Wildlife Photographers Tell Unforgettable moments

By SnapSquad - September 07, 2019

You can’t be a wildlife photographer if you don’t love what you see and if you don’t feel strongly about the animals you catch with your lens being respected and even protected. No doubt patience and being in the right place at the right time are precious qualities for a wildlife photographer, but being knowledgeable on the animal and its behaviour is most important. Here are some memorable experiences shared by a couple of photographers devoted to their art and love for Nature. Those memories will stay with them forever.

When Steve was in India photographing Bengal tigers he felt devastated to see how many mothers and their cubs were killed while he was in the field. When he learned that more cubs were born, Steve returned to the site with only one thing on his mind: to catch a picture of a tiger mum and cub! As always with wild animals, things did not happen like on schedule and Steve had to wait many days. Because of his previous upset with so many tigers killed, he got so emotional in the waiting that when a tigress and her cub finally came out and he finally had a chance to take a shot, he thought he’d miss it. As he recalls, he never even checked his camera until a couple of hours later and did not know that had a perfect frame! That particular image became the cover of the National Geographic Tigers Forever has since represented for him “the future of tigers”.

Mark Thomas 

Mark who photographs polar bears had heard about rare and “friendly” encounters between polar bears and sled dogs but had never actually witnessed such a scene himself. On one of his trips to Northern Canada however, while looking for bears by a below freezing November temperature, Mark and another friend photographer decided to stay near the dogs when a large bear suddenly appeared and walked straight to one particular dog who seemed to actually welcome the huge predator while all the other dogs went mad barking. Amazingly bear and the dog started playing like old friends and Mark was able to take pictures of one incredible story of the animal kingdom. Here is what happened during the next ten to fifteen minutes in Mark’s words: 

They played together for about 10 minutes when another amazing thing happened. The polar bear laid down near the dog and rolled over on his back. In the animal kingdom, especially in the world of predators such as bears and dogs, rolling over onto your back is a totally submissive posture. {…} So here’s a 700 to 800 pound fully wild adult male polar bear submitting to a 75 to 80 pounds tethered dog. It was an amazing sight.” 

The polar bear finally got up and went away. Till this day, Mark recalls that he felt like the polar bear and the sled dog had given him a going-away gift!                                                                             

Sometimes too, experiences can be of the disappointing if not frustrating  kind, like Richard Peters, recalls of that one time he had travelled all the way to the Maasai Mara for the Great Migration of the wildebeests and the wildebeests, as he says “all decided they didn’t want to get wet that week”! Wildlife’s like that, it does not know how many miles you have travelled and how much you have paid for a photo safari, and it doesn’t care.
What makes it worth for him to be a wildlife photographer is simply “spending time with animals”

“I get rewarded with so much more than just the images I take with me!”

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