Mentality of a Wildlife Cameraman

All wildlife cameramen get asked for tips about becoming one (a wildlife cameraman).  Really I think you have to break it down into lots of bits.  One of those bits, though not necessarily the most important, is the driving desire to observe natural events, no matter how commonplace they may seem.  Another is the old attribute of getting a bit grubby and sorting out problems, which brings me to my car.

I don’t have a Landrover or other 4×4, we have a Saab 9-5 estate which doesn’t like off-road, but it makes for a great family motor and you can get shed loads of kit in it.  Anyway, the other day it started vibrating…even while it was sat on the drive out of gear.  A bit of internet Saab geek research led me to believe something was wrong with the balance shafts.  I do like to keep my cars going, but it’s a bit long in the tooth now, and a problem like this should realistically mean scrap it!  But my brother runs a workshop specialising in bodywork (note the Lamborghini in the background behind my engine above).  My cousin does the mechanics work and luckily I was allowed to be grease monkey while we set about this ‘engine out’ job.

The picture above shows what we found after 2 days of dropping out the engine through the bottom of the car.  A metal damper above a broken black plastic tensioner  meaning that there was metal riding on metal and a chain flapping about all over the shop.

The picture above shows a reassembled engine with new chains, cogs and plastic tensioners.  All of the broken plastic bits were down in the sump and I was probably only a hundred or so miles away from catastrophic engine failure, a phrase which I think has a nice Top Gear ring about it.

I do wonder whether it was worth it, but for the sake of the effort, my brother’s generosity, my cousin’s skill, and the box of replacement parts that I bought, there is one fewer lumps of metal on a ship to a furnace in India. Of course, it was only putting off the inevitable.