Hiking up Bukit Timah Hill in Singapore with a long lens setup is never a truly enjoyable experience for me. The weight of the system, the steep climb and the general lack of any bird life on the way to the top meant that I am often staring at the road ahead instead of looking at the trees. The reward is often at the summit itself where birds tend to congregate.
So it was on one fine afternoon in late January 2012, that I found myself once again attempting to climb the summit. The climb was uneventful as things go and I was almost reaching the top. As is my normal routine, I tend to quicken my pace near the end just to get it over and done with.
Out of the blue, on the last big curve towards the top, a frog jumped out from the bushes by the side of the road. It hopped towards my direction and as my eyes was trying to keep track, something even bigger rushed forward towards me as well. I was so stunned by what was happening that I did not move any part of my body, except for my head that was tracking two things moving towards me, and then away from me. Had it been anything dangerous, I would have been toast. It took maybe 1-2 seconds before it registered in my mind that a frog was being chased by a snake. Almost instinctively, I raised my camera system that was slung on the side of my body towards my face, dialed the shutter speed knob of the camera a few notches clockwise and started tracking the two creatures. By the time I locked focus, they must have been 10 meters away. It was just a matter of clicking the shutter continuously while tracking their movement. Not an easy task considering that I was half exhausted from the climb, but the adrenaline rush helped somewhat.