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I'm a Cairns, far north Queensland, Australia professional photographer specialising in travel, editorial and environmental portraiture.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The smiling camel

You know that special moment? The one where you click the shutter at just the right instant and you know you've captured a special moment. In this digital era you tend to just look at the LCD, do a bit of chimping and grin in the knowledge that you got it. In the film days, especially for us long-haul travellers, it could be months before you knew what you had. Months of sweating and hoping that you got what you thought you had.

This shot was taken just outside of the little town of Pushkar in the Indian state of Rajasthan. After having been in India for 3 months or so my wife was coming to the end of her tether. Orderly, systematic Japan was no match for out of control, chaotic India and she was just about to strangle any local who looked at her the wrong way! I think she learnt to swear in her best English while we were in India.

Before heading back to New Delhi and a hurried Aeroflot flight out of the country (that's another tale in itself) we decided to take an afternoon camel safari in the surrounding desert. This part of the world is famous for its camel treks and even more famous for its amorous cameleers, who have been known to put the moves on anything female that breathes.

I took this shot during a short rest break, during which time your bum gets a chance to get a bit of feeling back in it before it gets pounded all the way back to your hotel again. One of our camels decided to have a bit of a roll in the sand, and seemed to be smiling at the guilty pleasure of it all. Framing the shot with a wide-angle lens emphasised the curve of the neck and showed his carer in the background.

So was this one of the shots that I sweated on for a month or so until we got back to Bangkok and processed our films? Not at all. In actual fact I can't even remember taking it! I think I was too busy trying to walk straight and cursing my sore rear end. Which goes to show that there are times when you're pretty sure you've captured a great moment, and other times when you've got no bloody idea. I'll take a nice photo either way.

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