2020-02-23: Heading into the photo vault

I have some bird images that I took on my first trip to Africa, which I printed to fill a frame with 4 – 5″ x 5″ openings. While I see it every day, I haven’t really given it much thought in years.  But today when I looked at it, I wondered if with the skills and software I have now, I could improve upon those images.

All of these were shot in raw format with a Nikon D5100 with a 55-300mm kit lens.  I did the best I could at the time with editing them, but we all know that software has come a long way in the last 6 years, not to mention there has been a ton of room for improvement in my skills with editing (and still so much to learn).

A lot of these were taken during the harsh light of midday; but when you are out and about, you shoot what you see, when you see it.  You never know if you’ll even see the same species of bird again, let alone have another opportunity to photograph it.  And as it stands, after 6 trips to Africa, I have only seen carmine bee-eaters on that very first trip while in Zambia, so I am glad I did capture what images I could 🙂

For each image, first is the original edit, and second is the updated edit.

DSC_0465

DSC_0465 copy-Edit
A lilac breasted roller in flight.  A challenge I still enjoy trying to capture; these are my favourite bird.

DSC_0273

DSC_0273 copy1-Edit
A red bishop in breeding plumage.  

DSC_0141

DSC_0141 copy-Edit
A pair of blue-cheeked bee-eaters.

DSC_0146-Edit

DSC_0146 copy-Edit
A flock of carmine bee-eaters.

I think in every case, the re-edit made substantial improvement.  As soon as I remember to pick up a replacement light magenta ink cartridge for my printer, I am going to reprint these and replace the original images in that old frame.

I have a few other ideas of images I would like to explore from my archive, so watch this space in the coming weeks and months.

Have a great week!

2016-12-24: Photo Slideshow

Hi everyone!  I recently put together this photo slideshow for my photo club Christmas party, and thought I would share it here as well.

The photos are taken over the past three years, and there are several from each of my trips to Africa.

I hope you enjoy, Merry Christmas, and all the best for the coming year.

Weavers

Along with the Southern Red Bishops, the Weavers kept me entertained and happily snapping away while they went about their business.  The amount of bird life was fabulous when we were in Zambia and as well for our day trip into Botswana.  Such an amazing variety of bird life, and such extraordinary colours and patterns on the feathers.  I can’t want to return!

A group of weavers alongside the Zambezi River.  One of them looks like it's trying to climb the grass, rather than fly to a new spot! 1/4000sec, f5.6, ISO400
A group of weavers alongside the Zambezi River. One of them looks like it’s trying to climb the grass, rather than fly to a new spot!
1/4000sec, f5.6, ISO400
I haven't been able to figure out what type of weavers these are, but they were in abundance in the tall grasses next to my room at Royal Chundu. 1/640sec, f5.6, ISO200
I haven’t been able to figure out what type of weavers these are, but they were in abundance in the tall grasses next to my room at Royal Chundu.
1/640sec, f5.6, ISO200

Southern red bishops

Last April I was lucky enough to stay at the Royal Chundu Zambezi River Lodge, and just outside of my room there was a fabulous variety of birds to watch.  I was fascinated by the red bishop; the male was quite a bully, scaring off any of birds that got too close to his territory.  He was always easy to spot amongst the tall grasses with his brilliant red feathers.  The females are much more subdued, but still very beautiful.  To me they have a lovely, soft face and gentle eyes.

1/640sec, f5.6, ISO200
Female southern red bishop   1/640sec, f5.6, ISO200
1/640sec, f5.6, ISO200
Male southern red bishop   1/640sec, f5.6, ISO200

Birds in flight

I’ve not been having much success in crafting regular posts these days.  I had planned on dedicating a post to birds in flight, but many of the photos I thought I would use do not look as crisp as I would like, and are now in the reject pile.  Besides, it seemed a bit discriminatory towards those birds I have had the pleasure photographing that do not have the gift of flight.

So instead I’ve put together a rather random selection of birds to feature this week, and fingers crossed I will have both the time and inspiration for something more next week.

So without further ado…

A vulture coming in to land, South Africa, April 2013
A vulture coming in to land, South Africa, April 2013
Cormorant in flight over the Chobe River in Botswana, April 2013
Cormorant in flight over the Chobe River in Botswana, April 2013
A penguin at Boulder Beach, near Cape Town, April 2013
A penguin at Boulder Beach, near Cape Town, April 2013
A group of bee-eaters along the Chobe River in Botswana, April 2013
A group of bee-eaters along the Chobe River in Botswana, April 2013
I have no idea what type of bird this is!  The photo was taken in January 2011 while on a Caribbean cruise.  Several of these birds flew next to the ship for hours at a time.
I have no idea what type of bird this is! The photo was taken in January 2011 while on a Caribbean cruise. Several of these birds flew next to the ship for hours at a time.
An ostrich near the Cape of Good Hope, April 2013
An ostrich near the Cape of Good Hope, April 2013
Egyptian Geese at the Botanical Gardens in Cape Town, April 2013
Egyptian Geese at the Botanical Gardens in Cape Town, April 2013

 

Sundowners

I first came across the term sundowners on a trip to Hong Kong.  Basically, it’s just a fancier way of saying an after work drink.

Now, popping into a nice pub or sitting on a patio having an after work drink is a great, but having a sundowner on the African Bushveld, or a Zambezi River cruise – that’s absolutely fantastic.   I admit freely that these photos are not the best pictures I have taken.  The photos really weren’t the point – they were almost an afterthought.

On the river cruise, I relaxed and chatted with my parents, enjoyed a cold Zambian beer and spotted wild life and birds on the shore.  I had some fun playing with my camera photographing the sunset on full zoom, and ended up with the photos below, filled with colour.

Sunset on the Zambezi River, April 2013
Sunset on the Zambezi River, April 2013
Sunset of the Zambezi River, April 2013
Sunset of the Zambezi River, April 2013

For sundowners at Londolozi, I enjoyed the company of our fabulous guide and tracker, Talley and Freddy, the other guests along for the game viewing, and a cold glass of Chenin Blanc (and far too many Chili Bites).  I even left my camera on the vehicle, not just once but on two different evenings and had to climb back up for it, as I was so content simply enjoying the peace and tranquility of watching the sunset in what I can honestly say was my favorite place on earth.

Game Drive Sunset, April 2013
Game Drive Sunset, April 2013
Game Drive Sunset, April 2013
Game Drive Sunset, April 2013

I am shocked I managed to get this last photo, as I didn’t have a tripod and was trying to avoid the dreaded camera shake on a fairly lengthy exposure.

Game Drive Sunset, April 2013
Game Drive Sunset, April 2013