In the last week, I have been to fortunate to see two amazing and talented photographers and listen to their life and journey’s so far. The first was an Evening with Chris Bray presented by the Australian Photographic Society. Chris is an adventurer/wildlife and travel photographer who has been and done some incredible things and achieved what some would consider impossible. Chris also runs photography tours around the world to some of the most sought after bucket list places.
Chris during his talk certainly can keeps you entertained with his stories, adventures and encounters. His sense of humour is totally infectious, a true story teller you almost feel like you were there too. Trust me it blows your mind to watch footage of a wild elephant be so curious at a go pro on a remote car then next minute that same elephants foot totally destroy that same car and go-pro (it sends chills through me). More bone chilling and maybe a little amusing is to watch beautiful large majestic tigers sniff around a camera, then take off a lens hood with their teeth just before snacking on the camera and lens (thankfully it was a canon so my heart didn’t sink too much 😉 and yet there is a part of me, a big part of me that wants to do that, be there, take that photo (ok maybe not have my camera snacked on … but you get the picture).
Until we either win lotto or sell up and just decide to travel the world, I have to make do with seeing and photographing the animals in zoo’s or parks and the wildlife encounters that some offer. Now I know that not all my readers like to see animals kept captive or encourage participation in encounters offered by many parks out there, I understand and respect that decision. I always try to only support places that dedicate some funds to be used for the good of animal care in general.
In Feb 2016 my brilliant wonderful daughter surprised me with a “meet the tiger cubs” experience at Dreamworld. Our group was taken into a special behind the scenes area where we got to meet the sisters, Akasha and Adira, 2 rowdy playful cute tiger cubs. Not only did I get to spend about ½ hour with them I got to take in my camera and get a few photos as well. Ok so it’s not quite the same as sitting out in the African jungle on safari waiting for the wildlife, camera in hand, I guess at least items experience was up close and somewhat personal. I came away with some great photos and lasting memories. I am truly blessed to have a daughter so thoughtful.
When it was over (all too quick for my liking) it was time to head back out in the park, stopping to watch the big cats at play. With a change to a big lens I positioned myself along the fence line with a pole to steady my hand to both watch and photograph the big cats. I tried hard to only take photos as though I was watching them in the wild, observing their natural behaviours rather than any forced or tricks. At the end of the day I am happy with what I could capture given the environment.
Until next week.