2020-04-05: Sunrise to sunset during safari

I’m working on a guest post for a friend doing an Armchair safari series, and thought I would share the images here as well.  I decided that the theme of my post would be sunrise to sunset on safari; showcasing images from dawn till dusk while out in the bush.  These are all shot during my last trip to South Africa and were from all of the camps that I stayed at.  I would have to plan a lot more in advance while out in the field to have a sunrise to sunset images from a single day (note to self, do that next trip!).

Rather than a highlight reel of amazing sightings, these are just a collection of moments out in the bush.

I hope you enjoy.

6am - Lions
6am – Lions.  Two of the Torchwood Pride greet each other.
7am - Hyena and Impala
7am – Hyena and Impala.  A group of impala look on wearily as a hyena approaches down the road.
8am - Elephants
8am – Elephants.  A pair of youngsters tussle while the older elephants graze nearby.  
9am - Giraffe
9am – Giraffe.  A giraffe bull paused in the road allowing me to capture this image while on the way back to camp for breakfast.
10am - Waterbuck
10am – Waterbuck.  A waterbuck heads towards the dam for a drink.
11am - Hippos
11am – Hippos. A group of hippos making their way back to the water to beat the midday heat.
12pm - Hornbill
12pm – Yellow-billed hornbill.  A “flying banana” perched just beyond the deck at camp.
1pm - Infrared Landscape
1pm – Landscape in infrared.  Midday was a great time to wander around camp with my infrared filter and play around with long exposure photos. This was shot from the deck at Lion Sands Tinga Lodge.
2pm - Purple Crested Turaco
2pm – Purple Crested Turaco.  I tried for ages to capture a good image of this beautiful bird from my balcony, but given they like to be deep in the branches, it really wasn’t meant to be.  It was a fun way to spend part of the afternoon though.
3pm - Cheetah
3pm – Cheetah.  We’d only been out on game drive for about 10 minutes when we came across this cheetah, and had the chance to watch her stalking some impala.  They spotted her right away so supper wasn’t in her immediate future.
4pm - Wild Dog
4pm – Wild Dog.  Spending time with wild dogs always makes my heart happy.  We had a good half an hour with them before they took off in all directions, setting out to hunt.
5pm - Honey Badgers
5pm – Honey Badgers. I had always wanted to see honey badgers and on my first game drive of the trip I finally had my chance.  It only lasted about 30 seconds but it certainly was thrilling, even if all I could get were butt shots!
6pm - Leopard
6pm – Leopard.  We were heading back to camp for drinks and dinner and came across this leopard heading in to this large puddle to drink.  It was a quick stop before the leopard was on its way.

 

 

2020-02-10: Monochrome Monday

Happy Monday!  I am super grateful that I was able to get my computer back out of sick bay this weekend, complete with a new SSD drive, so hopefully it’ll be running well for a couple more years (at least).

I got the computer back, but haven’t actually had an opportunity to do anything with it in terms of editing.  Even with the system restore from a backup, there are little quirks that need to be addressed.

So here is a giraffe image I edited a few weeks ago and had ready to go.  These two were part of a group of about 6-8 that were spread out amongst the acacia trees.  We were on our way to check on a lion sighting from the previous day, so we didn’t spend too much time with these guys.  Not that we needed to rush to the lions; they had barely moved since the previous day.

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Wishing everyone a wonderful week!

2019-09-08: Photo Art – Giraffes

I’m focusing on photo art this month, and decided to start things off focusing on giraffes. The easily recognizable shape of a giraffe meant that no matter how far I took the editing, the shape of the animal would still be recognizable as a giraffe.

Since I don’t have any natural talents in drawing and painting, creating these painterly interpretations from the photographs that I take is my opportunity to set aside the need to keep an image looking realistic, and instead focus on what the image is saying to me.

I hope you like my selections for the week; check back next Sunday to see the next instalment.

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I took this image in a lot of different directions before coming up with this final edit.  It is almost starting to resemble a photograph of a giraffe painted on the fabric.
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The rosy tint and soft focus effects give this image the feel of a vintage photograph.
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Even though they are enormous animals, giraffes have an amazing ability to blend into their surroundings.  I wanted to highlight the camouflage nature of the coat in this edit.
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This giraffe image reminds me of some of the animal paintings I have seen in old stately homes.   

