2020-05-04: Monochrome Monday

These two couldn’t have posed any nicer if I has asked them. A pair of young male waterbuck seen while on a game drive in South Africa.  Oh, how I miss that beautiful place!

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2020-05-03: Backyard Birds

I’ve been letting the feeders run to empty now, given the likelihood of bears in the back yard, but that hasn’t slowed down the volume of birds in the yard at all, at least not yet.  Today I spotted a new species for the first time, a Townsend’s Solitaire, and while I didn’t get a great image of it, at least it got me outside for a few minutes to capture the other visitors, before it started to rain.

The one bird I didn’t get any images of today is a hummingbird, and they have arrived back here as well.  They are one of my favourite birds to watch, and hearing them buzz and chatter from the bushes or investigate me when I am out walking the dog is one of the joys of summer.

Just a couple today, I hope you are also getting the chance to get outside and enjoy spring.

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I only got my camera out when this bird was spotted to try and snap a picture to help with identifying it.  Since it is a new species for me, I thought I would share, despite it being a bit blurry.
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A dark-eyed junco nibbling on seeds on the ground.  It is so nice not to be seeing snow any longer!
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A group of white crowned sparrows and house finches.  I am struggling to identify the brown and white striped bird in the bottom left corner.  I am pretty sure it is the same struggle I have every year!

2020-04-27: Monochrome Monday

Muscle memory is already starting to kick in while I am working my way around photoshop.  I was really happy to have the chance to play around with a plugin I haven’t been able to use in a long time; Tonality by MacPhun (now called Skylum Software).  I know their Luminar product is supposed to have similar options as the old Creative Kit, but I really liked the speed I could fulfill my vision using the Tonality plugin, and today was no different.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead.

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2020-04-26: The only constant is change

A few years ago I moved away from Adobe editing products, and started using On1 Photo Raw as my main tool for organizing and editing photos.  At the time it felt like a good idea to try something different, and I was able to use the tools I wanted in a fairly efficient manner.

Fast forward to today, and I have made the choice to move back to Lightroom and Photoshop.  I have been having a few issues with On1, especially strange instances of the program getting stuck searching when filters are turned on, sometimes for a half hour or more.  Which granted isn’t that much time, but I don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to editing, so having my flow interrupted was irritating.  Mostly though, as various companies make changes to their software to have it run as a standalone option, I was missing having Photoshop as an efficient go-between.  My workflow over the last 6 months or so has definitely lacked the flow aspect, so now, I begin the process of relearning Lightroom and Photoshop.

I’m looking forward to the opportunity to start revisiting different tools and plugins that I haven’t had an efficient way to use in months.  From a cost aspect, I don’t see that being back in the Adobe subscription model will have me financially any worse off either.  I ended up purchasing each new version of On1 as it was released, since they promised great improvements, etc. etc, so in the end my annual software costs should be about the same.

I enjoy the opportunity to mix things up and learn new things, so in another year or two I may decide to change again.  Only time will tell.

For images this week, I was drawn to work on a few pictures I took along the panorama route in South Africa.

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2020-04-20: Monochrome Monday

Spotlights can add a strange colour cast to images, and rather than tinkering for ages with colour correction, I moved this to black and white to see how it would look, and loved the result.

Wishing everyone a fantastic week!

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A southern white-faced owl spotted while on the way back to camp while staying at Chitwa Chitwa in the Sabi Sands.

2020-04-19: Cheetah

I wasn’t at all anticipating seeing a cheetah during my last trip to South Africa; we were spending the majority of the time in the Sabi Sands, which is far more known as a destination to see leopard than cheetah.  But this beautiful female was spotted about 15 minutes or so into our afternoon drive, and we had the opportunity to watch her on a failed hunting attempt, which was quite something.  The wind wasn’t in her favour and the impala spotted her before she was even remotely close to them.

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Waking up from an afternoon nap.
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The beginning of stalking posture.
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We were heading away from the sighting when she popped up in front of our vehicle at the top of a small slope, allowing for an interesting angle.