“You wasted perfectly good film on clouds and trees again, didn’t you?” bellowed Dad as we consumed yet another 36-photo roll on our long North India trip. Often considered the responsible one, I lost my camera-carrying privileges in a jiffy that day. It wasn’t my fault though. Nature photography sadly wasn’t a thing back then. Imagine travelling to the most beautiful locations in Kedarnath, Badrinath, Dalhousie, Shimla, and more without clicking pictures of the amazing natural beauty unfolding in front of your eyes. Impossible, right? Wish my family agreed with me too. Sigh!
However, it is said that things change for the better, and thankfully, that happened to me. Apart from the invention of high-quality camera phones with great data storage, I got married to a person who could not care less about either taking or featuring in pictures. (Chronology and preference are clear, no? 😉 ) He finds my obsession with nature photography a tad annoying at times but, well, I don’t bother him so all’s well. We fade out in comparison to a resplendent view of the mountains or a breathtaking sunset by the sea anyway, right?
So, without further ado, let’s look at my favourite nature pictures. Mind you, it was extremely difficult to choose from the hundreds I’ve taken over the years. I’m shortlisting these based on the memories attached to them.
When we planned our Kashmir trip last year Kargil was on the top of my list. No special reason, I had seen and loved Shershaah and was inspired to experience the place where the historical Kargil War was fought. We visited the Kargil War Memorial on the way to our hotel and it was truly one of the most humbling experiences of my life. I had a lump in my throat the entire time and for once, couldn’t dare take a selfie or pose anywhere there. I felt too small to deserve that privilege. All those lives lost, to protect us. Can awards or medals ever make up for their family’s loss? 🙁
It was early evening when we left and by the time we reached our hotel the night had fallen. I was foolishly not dressed in warm clothes (aur style maaro!) and was shivering badly. The extra shawls were a silly afterthought and didn’t help one bit. My husband and kids were amused watching me grumble about why they weren’t cold like me. The hotel had set up a big screen and was showing KGF Chapter 2 in the garden for their patrons but we skipped it, had a quick dinner, and called it a day.
Interestingly, the next morning was the most glorious one in my recent memory. Being an early riser has its perks, after all. I still remember that involuntary gasp when I came out of my room and witnessed that gorgeous scene! Thanks to the lake flowing next to our hotel, beautiful natural water sounds filled my heart and soul. The moon had taken a place of pride in the sky even as the sun peeped out of the horizon. The cool morning breeze felt crisp, clean, and divine. The nature photography lover in me took several pictures but I’m sure that none of them could do justice to that magical moment.
A joined me soon enough and we both sat there silently; mesmerized and at a loss for words. Although I deeply dislike teabags, it seemed fitting to add chai to this lovely memory, and, of course, I clicked it too. Urban life may provide us with modern amenities, gadgets, malls, highways and whatnot, but can anything ever come close to living this moment? I guess not.
I could go on and on but like actions speak louder than words, so do pictures. It would be unfair to skip a few of my personal favourites from this recollection. Please read the captions to know more about them.
Luckily, I live in an area where I can watch the sunrise and sunset on my walks and runs. Even though it’s my regular route, I can’t help capturing one on my phone almost every day. Having a runner friend who catches you in the act is both embarrassing and cute, isn’t it? 🙂
Do you like nature photography too? Which one of these did you like the most? Please do let me know.
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