2019-07-07: Babies in the bush

I’m sure most would have expected me to start with elephants for my first post in a series on babies in the bush; and I was tempted to.  We spent time with so many large herds, and saw so many young elephants, I am spoiled for choice with images.  But, I decided that I would start with something different, and chose to focus on animals with hooves instead.  My timing was wrong to see tiny impala, but I did see a fair number of young giraffe, waterbuck and zebra during my travels.

I hope you enjoy my selections, and wishing you an excellent week ahead.

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This giraffe was acting a bit like a crossing guard for several youngsters crossing the road in front of us.  Not the best images, but great to show the size difference between the babies and the adults.  I only wish there had been an impala in the shot too, to really show how large the young giraffe actually are.
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Fulfilling the cross guard role as another youngster moved from one side to the other.  There were about a half dozen giraffe in this group in total.
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A herd of zebra pause to allow the littlest one a chance to suckle.
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A young waterbuck blending quite nicely with the autumn tones of the bush.  Mom was nearby grazing.
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A zebra and her foal pause to check out our vehicle, before carry on slowly strolling through the bush.
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One waterbuck mama acting as babysitter for a group of youngsters.  They were all lounging close to the dam at Chitwa Chitwa, while other members of the group were grazing or drinking.
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Little and large.

2019-06-23: Mamas and babies in the bush

I was fortunate to see lots of youngsters during my latest travels.  While the young elephants are definitely my favourite to watch, especially when they start waving their tiny trunks around trying to act tough, all the young animals in the bush are a delight to see.

Here are just a few of the sightings that I had.

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A giraffe calf having a late afternoon milk break.
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We spent some time with this pair of rhinos while they grazed away the early morning.  Here the young one had just turned to look as another vehicle was heading in to take over our viewing position.  Moments later, the head was back down and he was happily munching on the grass again.
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A pair of lion cubs suckling.
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A young leopard doing a very accurate impression of a sulky teenager.
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Got milk?

2018-08-13: Monochrome Monday

I’m a little later than normal with my Monochrome Monday post as I have been playing around with using the MacPhun (now Skylum) Tonality plugin with Luminar.  I must say, I am really enjoying using Tonality again!

Tonality was my go-to for black and white conversion when I was using Lightroom and Photoshop.  I found I could dial in the vision I was imagining much faster than using other black and white methods.  Now that I no longer have Photoshop, I am glad I have a way to integrate the plug-in back into my workflow when I want to.

I’ve started watching some Luminar videos on YouTube by Jim Nix, and one of them really resonated with me today.  It had nothing to do with the image or the edits he did, but just the concept of revisiting old work to re-edit photos, to experiment with new software, filters and combinations of tools to keep your creativity and interest peeked.  A lot of that is why I am enjoying this theme so much, as the lack of familiarity with the software has caused me to think a lot more critically about what I want to achieve, so I can figure out how to do it, but it has also allowed me to just open random filters to see what they do, sometimes to great result, sometimes awful.  If you are interested, you can find the Luminar video by Jim Nix here.

Now on to the images for today.

For this giraffe image, I did an extra step to start, and from Luminar opened Topaz Studio and then the Topaz Remask plugin.  I find Remask is excellent for complicated situations like these tree branches against the sky.  The sky was very grainy, and I wanted to apply some noise reduction, and I thought that would be the best way to go.  I shot this image with my Panasonic FZ1000, which is a very capable little camera, but I do find skies are generally quite noisy regardless of the ISO.  There was also a lot of airborne dust so it could have been that rather than a limitation of the camera.  After I created my mask in Remask, I ran the noise removal filter in Topaz Studio and sent the image back to Luminar, and then onto Tonality for black and white conversion.  If Luminar had an option to adjust luminosity masks so I could isolate the sky, I would have gone that route and saved some steps, but right now its not an option.

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Giraffe in the desert.  Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, Namibia.

Things were much simpler for the next two images.  I edited both using the Tonality plug in, though I am sure I could have arrived at similar results just using Luminar.  As with most photo editing programs, there are a lot of different paths to get to the same place.  It’s all about what works for you.

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A zebra calf photographed in Etosha National Park, Namibia.
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A black-faced impala spotted in Ongava Game Reserve in Namibia.  Our guide explained to us that any reserves that add impala to their property in Namibia must add the black-faced impala.  This was started as a measure to help conserve the species and allow them to thrive.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my selections for the day 🙂