Not all of my favourite photographs that you will see here are of spectacular beasties in prizewinning light. That is not what photography is all about. To me, first and foremost, it has to be about the story. Every photograph you take is a moment it time, and I guess, that in itself could be part of the story. It could be the story that your photo portrays or it could be the story of how you took it.
Whilst on my second trip to India in 2007, the main National Park that I was going to visit was, Kaziranga. It is primarily known for the Greater one-horned rhino, and all the wonderful conservation work that goes into protecting it in the park. Kaziranga also has a fantastic biodiversity, especially its birdlife. During the course of my 5 days that I visited there, one bird became my nemesis. Not because we couldn’t find it at all, no that would have been fine, but because we simply couldn’t get near enough to get an image.
As you drive along the dusty roads in the dense forest (jungle, as the locals call it) little critters that forage along the roadside quickly disappear into the undergrowth never to be seen again. And the Khaleej Pheasant was just such a critter.
I won’t worry you with the number of sightings and missed opportunities we had, the fact that it became a bit of a joke (read: obsession) was what makes this photo of this male an absolute favourite of mine. So how did we get it in the end (there were a driver, Park guard and Naturalist in the jeep with me), we it got with a bit of luck of course? We came across a female Khaleej that was sand-bathing in the road, and the male was in close attendance. Thankfully the female was not threatened by the vehicle and carried on, allowing me to get close to the male and take a lovely sequence.
In short, this photo means more to me than the fact that we didn’t see, or photograph, a single tiger in the park. Getting the photo was the story.
CLICK HERE for the full Kaziranga trip report.