Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class wpdb in /home/wildlife/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 52

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/wildlife/public_html/wp-includes/cache.php on line 36

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Object_Cache in /home/wildlife/public_html/wp-includes/cache.php on line 389

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl($output) in /home/wildlife/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 537

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl($output) in /home/wildlife/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 537

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el($output) in /home/wildlife/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 537

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el($output) in /home/wildlife/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 537

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_PageDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el($output) in /home/wildlife/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 556

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl($output) in /home/wildlife/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 653

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl($output) in /home/wildlife/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 653

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el($output) in /home/wildlife/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 653

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el($output) in /home/wildlife/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 653

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_CategoryDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el($output) in /home/wildlife/public_html/wp-includes/classes.php on line 678

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/wildlife/public_html/wp-includes/query.php on line 21

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/wildlife/public_html/wp-includes/theme.php on line 508
Wildlife Camera » Take it now — the best photo tip

Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/wildlife/public_html/wp-includes/post.php on line 115
« The Most Photographed Animals in the World -
Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/wildlife/public_html/wp-includes/post.php on line 115
Pet rabbit — a quiet success story »

Take it now — the best photo tip

29 August 2007


Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/wildlife/public_html/wp-includes/formatting.php on line 74

camel train

One of the best travel books ever written is First Overland, by Tim Slessor, which tells the story of an expedition by half a dozen undergraduates from Oxford and Cambridge who drove two Land-Rovers from London to Singapore in 1955-56.

Their amazing journey was made during a brief window of opportunity when it was possible to drive in relative safety across Eastern Europe, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the little-known states of North-east India, Burma, Siam and down to Malaya. Part of the route took in the Stillwell Road, built in 1942 at a cost of more than a million dollars a mile in today’s terms, to open a wartime route from Burma to China.

Much of it was uncharted territory, nobody was even sure if the military roads of South-East Asia were still open to traffic. The maps showed “just too many rivers and too few roads.” They pressed on, covering 12,000 miles in five months, and arrived in Singapore to a heroes’ welcome.

One of the most memorable chapters of the book was not about the rigours of the trip but about the photographs the students took along the way. It was mainly about the photographs they never took.

When they first came across camel trains in the Middle East, they said: “No, we’ll see lots of camels. We must press on. We can stop later and get all the camel photographs we need. Much better ones, probably.”

The same applied to pictures of river crossings, picturesque peasants, wallowing water buffaloes … There would always be another opportunity further down the road. And the photograph was never taken.

It’s years since I read the book (recently re-published with a foreword by Sir David Attenborough, and available on www.amazon.co.uk for £12.34) but their advice has never been forgotten: Take it now, you may never get another chance.
 – Willy Newlands (copyright). Photo of camel train near Dunhuang by Steve Humphreys, iStockphoto copyright.


Comments are closed.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.