“Walk to your right please”

A monthly blog series about one of my most favorite image every month. This is post 4 of a 12 part series.

Panting up the slopes of Raavanshila, I heard some people shouting and taking selfies. It was a young crowd of girls and guys trekking, hoping to see and photograph the famed Sunrise from Chandrashila. It was another busy Morning on the Chopta-Tungnath route. People, mostly over enthusiastic and loud youngsters, shouting on top of their lungs, considered it their privilege to disturb others, others who were there to experience peace and solitude in the lap of lord Shiva.

“Please go back to where you come from and spare us all” I thought bitterly and with a tinge of anger. “The sound of nature is divine, it provides solitude, it heals, it blesses, it enlightens and most of all it feeds one’s soul, but these loud-mouthed guys” I grinned my teeth in anger.😁

But I had other concerns at hand, it was the first week of April and the steep slopes of Raavanshila were as frosty and slippery as could be. I did not have any particular agenda this morning, just wanted to stay away from the maddening crowd at Chandrashila, and was also hoping to capture some Snow Partridges. I have been to Chandrashila like a thousand times and in my mind I was like, this could possibly be the worst time to go there.

Slipping along the slopes, I could hear Monals calling on top of their voices all around me, some for mating and others scared because of my presence. I had no interest in taking shots, which have been taken a gazillion times by photographers, and was very happy to just observe their beautiful colours and be one with them.

The Snow Partridges were absent, but I was not particularly disappointed. Over the years, I have experienced and learned, that massive failure is an inevitable part of shooting wildlife, and have come to accept the fact that, the day I am to get a shot, I will get a shot, no matter what.😊

As I sat on the peak, looking at the dark clouds rolling over the mountaintops, I heard a Monal calling far off in the distance. My intuition, as always, nudged me to have a look at this bird and I as always, heeded. As I trekked to the other side of a steep slope, in the distance I saw this beautiful Monal (Male) perched perfectly on top of a big rock. It took me less than a second to know that, this is the one shot I was here for. Though the bird was at least some 200 Meters away, for the kind of frame it presented, it was just perfect.

Walk to your right please!!!!

The Initial Shot

Now the initial shots I took, had only forest in the background and though it looked beautiful, it did not tell the whole story. I then noticed that if I walked some meters to my right, I would get this beautiful winding road in the background. There were also tents camped alongside the road, and I thought this would be perfect to show how this beautiful creatures, have learned to co-exist happily, in-spite of our relentless intrusions.

Some meters to the right and without even looking at my camera screen, I knew I had the shot.

Walk to your right please!!!!

The Final Shot

I got this shot on day one of my stay at Chopta, and though for the next 3 days trekked and explored countless slopes, ravines and spots for some unique compositions, I got none. Metaphorically speaking, I saw a hundred monals 😁 in the next three days, some at very close quarters, but this shot trumps them all.

So next time you are on the field, try walking to your right (or left) and you never know, what shot you might get, by just keeping your mind and eyes open.😍😍

Hope you like the image and story. If you do, please do share.

Please do check out my other blogs here and click here for upcoming expeditions.


Anil Rajde Reply June 14, 2018

Perfect snap. I liked it.

praveen June 15, 2018

Thank you so much, appreciated

Ashish Singh Reply September 14, 2018

Hey Praveen…I am an avid bird lover and really admitted your work..have seem most of your videos on YouTube…keep up the good work….I want to see monal so travelling to Tungnath during separate 28-oct 2 weekend….any tips from your side to maximize my chances of spotting and clikcing monal ?

praveen September 17, 2018

Hey Ashish, you can find plenty of them around Tungnath, just be there in the mornings and if possible evenings. you will see them for sure. Have a great trip and best of luck

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