Gordon Buchanan's Instagram feed shows visuals of animals in their natural habitat
An array of breathtaking visuals of animals in their natural habitat displaying the Scottish photographer-filmmaker's shenanigans in the wild
Gordon Buchanan's Instagram feed is as reflective of his bravado as it is of his prowess as a lensman. An array of breathtaking visuals of animals in their natural habitat displaying the Scottish photographer-filmmaker's shenanigans in the wild, makes the viewer feel both envious and relieved that they are not in his place. You'll see Buchanan with his hands intertwined between an Anaconda, only months after he set his camera rolling at a distance of four feet from a cheetah. Among our favourites is his journey "to the forest" with a piggybacking monkey and his "heart-racing" encounter with an elephant on the chase. It is the daredevilry that he showcases that takes us off-guard when Buchanan credits a visit to a harmless bird colony as among the incidents that ignited his interest in his craft.
Wildlife photographer and filmmaker Gordon Buchanan
"It was in the West Coast of Scotland. There were thousands of birds nesting, and I was blown away by the existence of a place like that, so close to home," he recalls weeks after three of his shows premiered on BBC Earth. For him, it's all about understanding how the animal is feeling. "It was half-way through my career when I started to focus on individual [animals]. I decided that I would try to comprehend, based on what I've seen of leopards, what it is that the cat might do next. Then, things began to fall in place. It became a game. It's fun, especially when you begin to understand an elusive creature that doesn't want to be seen. It's like you've won over it. You decipher what it will do, even before it makes a decision." Buchanan blames one's inability to act "in accordance with how the animal is thinking and feeling", for mishaps. "Every animal has a language. If you don't tune in, you could potentially get into trouble," he says, adding that lack of safety is the biggest misconception associated with his profession.
Having been in the field since 17, Buchanan confesses that initially, he was "more invested in myself than in the natural world". But, his exposure to different habitats over 25 years has made him sensitive towards the environment. Now an avid propagator of conservation, Buchanan sees life differently. "If you have the opportunity to travel, see rare animals and precious habitats, you also notice how threatened they are. If there's any platform that enables me to do good for a species or habitat, it would be wrong for me to ignore that. When I had children, I started to wonder how much of what I've seen will be available for them to witness. Individuals can unite people and put pressure on governments. Even sharing pictures on social media, showcasing how vulnerable some of the most beautiful places are, is important. We need to safeguard the world. Nature is past that stage where it can look after itself."
Where: Sony BBC Earth
When: Dec 18-19, 12 pm
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A walk through Mohammed Ali Road's Khau Galli