2019-12-02: Monochrome Monday

I was away for the weekend and after arriving back home late yesterday afternoon, I completely forgot to work on my Sunday post.  In a stroke of luck though, the images I had prepared earlier last week happen to be monochrome, so they work perfectly for today too.

I’m feeling pretty tired today so I will keep this one brief… I don’t think anyone needs an explanation of these images anyways 🙂

Wishing everyone a fantastic week!

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2019-11-17: Artistic Elephants

Before I get to the images I created for this post, my public service announcement for the day: Always make sure you have a backup of your computer!  I made the decision to upgrade my Mac to a new operating system (not the newest one just released, the one before that, as I thought all the bugs would be worked out). Partway through the install, there was a failure and I ended up with a totally dead computer.  Thankfully, I have a pretty good backup strategy, so all I lost was the edit on a single image… And I wasn’t really that happy with the edit, so it isn’t really much of a loss.  I didn’t get to spend my afternoon editing as my computer was busy doing its own thing with the restore function.  But if I hadn’t had that, I would have spent the day seriously freaking out.

Anyways, on to the topic at hand.  I was playing around with elephant images this week, creating some of what I call my photo art or artistic impressions images.  I love elephants as the subject for these types of creations, as their large size allows the subject to still be recognizable, no matter how crazy I go with different filters, textures and techniques.

I had a lot of fun working on these, I hope you enjoy them too.

Have a great week ahead!

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2019-11-10: Amongst the herd

Sometimes on safari, the vehicle is stopped to watch a small group of elephants, and quite suddenly, you find yourself in the middle of a rather large herd, with elephants to all sides of the vehicle as they make their way through the bush.  I feel incredibly blessed as this has happened to me numerous times while out on game drives.  For some people, the situation can feel a bit intimidating, but I always trust that my guide is reading the situation correctly, and has an exit strategy prepared in case things get dicey.

Thankfully, we’ve never had to use one of those, and instead can enjoy elephants as far as the eye can see.

I hope you enjoy my selections for today, and wishing you a wonderful week ahead.

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Part of a breeding herd of elephants that were moving back into the bushes after being down at the river for a drink.  All of the dust in the air had been kicked up by others elephants passing by.  We had thick bush to both sides, so we just sat and waited until this group moved off the road before carrying on our way.  Tinga Lodge, May 2019.
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This is the closest I have ever seen to the cute drawings of baby elephants hanging on to Mom’s tail.  This was just a fortunate flick of Mom’s tail and the baby moving its trunk at the right time.  These two were part of a massive herd that we spent time with at Kings Camp in the Timbavati.
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A few more elephants from the large herd at Kings Camp.  We saw this group a couple times during our stay, but because the ground is fairly flat with short, bushy trees, there was no way to really capture the scope of the herd.  Groups of a half dozen or so was all I could accomplish.  There were so many little babies in this group, it was heartwarming to see such a baby boom.
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The fading late afternoon light wasn’t great for photography, but sitting with this herd while on a game drive from Chitwa Chitwa was a lot of fun.  We had a couple of safari newbies on our vehicle, and their reaction to how close the elephants came to us while grazing was great.  Lots of gasps and excited whispers from the back of the vehicle!
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Another situation where there were elephants in all directions, but only opportunities to capture a few individuals at a time.  But this adorable baby!  Just look at that face!

2019-11-04: Monochrome Monday

While staying at Lion Sands River Lodge, we set out on our afternoon game drive and came across a small bachelor group of elephants.  These four broke off into pairs, play fighting as the day grew dim, while a couple of other bulls grazed nearby.  It’s so cool watching the interaction of these animals.

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Happy Monday everyone!

2019-11-03: Baby Elephants

My focus for the month is on elephant images, and I decided to start off with some of the adorable babies that I saw on my last safari.

I’ve had the great fortune to spend time amongst the shy ones, the boisterous ones, the playful ones and the ones too focused on food to even give the vehicle a passing glance.  I adore them all.  I hope that the individual character of each animal shines through these images below.

Wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead!

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This little elephant was having a blast playing with this branch.  Waving his trunk while holding it, smacking itself on the sides with the branch, and at one point, tossing it in the air and having it land on its head, wearing it like a leafy crown.
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When you’re hungry, you’re hungry.  Even if that means creating a bit of a traffic jam for the herd behind you.
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This little elephant seems to be very proud of the stick that it is holding.
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Another elephant calf with a stick.  Fetch anyone???
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This was the first group of elephants I saw on my trip.  Being around these beautiful animals makes me incredibly happy.  The elephant baby boom we witnessed at all the properties we stayed at was just amazing.  There were babies everywhere, and so many of them, in large herds.

 

 

2019-09-30: Monochrome Monday

It seems like it has been a while since I have played around with tinted monochrome images.  This elephants looked good in black and white, but felt better with the warmer, coffee tones you see below.  These were taken on different days, but all fairly late in the morning, when the sun was casting harsh shadows.  Conventional wisdom says that’s the time to put away the camera, but I’ll keep shooting as long as there is something interesting to look at.  The bulk of an elephant and the highly textured skin seem to be able to handle harsh light quite well.

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2019-09-29: Photo Art – The Magnificent Seven

This post was originally going to be the big five, but I had images of cheetah and wild dog that I wanted to play around with, so the magnificent seven it is.

One of the reasons I wanted to focus on my photo art this month was to try and learn a bit more about Topaz Studio version 2.  I’ve played around with it a bit, and watched some tutorials, but for the workflow I am using, at this stage I will be sticking with version 1.  The issue that I was finding is I can’t get files to make a round trip using On1 Photo Raw.  I can get the file into Studio 2, and work on it, but the only option for saving is an “Accept” button, which with the workflow I am using, appears to do nothing.  I select it, but the file doesn’t get saved, exported or anything else.  New software versions are typically a bit buggy, so I’ll give it a few update cycles and then play around with it again and see what happens.

One of the great things about photo editing tutorials is getting the little reminders for things that are outside of the normal workflow.  In this case, the reminder was to play around with blending modes when using AI Remix, Impression and textures.  For example, the cheetah image below was edited using (amongst other tools) a filter in AI Remix called Neon Rise.  But changing the blend mode from normal to luminosity kept the amazing texture that the filter offered, but eliminated the wild and crazy colours for something far more subdued, and suited to the image.

I hope you enjoy the selections below.  Wishing you a fantastic week ahead.

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You can find some of these images in the Photo Art section of my gallery.

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.