Have you been KAKAPO’ed yet? Stephen Fry knows what I mean

March 2nd, 2010 § 0

Mark Carwardine and Stephen Fry had the classic ‘encounter’ with a frustrated male Kakapo bird which has since become gold on YouTube. 1.7 million views last count (see video below).

I came across old photos of my own encounter with a friskly Kakapo recently. The famous person around at the time was Don Merton (famous enough), but unfortunately there was no video camera.  Fame and glory were not to be this time, so you’ll have to make do with this image:

Rob Suisted being Kakapo'd by an over enthusiatic 'Trevor' on Maud Island. Photo by Don Merton
Rob Suisted being Kakapo’d by an over enthusiatic ‘Trevor’ on Maud Island. Photo by Don Merton. Kakapo are one of the rarest birds on earth (123 birds), the heaviest parrot, the only nocturnal one, and a Lek breeder.

Remarkable experiences. Conflicting demands. How to make the most of them & life?

I’m lucky in my life, and work, to see and experience some remarkable things.  The trick is not to take this for granted.  It’s easier said than done when the object of the experience usually must be shot with camera.  There are fundamentally opposing demands here and I want to explain a solution I’ve found to this problem….

Philosphically speaking, many believe happiness flows from being present; enjoying the here and now.  But, in amazing situations the focus of my attention must also be to catch the perfect image, and it’s hard to be present to that experience so you can enjoy and remember it.  Hence, I often get back to the studio to start work on images, but can’t actually remember being there; my focus was singularly on the photograph creation.  Well thats fine you might say, but for me these experiences are the ‘juice of life.  To not fully experience them is wasting something very special. 

So the solution is simple but hard to implement.  Over the last decade I’ve worked hard to train myself to do both things.  Not together, but in a serial manner.  I use any down time amongst the work to be still and fully absorb the experience.  I pinch myself as a reminder of how lucky I am to be in this position.  But it is actually very hard to remember to do this, and it’s taken many years to make it habit.

For instance, this post about helicopter aerial filming shows a typical job.  It’s amongst the most spectacular scenery, involves big budgets, high pressures and LOTS of noise and competing demands.  I had to work hard to enjoy the incredible positioning flight (sweeping over 1500+ metre peaks that fall away to the sea in a second!) because it’s not something we get to do everyday.  Luckily I was able to grab moments of stillness here and there during the day, because I  don’t remember a full minute of focussed photography from the whole day!

I’ve also discovered as a side effect of this training, that creativity and opportunity flows from, or is enhanced by, it.  So there’s a double kick back – great memories for life, and improved creative output.  Simple solution, hard to implement, but well worth it.  Come hear me talk more about this and other things at the New Zealand National Photographic Society Conference in Nelson (7-11th April 2010). I just hope Mark Cawardine knows what I’m talking about.  I’m sure he does…..

Mark Carwardine being Kakapo’ed (great laugh, 1.7 million view can’t be wrong!):

More Kakapo Bird photos here

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

§ Leave a Reply

What's this?

You're reading Have you been KAKAPO’ed yet? Stephen Fry knows what I mean at Nature’s Pic Images Blog.