2019-02-11: Monochrome Monday

This waterhole was in Nxai Pans National Park in Botswana.  We stopped there after a trip out to the Baines Baobabs, and watched as a lone bull elephant approached the water.  We all thought he was an enormous elephant.  A few minutes later, another bull appeared, even larger, and the first elephant made way for the newcomer to choose the spot he wanted at the water.  Then the third came along, and both the bulls at the water had to give way to the last that arrived to drink.  I love watching these dynamics play out in nature.  There was no struggle, no tension, just a simple understanding amongst the group of who got to be in charge.

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2019-02-10: Topic of the Month – Warm

This topic came to me as it is the exact opposite of how I feel right now!  We’ve been in a deep freeze for some time now, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight yet.  So, my Sunday posts for February are going to focus on warm places, warm interactions; anything that makes me feel a bit warmer!

Today, I have some landscape images to share from my travels.  All places where I haven’t spent time shivering!

Wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead.

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The desert near Hoanib Skeleton Coast camp in Namibia.  It’s a truly striking desert landscape, and a place I would recommend to visit.
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Another area near Hoanib, where we stopped for a sundowner.  This was a quick photo I snapped as the sun disappeared behind the hills; glass of wine in one hand and camera in the other.
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Where the desert and a lush valley meet.  These pockets of green seem to come out of nowhere when you are flying over the desert, and show that there are habitats capable of supporting lots of life, even within such a hot and dry place.
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The Okavango Delta from the air.
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A sunrise in the Sabi Sands in South Africa.
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Driving through the desert outside of Palm Springs, California.  Photographic “rules” would say that lines should be leading into the photo, not out of it.  But rules are sometimes made to be broken; I like the unexpected composition.
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One of the beautiful vistas in Joshua Tree National Park.

 

2018-12-16: Luminar’s Sky Enhancer

Last week I decided I would play around with one of the new features in Luminar, a filter called AI Sky Enhancer.  Perhaps the timing wasn’t so good though, as yesterday evening I downloaded the newly release Luminar 3, and with the added library function, I was having a bit of trouble navigating the system (since I haven’t yet looked at any resources on how to use the new software).  Despite a bit of floundering within the libraries function, the actual photo editing and filters layout remains the same, and I was able to complete my self-appointed task.

This first image wasn’t solely about the sky; it’s kind of hard to ignore the leopard in the tree!  I wanted to enhance the natural colours of the sky and bring up some of the shadow areas.  I started with the AI Sky Enhancer and added other filters as needed (which was how I approached all the images).  I’ve included a split screen showing before and after and the edited image for each one I worked on.

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Next up is a photo shot while on a boat on the Boteti River in Botswana.  Shooting into the sun left the sky quite washed out; I am impressed how well I could enhance the sky colour and the clouds with Luminar without it becoming to HDR-like.

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The Okavango Delta is an amazing place for sunsets; the colours in the sky are incredibly dramatic from my experience.  With that much colour already, it is easy to take the image a step too far and have it look radioactive.  The AI sky enhancer did a great job accentuating the detail in the clouds, without pumping the colour up to 11.

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Finally I have included a sunset from the Hoanib desert in Namibia.  There was a lot of airborne dust and sand that evening, so while I did do some noise reduction in the sky to reduce the visible grain, there is definitely still a lot of texture.  This was also shot with my Panasonic camera, which is much noisier than the Nikon I was also shooting with.  Regardless, I am please with the realistic tones, the detail in the clouds and the textures in the desert and the hills.

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I’m going to ow have to spend some time familiarizing myself with the layout of the new Luminar software, so I can work using their library function in an efficient manner.

2018-12-10: Monochrome Monday

I think elephants look stunning in a black and white interpretation.  The amazing texture of their skin gets emphasized in such a wonderful way.

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Lots of wrinkles, and wise eyes.
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An old bull elephant enjoying a drink in Etosha National Park.
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This elephant gave us one head shake, but when she realized the rest of the family was completely chill with our presence, she went back to calmly grazing.

2018-12-09: Artistic Impressions

This week, I felt inspired to play around in Topaz Impressions and create some of my artistic impression images.  Or as I like to say, what I would paint, if I could paint :).

Next week, I am going to try and work with the new AI Sky Enhancer that Luminar just released.

Wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead!

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A young elephant seen on an early morning game drive.
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A leopard scanning the horizon at sunset in the Okavango Delta.
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A regal lion laying in the tall grass just after sunrise.
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A large warthog moving through camp.
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A fiery sunset – Africa has the most expressive skies!

2018-12-03: Monochrome Monday

A trio of leopard images to start the week.  I hope you enjoying, and wishing you a fantastic week ahead.

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We were lucky enough to spend a couple of hours with this beautiful leopard, as day faded into night.
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Even though I got loads of great photos while it was still out light out, when our ranger got the spotlight out, I had to try for a couple more.
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A leopard cub descending a fallen tree to play with its sibling.