - http://www.ranthamborenationalpark.com/index.html). If you do decide to up north be sure to check it out.
I saw three wild tigers as well as a black bear and other great wild animals.. It was just incredible experience!!

So maybe something like Rajasthan and its surrounding cities like Jaipur, Jodhpur etc, then perhaps to towards the right to agra..

Im sure there are plenty of great websites that lists must see places..

Oh also bring a tripod if you can for those night time shots..
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Last edited by siddr20 : 1st of July 2009 (Wed) at 04:38.
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Old 1st of July 2009 (Wed)   #5
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Default Re: Planning a long trip to India - advice on gear and places to go

It'll all be insured, so if someone gets lucky, someone else will pay to replace it for me. I just couldn't leave the 5D at home, I haven't picked up the 400D since getting it. Lucky hubby....gets it all to himself now.
Rajastan looks really interesting, good to hear that you saw some great wildlife, gives me some hope I will too!
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Last edited by yabbie : 1st of July 2009 (Wed) at 04:50.
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Old 1st of July 2009 (Wed)   #6
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Default Re: Planning a long trip to India - advice on gear and places to go

Delhi - Ranthambor, 5 hours...AC class train cost next to ziltch! Book game drives in advance to try and get on a jeep. Lots of various priced Lodges and hotels there in the town (Sawai Madhopur) I know you are not bothered about photographing them but I took my lowly 100-400 for the tigers and it came in handy for birds and the MILLIONS of kites in Delhi.

read more on my tigers here: http://www.phototravelreview.com/ind...ark-rajasthan/ But we were REALLY lucky to see 6 different tigers in 2 days.

For the streets of Delhi and others I used mostly 24-105...plenty of people, bikes, elephants and such. A 2.8 lens my be better but I loved the range of the L.

...and goto Agra, its horrible but has the most famous Indian/world landmark. (get there early in a morning!)

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Old 1st of July 2009 (Wed)   #7
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Default Re: Planning a long trip to India - advice on gear and places to go

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Originally Posted by yabbie View Post
but there's a good PT system all over the country to get around internally.
Lots of trains and busses. whatever you do try to book your train seats on arrival in the airport at Delhi....far easier than working out how to do it in a station. If you cant get AC class or first class then find another way....even in AC class we had a resident mouse.

Delux bus is fine....dont take anything less, not only hot and smelly but far too dangerous. Delux seems to mean "gets there in one piece".

A car and driver can also be hired for reasonable prices (this was our only option from Agra to Delhi due to public bank hols (check for these, everything but enterprising tucktuck and car drivers stops)).

Good luck but remember at no point in any village or city did we feel unsafe, people are happy to have their picture taken if you are polite. Children will let you take their picture too as long as you show them it on the screen, I had crowds of them in the main Delhi Mosque.
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Old 1st of July 2009 (Wed)   #8
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Default Re: Planning a long trip to India - advice on gear and places to go

The Punjab is beautiful, Amritsar is well worth a visit from a photographic as well as spiritual POV

LINK

Old and New Delhi also have their charms

LINK
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Old 1st of July 2009 (Wed)   #9
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Default Re: Planning a long trip to India - advice on gear and places to go

Ajay

I spend a lot of time in Bangalore and will be there in July, might be good to catch up
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Old 1st of July 2009 (Wed)   #10
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Default Re: Planning a long trip to India - advice on gear and places to go

5DII, 35L, and a 580EX.

Thats what I would take if I were you.
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Old 1st of July 2009 (Wed)   #11
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Default Re: Planning a long trip to India - advice on gear and places to go

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Originally Posted by neil_r View Post
Ajay

I spend a lot of time in Bangalore and will be there in July, might be good to catch up
Lets do that
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Old 1st of July 2009 (Wed)   #12
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Default Re: Planning a long trip to India - advice on gear and places to go

Agree that Rajasthan is great. I especially enjoyed Jaisalmer, relatively near the Pakistani border. Amber fort in Jaipur is great as well.

Also, if you have any connections to India thru family or friends, see if you can visit and spend a bit of time with them while there. You'll have a completely different experience as a tourist as opposed to spending a few days with a family.
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Old 1st of July 2009 (Wed)   #13
yabbie
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Default Re: Planning a long trip to India - advice on gear and places to go

What sounds good so far - Rajastan, Punjab, old and new Deli, Agra, Karnataka

Quote:
Originally Posted by darrellcraig View Post
Also, if you have any connections to India thru family or friends, see if you can visit and spend a bit of time with them while there. You'll have a completely different experience as a tourist as opposed to spending a few days with a family.
I know, I was just thinking that too, which reminds me...to go bug my Indian friends.
Thanks for the tips guys, I think I vaugely remember that Punjab has groovy music, and people like to go out dancing? - according to my Indian salsa friends in Canada a few years back.

Good to hear about the tigers - I've been to so many countries where there used to be tigers - but they've since been made into coats, mats or dinner, and seeing one in a zoo just doesn't count!

How early for Agra? Say sunrise/set kind of time?
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Last edited by yabbie : 2nd of July 2009 (Thu) at 00:34.
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Old 2nd of July 2009 (Thu)   #14
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Default Re: Planning a long trip to India - advice on gear and places to go

Alice, Since you mention that you might land in Delhi, places like Rajasthan, Punjab, Agra are quite near.

Rajasthan has the world famous "Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary", as well as national parks like Ranthambore (for Tigers). IIRC, Agra and Bharatpur actually border each other, so you could go to Agra, spend a day or two (Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri) and then proceed towards Bharatpur and then rest of Rajasthan. Bharatpur has a big railway station with good connectivity to important cities like Delhi and Mumbai.

PT is pretty good and safe. Ofcourse the standard rules of commonsense apply- like not accepting food or drink from strangers, not letting the cam bag out of ur sight etc.... I would bring the 5dMK2 if I were you. The high ISO capabilities, ability to capture details, will help, esp in places like Rajasthan.

Cheers
Ajay
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Old 2nd of July 2009 (Thu)   #15
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Default Re: Planning a long trip to India - advice on gear and places to go

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Originally Posted by ajayclicks View Post
PT is pretty good and safe. Ofcourse the standard rules of commonsense apply- like not accepting food or drink from strangers, not letting the cam bag out of ur sight etc.... I would bring the 5dMK2 if I were you. The high ISO capabilities, ability to capture details, will help, esp in places like Rajasthan.

Cheers
Ajay
No food and drink from strangers - do people try and drug you to steal your stuff? If so, good to know! It'll be interesting to see what the scams are like, each country has specialties.

Thanks for the website tip, it's a great place to research.
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