One early morning in Kovalam, just south of Thiruvananthapuram in southern India, when I strolled around in a wetland area and tried to photograph some Bee Eaters, I suddenly got an assistant by my side. A young lad with great curiosity and a thousand questions.
We talked about a little bit of each and I tried to answer his questions as best I could, the digital camera technology was new, and I did not understand it enough to answer his questions adequately. However, he seemed satisfied with the answers he received.
Over time, the interest in bird photography cooled and he wondered if I didn’t want to take a picture of him instead. Of course, I gladly did. We studied the results on the small screen on the back of the camera, the portrait was not a masterpiece but still seemed to delight him.
It took a while before he dared to ask, but finally came the question that hung in the air for a while. Could it be possible for him to borrow the camera and give it a try. Of course, I answered, and after a short lesson on how to hold the newly purchased Nikon D70 with 300mm telephoto lens, he set off with a jolt of joy through the woods.
I saw from a distance how he rushed up to his grandfather, shot some pictures and then returned to show the result. Gosh, I was overwhelmed! Of the hundreds of pictures, I took home with me after the trip, only one was really good, and it wasn’t mine. The guy was a gift of nature. I sometimes wonder what he does today, twelve years later, hopefully he got the opportunity to become a photographer.