Daytime Safari: Tale of the Annoying Photographers

So after the night safari, which frankly wasn’t so bad, we started off early the next morning for the daytime safari.  I was particularly excited about this one because trips like these are organized by the forest officials themselves.  Which means that they take tourists deep into the jungle.  So we got there with our driver around 7 am, paid around 40 rupees per head (plus 100 for the camera, I think) and waited for the mini buses.

Not long after, a group of twelve or so professional photographers arrived in the scene.  They were all geared up:  latest camera with straps that shout the brand name, impressive-looking lenses, hats, vests with lots of pockets, and IDs around their necks that tell everyone that they’re members of some professional photographers’ association.  99% of them sported Nikon, while 1 % had a Canon with him.  I looked at them in awe (by them, I meant the equipment).

Anyway, so a mini bus – painted all over in green and brown stripes to match the surroundings – pulled up next to us and we all climbed in one by one.  Our designated seats were printed on the tickets, so it was hassle-free and we seated ourselves comfortably.  I changed lenses while the driver waited for everyone to get settled.  I also noticed that the group of photographers were walking towards another bus.  “I wonder how it’s like traveling with them,” I thought out loud.

My late grandmother used to always remind us to be careful what we wished for.  She was actually right, for within a few minutes, I found the photographers climbing into the same bus as ours!  And although their designated seats were the ones at the back, they started walking all over the bus once we started moving and sat next to children, pushing the poor kids away from the windows.  The parents got upset, naturally, for everyone wanted window seats.

And the most annoying part came when we would spot an animal and they would all scream, in unison “Stop! Stoppppp!” Of course, one needs not to scream at the driver mainly because he knows the place better than us and is an expert at spotting animals.  So when he sees an animal, he’ll stop the bus.  Simple.  Besides, we were instructed not to create noise because that will just distract the animals.  But no, noise was what these photographers were creating every few minutes.

They also blocked everyone’s view as they posed themselves to take pictures, so while they shouted, “Stop!  There’s a wild elephant!”, what everyone else could see was the photographers’ back.  At one point, as I lifted my head up after capturing a photograph of an elephant attacking a bison, my head hit a lens.  A photographer was taking a picture right above my head!

But apart from this annoying group, the daytime safari was fun.  It’s wonderful to see the animals roam freely in the wild, as oppose to seeing them in zoos.  And it’s exciting to closely observe the jungle for any movement or sound.  Photographing wildlife is tough, most of the pictures come out blurred mainly because you can not predict what happens next!  For decent shots, one has to bring a zoom lens.

Oh, there is also an elephant safari, where you get to ride an elephant and go into the jungle.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have time for that.

Rating:

I would rate Mudumalai’s daytime safari (the one organized by the officials) – 4 out of 5 stars.

28 comments

  1. Masyallah!! You’re getting so good at your photography Nadia!
    I’m envious!!! Lol in a good way of course!

    Absolutely gorgeous and stunningly captivating pictures!!

  2. i guess those photographers were not actually wildlife photographers….they must be a bunch of amateurs or probably film photographers who have this peculiar behaviour of saying STOP…..CUT etc. at every good shoot/photography of theirs..

    It was good to know that you had a nice outing.. btw how much time does it take for whole trip in the jungle ?

    1. Narendra, I agree with you in that these guys weren’t probably wildlife photographers, because if they were, they’d simply rent a van for themselves and take pictures in their own leisurely pace without disturbing everyone.

      “…probably film photographers who have this peculiar behaviour of saying STOP…..CUT etc. ..” hahaha 😀

      Their IDs were shouting at us that they were ‘professionals’. It’s just sad that their behaviour wasn’t.

      The daytime safari lasted for about 1 hour and 20-30 minutes.

  3. oh my God !u had such a great time … look at the pics … how much i envy u !!

    p.s. sad u couldn’t go for the elephant safari …. n never thought professional photographer can be pain in the neck !!

    1. Sharmila, I did feel sorry for missing out on the elephant safari. If only we had more time. Perhaps next time, specially since Masood mentioned that he doesn’t mind going on another safari trip in the future 😀

    1. ‘liya, I can’t find the missing comment, it’s not even in the spam folder 🙁

      The elephants in the trees is a special picture, taken from so far away, but it captures the essence of being in the ‘wild’. I’m happy you guys enjoyed the pictures as much as we did. Thank you so much 😀

  4. One day I want to be able to snap nice & superb pictures, like you. Of course using a good camera like yours. I only have my phone camera to play with, so I never have the chance to be creative and artistic, like you. Anyway, looking at those pics made me smile.

    Alhamdulillah.

    1. Atie, you will be able to take even better pictures! I also started out playing with the cellphone. What you can do is practice on composition when taking pictures with your cellphone. So by the time you purchase your first digital SLR, you are ready an expert on composing your shots 😀

  5. ” They were all geared up: latest camera with straps that shout the brand name, impressive-looking lenses, hats, vests with lots of pockets, and IDs around their necks that tell everyone that they’re members of some professional photographers’ association. 99% of them sported Nikon, while 1 % had a Canon with him. I looked at them in awe (by them, I meant the equipment).”

    Masood – tayyar hojaao… Kharcha badhne waala hai…. Nadia liked what she saw in professional photographers, and unfortunately, the maskaa-maar’ing will come shortly in the form of “please..pretty please…double pretty please” 🙂

  6. I see you have been having a wonderful time 🙂 Loved those pics 🙂 How did you get that slideshow thingie?????

    Any plans of coming to Calcutta? 😉 [you know why I am asking ]

    1. Debosmita, I’m actually surprised that I haven’t thought about visiting Calcutta! But now that you’ve mentioned it, I’ll put it in my list of Indian cities to visit 😀

      Also, I am currently reading Chowringhee by Sankar. So yeah, I should suggest Calcutta to the husband.

  7. The pics are wonderfully taken,no doubt.I really enjoyed the slide show.In fact whenever I come to your blog I know I can expect more than just photography 🙂 Great work,Nadia!

    I thought professional photographers should know how to carry themselves in situations.Imposing on others like that speaks very poorly of them.And they should be travelling on their own given their temperaments!

    1. Aww, thank you so much, Lat 😀

      “…they should be travelling on their own given their temperaments!” I know! They were so annoying. The children traveling with us in the bus didn’t enjoy much because of these photographers 🙁

  8. I love your pictures!!! Ok, Africa is climbing up higher and higher on my list of places to visit!

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