I was not sure what exactly to expect when I bought this book, which I had never heard of before and couldn’t find any detailed review on the web. The small preview on flipkart mentioned the author as a wildlife photographer from the era of Jim Corbett and therefore my initial thought was – I would be reading similar stories but from the perspective of a photographer rather than a hunter.
But Tripwire for the tiger is not just about photography or tiger. In those 24 articles, Champion has included a wide range of animals and their behavior, much beyond the aspect of photography.
“Tread lightly, for a thousand hearts unseen, might now be beating in this misty green”
He has perhaps described the Indian jungles better than anyone else and if you have ever experienced the jungle of Jim Corbett national park, truly, you will relate to it quite easily. Apart from detailing, the challenges faced as a wildlife photographer in that era, Champion, through the various articles, also describes the behavior of various wild animals, the importance of these wild animals, their conservation, ethics of a wildlife photographer and numerous wild encounters he had while shooting.
Tiger, leopard, elephant, bear, deer, antelope and even the most common palm squirrel had gotten a place in his writing.
“oh! If only the animal photographer could explain to wild animals that, were they to stand out in the open for a few moments in a good pose, he would take their photographs, give them an honored place on his wall or in his collection of jungle pictures, and let them depart in peace.”
The book successfully connects to your emotions and many a time you would find yourself smiling while reading a certain article and you would appreciate how Champion had penned down certain incidents which many of us have encountered in reality and felt almost the similar emotion. At times, you would forget the gap of those decades and imagine as if the incidents were encountered just recently.
Yes, one would not find the extent of adventure and thrill which can be experienced in most of the work of Jim Corbett, but I am almost certain that even if you are an avid fan of Corbett’s work you would not miss anything here for
“hunting with the bloodless camera, which, after all, takes no life, and is much less selfish than shooting to kill, in that the resultant pictures can subsequently give pleasure to others in a way that skins or horns can never do”
In this digital world of photography and the way we approach the jungles, you may not learn much from the photography point of view, but despite that the book offers a lot of wisdom and insight, and I would recommend this book to anyone who does wildlife photography for his love for nature and wildlife.
Name: Tripwire for a Tiger, Selected works of F.W. Champion
Author: F.W. Champion
Price: Rs. 495