Bay of Bengal, November 2017. My photography always takes the backseat of my priorities when doing field work. More often than not, I am travelling with a team that operates on very tight agenda and schedule that require my technical leadership and coordination skills but, unfortunately, do not consider my personal hobby in the flow and timing of activities. While team members recognize my passion, generously appreciate my photos and don’t mind the two heavy cameras slung on my shoulders while I am working with them; I am very careful not to end up ruining the overall team itinerary because I spent too much time photographing a scene. Thus, a significant portion of my photographic works were taken from the passenger seat of a Land Cruiser navigating the vast steppes of Mongolia; paddling a dugout canoe along the tributaries of the mighty Fly River or plying the treacherous tides of the Gulf of Papua on a flimsy dinghy; and negotiating the exciting but either flooded or mountainous terrain of Myanmar. And thus, through these years, I also learned that it is best to set at least one of my two cameras on auto all the time lest I end up missing a quickly passing shot.
In the case of this photo, the sun was still high when the team arrived at a designated hotel facing the Bay of Bengal. I quickly did a few clicks on some interesting activities on the shore then went to my room to unpack, estimating that it will take another hour before the place explodes in color under a crimson night sky. My estimate turned out to be off by several minutes. By the time I remembered to glance through a gap between the heavy curtains, the sun has already dropped, almost fully sinking into the horizon. I frantically picked up my camera, rushed out to the shore and acquired this click as a colleague was also trying to capture the last few seconds of the glorious but rapidly fading sunset. Thanks to the auto preset, the image turned out well and the only processing I had to do was to frame it and reduce the file size for protection.