2019-03-25: Monochrome Monday

I’m keeping with yesterday’s Palm Springs theme, but this time, a black and white interpretation.

I hope everyone’s week has gotten off to a fantastic start!

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Deconstructed palm trees.
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Palm fronds.
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Joshua Tree at dusk.
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A Joshua tree and a sky full of stars.
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Joshua Tree by day.
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Lots and lots of desert plants, speaking loudly without any words.  So clearly saying “Look, but do not touch”.
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This was taken in the back garden of the property I stayed at.  I kept hearing a familiar call, but didn’t realize that there were flickers in Southern California.  Here, it is being tormented by a couple of Costa’s hummingbird.  All I had to hand was my Panasonic camera, which at full zoom leaves something to be desired, but I’d rather have the moment than not.  I always find it interesting seeing tiny hummingbirds bossing around much larger birds.

2019-03-11: Monochrome Monday

Some leopards to start the week!  Leopards are definitely my favourite cats to watch (well, at least of the cats I have seen so far… once I have the chance to see tigers and jaguars, I’ll have to revisit this statement!)

The first image was taken in Botswana in the Okavango Delta, in a sighting filled will drama (for the humans involved).  Several vehicles from another camp were following this leopard, who was doing what leopards do best, being elusive and sticking to the cover of the bush.  There had been a lot of flooding in the area, and a vehicle got stuck while following this cat, and then a second got stuck, trying to help the first.  Our awesome ranger saved the day and got the vehicles mobile again, but both stuck vehicles missed out on the few photo opportunities that were available, like this one.

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Seeing this image brings back fun memories of a great (and rather muddy) game drive.  This can be a typical leopard sighting; lots of cover, grasses and bushes, but that’s also why I like it, because it is realistic.

This second image was also from the delta, and I have posted of this sighting many times before so I won’t go on and on.  I think though, this shot is how people dream of seeing leopards, but the one above is a far more realistic scenario.

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A gorgeous leopard who spent a late afternoon, through sunset, perched in tree, with only us there to watch.

This final image was taken in South Africa; our guide took us to a sighting of a mama leopard and her two cubs in ravine, and we had a brilliant time watching the cubs playing on the fallen trees, scampering through the swamp, and wrestling with each other.  The cub pictured here was just about to pounce on its sibling, who was a few feet below on the ground.  This was one of those sightings where, as we drove back to camp, our guide told us “we probably should keep this quiet while there are other guests around”.

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A playful leopard cub descending a fallen tree.

 

Just so you know, you can find lots of images like these over in my gallery page!

2019-03-04: Monochrome Monday

This is one of a few images that I took while playing around with an infrared filter that I bought during my trip to California last October.  I only spent a brief amount of time reading about shooting with one of these filters before getting out and trying it, and as such, forgot about a few things, such as setting a custom white balance before starting shooting.  Even though I didn’t follow through with all the steps that you should be doing, I am still happy with the results; editing just took a bit longer than it would have otherwise.

I am excited for spring to arrive and have the chance to get the filter out and work with it some more.  I don’t think infrared images of snowy fields and trees would have much impact!

Wishing everyone a great week ahead.

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Some of the beautiful boulders in Joshua Tree National Park.  California, October 2018. 

2019-02-25: Monochrome Monday

The amazing Okavango Delta, from the air, is the image I have selected for my monochrome Monday post this week.  It is such an amazing and beautiful location, and one that absolutely needs to be experienced from the land, the air and the water to truly get an appreciation for the magic of the place.  Definitely a destination I hope to return to again.

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2019-02-18: Monochrome Monday

I have been incredibly fortunate to see wild dogs on all the trips I have taken to southern Africa.  My very first trip, when asked what animal I hoped I would see, it was the wild dog.  I knew they were rare, endangered, and can be difficult to find, and when our guide Mike found them during our day trip to Chobe Park, I was beyond thrilled.  And I have remained thrilled each time I have had the good fortune of spending time with these amazing animals.

All the images below were from my last trip, when we had wild dogs sightings over 3 days in the Okavango Delta.

 

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On of the pack members breaking off as they set off on a hunt.
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Resting, yet still alert.  After we parked the vehicle, this dog settled in within a few feet of the land rover.
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A classic puppy pose 🙂
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The pack greeting each other as they all awoke from an afternoon of napping.
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Watch dog.

 

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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2019-02-04: Monochrome Monday

I’ve been saddened to read about the damage Joshua Tree National Park has sustained recently.  I don’t understand how people can come into such a beautiful place, and tag boulders like these with graffiti, or push over the iconic Joshua trees.  I’m grateful I had a chance to visit the park twice, and both times it was in pristine condition.

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2019-01-07: Monochrome Monday

Good Morning everyone!  I just have a single image to share today for monochrome Monday, as trying to export this one was an immensely frustrating process.  I’ve been working with the new On1 Photo Raw 2019, and there are some serious export issues with the program.  In reading some online forums, it seems to be an issue that a lot of people are having.

It took me 5 tries to export this image and have it resemble the image on my screen.  The first was incredibly dark, a second version very light, one version everything was tinted red.  I wish I would have saved all these junk exports to share, but I deleted them in frustration.

At this stage, I am actually contemplating switching up my workflow again and going back to Lightroom, as I really don’t like wasting a bunch of time doing things over and over again.  So far there have not been any updates to the program that have addressed these issues.

This image was shot at Joshua Tree National Park in California, back in October.  I was playing around with an infrared filter that I had purchased.  I have much to learn about properly shooting with this filter, but I am happy with the result I got.

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Wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead.

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.