When I started my photography journey I stood up before a decision what camera and lens I should buy. I read a lot of articles and forums in order to decide what would be the best for me. One of the advises about the lens was “What Do You Want To Shoot” my mind gone wild, I wanted to shoot Nature! Landscapes!Portraits! Wild Animals! Birds!Macro! I just couldn’t choose. That is when I find out that there is no “ultimate” lens that I need to buy one lens that’s good for portraits and a different one that will be good for landscapes, that there is such thing as zoom and fix and that there is a difference. I was overwhelmed with information which was totally new for me. I had to choose what I prefer to buy, I saw the prices, the possibilities and decided to buy two lens one for portraits and one for landscape photography.
I do not regret my decisions but sometimes I hope that I would have the possibility to photo shoot wild animals. Although my longest “range” lens is 85 mm and that mean I have to get REALLY close to the animal (when wild animals mostly run away and hide) I had few encounters with wild animals that let me to get very close to them and that is what I want to share today.
The first encounter that I had was with Nubian Ibex. We were on a trip at Ein Gedi resort – an oasis in a desert, we’ve climb up the mountain and took a break at small water pond, it was hot, dry day and this little water resort was just what we needed. When I went to change my camera lens suddenly I saw a Nubian Ibex, standing there…drinking water from a thin stream, he was alert and it looked like he was thinking about running away but I guess the desire for water was bigger.
I was amazed how he was watching me with one eye yet drinking water and looks like he is ready to start running if I’ll get too close to him. I tried not to scare him away, carefully I get half step closer in order to get a better photo he let me take few shots before he run away. If you will ever visit Ein Gedi (and it is a very popular tourist place) I’m sure you will see Ibex families sitting there on the rocks waiting for you to be impressed by them :))
Fun fact, there is a female name in Hebrew that mean ibex – Yael.
Another encounter I had was even more amazing for me – a Golden Jackal.There is a lot of golden jackals in Israel though they are all run away as fast as they can when they see you. I never believed that I would have and opportunity like that. I was doing a walk at the Yarkon park at Tel Aviv when suddenly I saw him standing. In order to get a better picture I started walking carefully towards him, he saw me, but didn’t run. I got closer and closer and he just stood there doing nothing. At some point I got as close as a portrait shot, I could have stretch my arm and feel his fur under my hands, for a second I’ve even though about that but wasn’t sure that this is a safe thing to do, jackals known for having rabies, so I just stood there and enjoyed this wild, beautiful beast.
He was standing there calmly, looking at me without any aggression or fear. I could stand there all day just looking at how beautiful he is. At some point he started to walk away….but he didn’t run or walked fast, he was walking as if he enjoying his morning hike, slow, relaxed and graceful.
I started to walk after him, he didn’t mind my company, I wonder how we looked to people who were around, they stopped to look at how I’m walking next to him doing as many shots as I could with my camera. Then he stopped again, and I got the opportunity to take the best portrait of animals that I’ve done up until now.
This day was very special for me, I left him there hoping that no one will hurt this trustful, beautiful animal, and since then I’ve never met a Jackal that would let me get that close without running away. I am grateful for this encounter and I hope to have this kind of encounter once again:)