It's Not All About Success

Visiting Uganda was an incredible experience. From the moment we arrived to the moment we left, it was like being in a bubble, away from all things Pandemic. In regards to my photography, I did come away with some gorilla and shoebill photos that I was happy with, however it was not all plain sailing.

Too often, in this social media dominated environment that we live in, it is all about the biggest, the best and ultimately perfection. In reality there is no perfect photograph, but what also must be noted is that almost no-one writes or posts about their failures in the field. And at the end of the day, it is the failures that shape us.

Photographing chimps, Uganda
Rain and shooting into the bright sky is not a good combo!

As anyone who is mildly interested in wildlife photography will agree, to get a shot you are truly happy with takes an enormous amount of time, patience and often money.

Due to the time constraints we had in Uganda, it was unfortunate that we could only schedule in one chimp trek. Now, we may have got lucky (as we did with the shoebills), however chimps are notoriously difficult to photograph.

Here is a taster of what chimp trekking is like:

With only one trek scheduled, it was all or nothing, and in honesty I was not expecting to get any decent photos from a single trek. As it turned out, I was right for once.

In an ideal world, I would have booked three or four chimp treks on my trip to give me enough time and hopefully luck to get a few website-worthy shots, however it wasn't just time that was against us.

The rain did not relent all morning. We trekked, slipped and trekked some more. Although we found the first few chimps after about half an hour, they clung to the canopy and were in no way inclined to come down.

chimp silhouette
I know it is a different ape, but this photo always reminds me of The Jungle Book song "I wanna be like you"

One curious individual did make its way half way down a tree towards us, and I did manage to capture a silhouette of one swinging through the branches, but alas it was not to be.

That said, because my photo opportunities were limited, it allowed me to put the camera down and enjoy the company of our closest relatives. I found them fascinating and Kalinzu forest was extraordinarily beautiful and had a magical aura that you certainly don't find in the UK's forests.

I hope in time, as travel gets easier I will be able to return to the chimps of Uganda, or even head to the remote Mahale in Tanzania and get some chimp photos to adorn the walls of your home.

Thanks for looking.


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