2019-09-09: Monochrome Monday

Like impala, vervet monkeys can sometimes be seen so frequently from camp and when out on game drives that you stop paying attention to them, or taking the time to take photos of them.  The alarm calls of the vervet monkeys can sometimes lead to predator sightings, so they are definitely an animal worth paying attention to out in the bush.  They are interesting and inquisitive animals, and can often be seen up in the trees near camp buffet tables, trying to work out the best way to steal a muffin.

None of the vervet monkeys in the photos below were up to any such mischief (though I have seen it happen many times).  These were from two different troops that we stopped to spend time with while out on game drives in May.

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2019-09-02: Monochrome Monday

Today I wanted to share a few of the images that I captured while driving the Panorama Route in South Africa earlier this year.  It’s a beautiful scenic drive with lots of opportunities to stop and take short walks to view waterfalls and breathtaking vistas, like the three rondavels.  If you are travelling to South Africa, it is definitely a day trip worth taking.

I hope you enjoy my selections for the day, and wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead!

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The three rondavels under stormy looking skies (not a drop of rain fell during the entire time I spent in South Africa though).
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Some of the small waterfalls at Bourke’s Luck Potholes, another stop along the panorama route.
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Berlin Falls

2019-08-26: Monochrome Monday

It’s no secret that I love elephants, and that I love editing elephant images in black and white.  Here are a few from my most recent travels.  I hope they brighten up your Monday 🙂

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This little elephant was precocious and kept all of us laughing and smiling as he played with sticks and branches, tossing them over his head.
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A mama guiding her young calf across the road to join the rest of the herd.
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Another adorable youngster; this one was very inquisitive and spent lots of time near the vehicle, seeing what we were all about.
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A large bull elephant in musth.  Our guide was very cautious as this guy approached us on the road, but the elephant turned off into the bushes, after giving his head a dramatic shake at us.
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Drinks stop while Mom graves.

2019-08-20: Monochrome Monday

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend, and is ready for the week ahead.  I found a lion image from a previous trip that had been edited but never shared, so I found a couple of others to put together this grouping.

I hope you enjoy, and wishing you a fantastic week!

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This image was from 2017, when we had prolific lion sightings and had the pleasure of listening to their roars cutting through the night.  On this past trip, I didn’t hear a single lion roar, but the lion dynamics can change significantly on properties over a few years.
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This young male was seen in the late afternoon lounging next to a waterhole at Kings Camp in the Timbavati.  Doesn’t he look majestic?  You can find this image, along with lots of others, over in my gallery.
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This lion and his brother were moving at speed through the property that Chitwa Chitwa has traversing rights to.  We were fortunate to have an opportunity to view them before they crossed the boundary, and could no longer be followed by our vehicle.

2019-08-05: Monochrome Monday

This week I decided to work on some cheetah images for monochrome Monday.  I only had one cheetah sighting on my last trip, but as we had the opportunity to watch the female cheetah stationary under a tree, and in the beginning stages of a failed hunt, there were lots of opportunities for images.  I’m still waiting for the magic moment of seeing a cheetah moving at something faster than a saunter; but that’s just another reason to go on safari again someday!

I hope you enjoy my selections for the week.  Happy Monday, and wishing you a wonderful week ahead!

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Cheetahs are such slender animals, that when they lay on their sides with their heads on the ground, you can barely see them.  I think we might have driven past this female if she hadn’t lifted her head at an opportune moment.
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A stretch and a yawn, then she moved about 5 feet before laying down again.  
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Disappearing into the tall grass at the start of a failed hunting expedition.  The herd of impala spotted her as she moved through a clearing, ruining any element of surprise.  Here though, you can start to see how these animals become invisible in their environment.  If she had been slinking along through the grass in a more crouched position, she would have been invisible to any impala that glanced in her direction.

 

2019-07-29: Monochrome Monday

I’ve had the amazing good fortune to see wild dogs on all of my trips to Southern Africa.  I don’t think I could ever tire of spending time with these amazing animals; seeing the interaction between different members of the pack is always an interesting experience.  On this past trip, I had two different sightings; one where the dogs were active and out in the open, and the other, where they were lazing away the morning deep in a thicket.

Here a few of my images from these two sightings.

Enjoy!

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Alert and at the ready.  Lion Sands River Lodge, May 2019.
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Always a good idea to check on who, or what, might be sneaking up on you from behind.
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Two of the pack members greeting each other; the behaviour of our pet dogs at the dog park is so similar.
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Taking the path of least resistance; a pair of dogs set off down the road.
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A pack of wild dogs resting deep in a thicket at mid morning.  This group was seen in the Timbavati, whilst staying at Kings Camp.

2019-07-22: Monochrome Monday

I spent a bit of time playing with my infrared filter while traveling, and while it is a style I definitely need to explore and practice more, I am quite pleased with how these images turned out.

I actually remembered to do the custom white balance before taking these images, which made editing them a more straightforward process once I got home.  I’m actually considering having one of my cameras converted to infrared sometime in the future, to make it a bit easier to explore this genre of photography.

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This beautiful tree is at the edge of the river, seen from the main deck at Lion Sands River Lodge.  
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This is the river view from the main deck at Lion Sands Tinga Lodge.  The long exposures that are necessary when using a traditional camera with IR filter showcase the movement of the water, and the breeze playing with the leaves and the grasses.
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Another river view from Lion Sands Tinga Lodge.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my selections of the day.

Wishing everyone a great week ahead!

2019-07-15: Monochrome Monday

This past trip was filled with a lot of rhino sightings, and like elephants, I think they make terrific subjects for black and white photography.  Their thick, textured skin can be highlighted very well in monochrome, and by removing colour, it is actually easier to see how such a large animal can blend into the surroundings so well.

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A rhino cow and calf spotted while staying at Lion Sands river Lodge.
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An oxpecker perched between the eyes of a rhino.  These birds do a valuable service in removing ticks and other bugs from the skin of their hosts.
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A pair of bachelors moving through the bushes.  These two were spotted in the Timbavati, and they moved between open and thicker areas.  Out in the open they are easy to see, but as soon as they are amongst the trees, it is nearly impossible to spot them.  Like elephants, I am always amazed how an animal an large can disappear into the bush so easily.

I hope you enjoy my selections for the day; I hope your Monday is fantastic!

2019-07-08: Impala

When you pull up to a small group of impala, in my experience they will either bolt immediately, or give you a passing glance and then go back to grazing.  But when you encounter a large herd like this near the side of the road, things tend to get a bit hectic, quite quickly.

We stopped to take some pictures of the herd and all was calm; until it wasn’t.  The noise of the vehicle didn’t startle them; perhaps it was realizing that we were actually looking at them, not something else, that brought up their urge to flee.  Or brought up the order for one of them to flee… but when one bolts, all the others follow suit.

A lot of people don’t really give impala a passing glance whilst out on safari; their abundance in so many areas; compared to the relative scarcity of predator sightings, can make them seem a bit boring to some.  I think they are beautiful creatures though, and love when I have the opportunity to watch them and take a few images.

I hope you enjoy my selections this week.  I hope your week ahead is wonderful! 🙂

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A large herd of impalas, near the side of the road we were traveling on the way back to camp on our morning game drive.
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One of herd got anxious, and then they all pick up on the vibe and start getting anxious.  
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The dominant ram trying to retain control of the situation, and lead the females away in the direction that he wants to go.
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The slightest sound or movement is enough to set them off, and the group begins to panic, bolting in every direction.
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Some running for it, while others leap in to the air to prove how strong and powerful they are (and therefore not a good target for a predator).