Saturday, May 7, 2011

I Am Back!

Well, here I am - back to Thimphu. I was out in the East of the country, all the way to Morong which is beyond Narphu. This time, I was chasing birds - the feathered variety.

Sixteen days of toiling in the sun, the mud, the rain and the fog and driving for up to 13 hours a day is hard work. Even worst, when the weather turns foul and you end up sitting around the camp doing absolutely NOTHING, it can be nerve wrecking. It is soooooooooo difficult to do NOTHING! I have not heard of hard work killing anyone but I suspect that boredom surely must cause a few deaths. God, please spare me the days when I have nothing to do.

For me personally, bird photography has been a revelation of sorts. Both the joy of accomplishment, as well as the disappointment of failure, has provided me with vital clues to the fundamentals of how to increase one's success rate in life.

Countless hours and days and months of pursuing birds has taught me that nothing can be rushed - everything eventually falls on the lap of the man who is willing to be PATIENT. As they say, Rome was not built in a day.

After having exposed few thousand frames of bird images, it is my view that there is no such thing as a PERFECT shot. He who says that he has the perfect shot has no idea about what constitutes perfection. Your last perfect shot can always be bettered. The pursuit of excellence is a never ending process. Therefore, never give up on IMPROVEMENT. Shoot the same bird a thousand times - every frame you expose will be different - the posture, mood, lighting, perch, surrounding foliage, background, foreground etc.

Remain FOCUSED. If you are pursuing one particular bird that is in sight, forget the rest. Do not let other birds that flit around you to distract you. Straying attention can cause you to lose focus and, in the process, you end up getting nothing. Nail the one that you have set your eyes on - then move on to the next. You have surely heard of that fellow who is a jack of all but couldn’t master a single trade.

One very important lesson I learned this trip is that one should NEVER TAKE THINGS FOR GRANTED - when it comes to the weather. If, where you are standing is foggy and rainy, do not make the mistake of assuming that it would be the same in all other places. I acquired the beautiful images of the Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler and the Satyr Tragopan (posted bellow) at a time when I had decided that I would move off from the place where I was camped. The weather was foul and did not look like the day was going to be very productive. But a leisurely drive just 12 Kms. away from the camp site, out of curiosity,  brought me to a spot where the sky was clear and there was no ground fog. This place produced my life bird - the Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler.

Apply the above rules in real life and see how you begin to improve your success rate.


  1. Hi Aue Yeshey,

    I saw you on my way to Mongar on the 3rd of May. I was heading for Wengkhar on an official trip. I'm sure it was definitely you besides those tents - there were two of them pitched a little away from Yatongla!

    I only realized after crossing a good few yards and decided not to say "hello." (^.^) Besides, I thought I should leave you alone to your task, and I was getting late for that blockade they put up at Lingmethang!

    I came across the tragopan a little away from Ura on my return and managed to take 3 shots - All grab shots. It was getting dark and it was only so much my 70-200mm and my patience could offer :)

  2. Hi Lakey,
    What you mean is that I was a little further away from Sengor. Yea I was camped there on the 3rd.

    You should have stopped by for a cuppa :)