Category: Macro World
During a trek to Kalladi from Muthappanpuzha, we passed through some un-spoilt forest region to the eastern side of Kozhikode district, adjoining Wayanad. It was raining for most part of the trek, making it a wet and wild trek! Though, we did not spot any wild life as such, it was quite an experience observing the small wonders of the forest. I was carrying only the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L wide angle zoom lens as I normally do on most treks and was using it as portrait, macro as well as landscape. This is usually the only practically usable lens thanks to the low weight, good build, faster aperture and a reasonable macro:
The group of bracket fungi were right on our trail. Lighting was very minimal because of the thick canopy and the cloudy climate. But, the little sunlight which came through the canopy formed beautiful patterns after getting reflected from the wet floor. The camera was set to manual mode, handheld for a f/4, ISO-80, 1/20s exposure.
The millipede was spotted sitting on a tree trunk and while I was trying to get a full length shot of it, our guide Josettan moved it to a convenient location so that I can comfortably shoot! Immediately, it curled ... but well ... it still was not a bad frame. The light was even less for this shot and I had to move to ISO-1600 with a f/3.2 aperture for a 1/15s exposure. The settings were too blur-prone at 32mm focal length and I had to try a few times to get a usable shot.
After getting down on the Wayanad side on second day, we soon reached a jeep track connecting to the estates at Thollayiram. I spotted this colorful snail as we were nearing civilization at Kalladi village. Light was not as scarce here and I could use ISO-200 this time. I also chose a more appropriate f/6.3 (the lens performs best around this aperture) and settled down for a 1/15s exposure.
The pics would have come up a lot better, had I carried a macro lens and a tripod, but that was always diffcult for a hard trek, especially with rain thrown in to the mix! I would still happily take whatever pictures I got and the wonderful time we spent in the forest.