I danced with a peacock in Jamaica. Yes, literally. No, it was not a costumed dancer and no I did not participate in sampling any Jamaican drugs.
I was vacationing at a Sandals resort and while there, I kept hearing this bird. It would screech and screech and I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from, OR what type of bird it was. Finally, I found the source – a peacock. It happened to be on the day that I was photographing a wedding too. I was so excited to see where it was hiding, but I was following the bride to the spa at the moment so I had to keep walking. But I knew I would be back. The photographer in me could not resist.
So after the bride was settled in the spa and I took a few “getting ready” shots for the wedding album, I heard the peacock call me. I told the bride, who is a friend of mine, I must go find this peacock and bolted out the door. I think she laughed…or sighed. I can’t really be sure.
Either way, I found him and what a beauty he was! He was next to a shed-like structure, some construction tools and dirt and some bushes/fencing. So there were about three restricted sides to him. As I slowly approached him and all his fanned out glory, he would turn. But he would turn his butt to me. I don’t know a lot about peacock movements, but I know when a horse does that, it is dangerous and says the horse does not respect you. I have to assume this may be the same in this case. However, I was on a mission. I moved the other way. So did he. I then darted back. I stepped over some dirt piles. I pushed against the bushes. I moved into the carport-like shed. Every time I moved, he moved away. I started to laugh and talk to him, compelling him that I would leave if he would just let me get a picture. We danced some more. Round and round. I even had some people walking by laughing.
Finally, I don’t know if I wore him down or he realized that I would go away if he just stopped, but I caught the shot I was looking for! It is what I like to call, the ‘money shot.’ I don’t know where that came from, but that’s my phrase when I see something I really like in my view finder.
I have to admit that I LOVE peacocks. I adore their colorful plumage. I am entranced by their beauty, their elegance, and the intricacy of all their details. To me, they are nature’s classiest bird. While writing this post, I decided to do a little search on them wondering if there was any historical beliefs on the graceful fowl. Well, according to Wikipedia, peacocks ranged from being the mount of the Lord Kartikeya (the god of war) to acting as a guardian to royalty ( in Babylonia and Persia) to pulling the chariot of the Greek goddess Hera. Hhhhmmm. Those are some interesting tidbits that I may have to research more in depth later.
Anyway, back to photography. Over the years, I have found that getting the ‘money shot’ takes work and patience…and apparently, a little dancing at times. What extremes have you gone to before to get your ‘money shots?’ Please share so that I know I am not the only one going round and round with a bird just for a picture.
Overall, I am so excited this lovely bird decided to cooperate with me. He made my Jamaican experience even that much more special:)
P.S. Stay tuned for my abstracts on this peacock! I think you will like them.