A Close Encounter with buffaloes – Broken bridge, besant nagar beach

My recent developments in my office have increased my official work by twice than what I had before. I hardly have time for music or photography now. Because of my tiring schedule, I preferred to sleep like a log on sunday mornings. It was high time since I had done any photography. And so I thought I was going to make this sunday morning, a productive one.

So I woke up early in the morning this sunday, at around 5am, and made my way to Besant Nagar beach. The bike ride was awesome. There was clean fresh air, cool breeze and empy roads. Besant Nagar is about 20kms away from home. It was quite a lengthy and enjoyable ride. When I reached Besant Nagar beach I made my way towards the Broken Bridge. This is the back water area of the Besant Nagar beach. It was a dissappointing sight. The beach was dirty with all the garbage dumped there. The water seemed hardly use-able. More about the back waters and the broken bridge later. First I want to talk about something else.



So I was shooting pictures of the bridge the birds and the buildings there, and then I saw this buffalo under the bridge. With those huge horns, the buffalo looked majestic. I mustered the courage to walk a bit close to it and take a shot. I placed down my tripod at what seemed like the closest and the safest possible distance from the buffalo. She seems to have noticed me, however, she didn’t look happy about it.


buffalo broken bridge grazing wordpress
Just look at those horns. Please don’t get me wrong. I love animals and I’ve never harmed a creature in my life. At least not intentionally. But this one was different. I wanted to keep it’s head as a trophy in my hall like how hunters do. Order Limited Edition Print of this image.


angry buffalo at broken bridge. under the broken bridge back waters
Now she was really annoyed. Because I tried many shots of her as she was grazing until I settled for one (the first picture). Probably I was invading her privacy. Order a Limited Edition Print of this Image.


angry buffalo calling for help broken bridge wordpress
She started mooing at top of her voice. She was calling for help. Order a Limited Edition Print of this image.


I started walking towards my bike. I had to go a round-about way because of the bushes in between. I reached my bike. I placed my back pack on the seat and was putting away my camera and my tripod in their bags. Then, I heard a twig snap. Just the like way you hear in slasher-horror movies. I turned around to see this.

angry buffalo broken bridge stopped wordpress
It was her along with her companion. I slowly took my camera out to shoot this. Just to show how close they had come. Believe me, up front, it seemed like they were closer than what appears in this shot.


angry buffalo broken bridge portrait wordpress
Call me crazy, but she had character. Her face had an expression of anger. And I wanted to capture it. I zoomed in further and got this. Order a Limited Edition Print of this image.


I turned back to my bike to continue packing my bag and I saw around six buffaloes, standding right there and all of them staring at me. They did not move at all. It creeped the hell out of me. I slowly continued packing when I heard a very loud MOOOO!!!!! There was this huge white male buffalo walking towards me from behind the herd. I could roughly translate that loud moo as a battle cry that meant “FORWARD!!!” because all the buffaloes started walking towards me. They were not charging, but walking, staring right at me.

I was reaching for my bag for my camera to shot again. That’s when I heard the male go “MOOOO!!!!” once again. The next moment I grabbed my bag, camera, tripod and the bike keys, turned away from my bike and started walking briskly. I didn’t run. My instinct told me, that running will just tempt them to chase me. So I walked, fast. I walked towards the beach, towards water. I some how felt that it will work….. And it did. They stopped following. I heaved a sigh of relief.

I was very close to the shore. I turned around to see that I had left my bike in the middle of a herd of buffaloes. I couldn’t do much. I turned back towards the seashore. That’s when I saw this guy fishing there. He didn’t have a fishing net or a fishing rod. He was fishing with a single nylon string tied to a piece of wood at the end.



I walked upto him. To strike a conversation I said “vanakkam” (means hello, in the local language tamil). But this guy replied “Hi, good morning. How are you?”. I was in a shock. Meet fisherman Rajendarnath.

broken bridge fisher man wordpress
Rajendarnath spoke pretty good english. Apparently he had studied till 8th standard. And had to discontinue as his parents passed away and the conditions around him started to worsen. He could speak a bit of hindi too.


rajendar singh fisherman besant nagar beach wordpress
I’ve not seen this kind of fishing before. He was using a very long nylon thread, to which he had tied hooks from small strings of nylon which were almost equidistant from each other. He was using pieces of prawns and scallops as bait. Order a Limited Edition Print of this image.


fishing cat fish broken bridge wordpress
A catfish that was caught in Rajendar’s fishing line.


broken bridge fisher man black and white wordpress
I watched the fisherman catch some more fish. I had almost forgotten about my bike. After sometime, I turned around to find that not a single buffalo was in sight. Order a Limited Edition Print of this image.


broken bridgefisher man walking away wordpress
It was getting late for me. I had to say good bye to the fisherman. He said “see you next sunday”. Order a Limited Edition Print of this image.


That was the close encounter I had today. I did a lot of shots of the broken bridge and the buildings around it. I’m not done processing them yet. I’ll be posting them real soon.



I’ve shot all the images using my Nikon L120. I’ve processed all the black and white shots in Nik Silver Efex. All the colour shots of buffaloes and the cat fish shot have been processed in Nik Colour Efex and in Topaz adjust.

The colour shot of the fisherman holding up his fishing line took the maximum work time. It’s a HDR image which i did using -2, 0, +2 exposure levels. There was no way I could’ve shot that in a single exposure with the harsh morning sun right behind him. The old man was kind enough to wait for me to shoot all the three exposures. Since he was not exactly standing still and the fishing line was swaying in the wind, there were quite a many shadows and ghosts in the resultant HDR image. I had to use layermasking in photoshop to correct the noise. I purposefully added the lens flare in photoshop.

8 thoughts on “A Close Encounter with buffaloes – Broken bridge, besant nagar beach

    1. La imagen en color del hombre de Fisher es un tiro HDR y tuve que tomar 3 exposiciones en varios lugares. Él tuvo la amabilidad de posar para mí hasta que pude tomar toda la exposición. Gracias Manoli.

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