2021-01-18: Leopard in a tree

I always hesitate a bit about sharing images of predators feeding, as some people (including me) are squeamish, but I don’t find this to be gory or difficult to view, so I hope no one else finds it challenging to look at. Many people say that they want to see a kill while on safari; I never have, though I have arrived at lions feeding very shortly after taking down a pair of impala, and it’s a very hectic experience to witness. In terms of an animal feeding, this was very tame as the carcass was already well picked over and it was high in a tree so there weren’t a lot of smells with it. But it still spooked one of the people in our vehicle, and after a short time there she indicated to our guide that she was ready to move on and that it was getting a bit much for her.

The day previous, she had been quite keen to see a cheetah starting (and then quickly failing) at a hunt. I wonder what would have happened had the cheetah been successful? My thoughts on this are, when heading out in nature, do your best limit your expectations of what you will experience, and what you hope to experience, and even, what you think you will enjoy experiencing.

2021-01-04: Monochrome Monday

We spent time viewing these siblings after a rather lengthy search, and couldn’t have found them in a nicer spot, next to a dam in the late afternoon. There was a giraffe watching them wearily from the other side as it awkwardly bent over to get a drink.

The body language here is interesting to me, with the lying down lion obviously not too pleased at the affectionate head bump from the young male. He had obviously been in a few scuffles already, judging by the healed gashes on his flank. One thing I have learned from all the guides I have met, and all the nature programs that I have watched, is life as a lion definitely is not an easy affair. Young males get ousted from a pride; from the small size of his mane, this one still had a bit of time left with his family, though I am sure by now, more than 1 1/2 years on, if he is still alive, he would not be with the pride any longer.

2021-01-03: More time with Capture One

I found a few more images that were similar to do some side by side editing between Lightroom and Capture One Express for raw processing. I continue to be impressed with the colour and detail that Capture One brings out of my Fuji files.

The first is a leopard image from Lion Sands River Lodge, edited with Lightroom.
And here is the same leopard using Capture One.

I edited these photos on different days and didn’t cross check to try to make them look the same, but just to bring out the best in them. I think the colour rendering is nicer on the Capture One version as it has less of a magenta cast, and generally it feels to me a bit richer with more depth.

This was shot at Chitwa Chitwa, when the Torchwood pride moved through the property early one morning. This was done with Lightroom.
This is a single lioness from the same pride, edited using Capture One. Again, I prefer the Capture One edit for the richness of colour.
Finally, a sunrise image shot while at Lion Sands Tinga Lodge. This first image is the Lightroom edit.
The same sunrise edited using Capture One. And three for three, I prefer the colour and depth in this image to the Lightroom edited image.

Because I need to keep the file sizes manageable for the webpage, some of the differences that I see when looking at the images within the editing programs doesn’t reflect in the versions I post online, but, I think these give a good example of what I am experiencing with this new (to me ) software.

Have a great week everyone!

2020-12-28: Monochrome Monday

I’ve had a lovely five days off of work (and school) which has given me a great opportunity to dig into a bit of editing. I found a few images that I had shot with my infrared filter to work on, which has been a lot of fun. These were taken on different days, and I didn’t try to make things consistent between the images, but instead just edit them how they felt right to me.

2020-12-27: Trying out Capture One Express

I had an email from Fuji a couple of days ago advertising a new version of the free Capture One Express software, and decided to download it and give it a try. Since I can’t go anywhere to take photos, playing around with new software at least gives a different spin to what I have already been looking at for some time.

I’ve been pretty unsettled with my photo workflow; I used Lightroom for years, then switched to On1 Photo Raw, and then switched back to Lightroom. I have other photo software as well, such as Topaz Studio and Luminar, but found that neither suited my purposes as my basic editor, though both have their place as a secondary editor through Photoshop.

I’ve watched a 7 minute quick start video on Capture One and then decided to edit a couple images using that as my starting point, and a couple others from the same area in Lightroom to see what the difference would be. While the Capture One Express lacks some key features such as spot removal and watermarking capabilities, there are other options to do those tasks. What I was really interested in was what software made the images look the best they can. From my very brief test, it looks like it will be worth the time to explore Capture One in much more depth.

These images were all taken at the Potholes on the Panorama Route in South Africa. It’s an area with beautifully red tinted rocks and lots of small waterfalls. We were there just before noon so there were lots of deep shadows in areas and very high contrast.

One of the canyons, edited using Capture One Express.
A very similar image, edited using Lightroom. I personally think the depth of colour is more pleasing in the Capture One version.

These next two images weren’t in the exact same area, so there were actual differences in the colour tone of the rocks, it is not just an element of the processing software.

This image was edited in Capture One, and again the colour tone seems more vivid and true to life. Note I didn’t add any additional colour saturation to this image.
This image was edited using Lightroom, and the tone of the rocks here is naturally more subdued, but I still feel like the Capture One software brought more to the image than Lightroom did.

Comparing only two sets of images is definitely not enough to formulate any type of solid opinion on a new (to me) software product, but the results have me really excited to play around and see what I can create. Capture One Express, at first glance, has a much larger selection of Fuji film simulations compared to Lightroom, and I really like the look they give an image to start the editing process. For both of these images, I selected “Film Standard” curve in conjunction with the ICC profile that was pre-loaded for my camera.

2020-12-20: Along the river

The Sabie River flows in front of Tinga Lodge, and on an afternoon game drive, only a couple minutes from camp, we came across a huge herd of buffalo. Some were crossing the river, others lounging in it, and others pausing to take a drink. Mixed amongst them were also a number of elephants. We spent a few moments watching all the action, and then carried on across a wooden bridge over the river.

It wasn’t a remarkable moment on safari by any stretch, but a lovely moment none the less and when I came across the photos today when trying to decide what to work on, they made me smile and remember the warm sun, the dust, the slight breeze and the scent of elephant, buffalo and the plants growing along the river bank.