2019-12-30: Monochrome Monday

Yesterday I shared a few very colourful photos of my favourite African bird, the lilac-breasted roller, and today, some monochrome images of my favourite cat, the leopard.

I’ve gone on an on before about how amazing I think it is to spend time with a leopard, so I won’t repeat myself today, and instead, leave you to the few images below, and wish you a fantastic week.

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2019-11-25: Monochrome Monday

We saw this leopard and her cub on an afternoon game drive from Chitwa Chitwa.  As is sometimes the case while out and about, a sighting is occupied, and vehicles need to take turns to give people an opportunity for viewing.  Our turn was late in the afternoon, nearing dark, and it was a very challenging area to get into, surrounded by fallen trees and a gulley.

When we arrive, it was just the mother leopard, relaxing on the ground, paws over the edge of the bank.  Our guide knew her cub would be nearby, even though none of the other vehicles had seen it.  Sure enough, we waited quietly, watching this beautiful, lounging leopard, and out popped the cub from a deep within the bushes.  It spent only a few minutes with Mom, when the sound of an approaching vehicle spooked it, and it headed back to its hiding place.

So if you are out on safari and are stuck in a bit of a queue for a sighting, don’t despair, it could turn out much better than you expected 🙂

Have a great week!

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2019-10-28: Monochrome Monday

I found this image in my file of edited images; somehow I missed posting it.  It’s a few years old now, and seeing it brings back such happy memories of a wonderful morning out in the bush.

I hope you enjoy, and wishing you a wonderful week ahead.

 

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A pair of leopard cubs playing in a ravine area, amongst fallen trees and swampy water.  These two definitely kept Mom busy.  She was enjoying a quick nap nearby.

 

2019-10-13: Leopards

I finished off last Sunday’s post with the promise of sharing a few more leopard images this week, and here they are.

I was fortunate enough to spend time with this mother leopard and her cub on a couple of different occasions, in slightly different areas, providing a nice variety of images.  All the ones shared today though were taken on the same morning.

I hope you enjoy the selection below.

Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving today; I hope you have the opportunity to share the day with people that you care about, and can take some time to reflect on all the things to be thankful for.

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Five seconds that felt more like five minutes.  This tracker remained calm and completely still when the leopard stopped by and checked him out. 
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Once Mom was away from the kill in the tree, and out in the open, the cub came out of hiding.
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Greetings between mama and her cub.
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I like to share images like this to show the reality of a lot of leopard sightings, which is often viewing them through trees, tall grass or other obstructions.  Still beautiful to see (of course!) and it makes the moments when they are completely out in the open that much more special.
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Something startled Mom and caused her to sit straight up and look around; the cub is quite indifferent and sniffing an interesting spot of grass (which reminds me of walks with my dog!)

2019-10-06: Feasting Leopard

I said this month was going to be freestyle for my Sunday posts, and as I was going through my catalogue earlier in the week, I was taken by images of this leopard and decided to edit a few to share.

One of the things I love about being in the bush is witnessing some of the drama that unfolds.  This sighting was definitely more than met the eye at first glance.

The previous evening, we had very briefly driven to this area, as there was a leopard on an impala kill.  It was getting dark though, so we decided to carry on and make this area our first stop the next day.  When we headed out on our morning drive from Chitwa Chitwa, other vehicles were already at the sighting, so we had to wait a bit, but when we got there, we found a different leopard on the impala kill.  So, sometime during the night, the male leopard that we initially saw left, and this female snuck in to have an easy meal.

Things were made even more exciting by the fact that she had a cub who was also nearby, but you’ll need to check back next week to see some images of the two of them together.

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While it doesn’t look like there is much left on the impala, it was still a valuable, and free, meal for this leopard.
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If looks could kill.

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She was really working to gain access to a new spot on the carcass.

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The tracker on this vehicle had *nerves* of steel.  The leopard came down the tree, and paused in front of this vehicle and stared up at the tracker for 5 – 10 seconds before making her way off.  It doesn’t sound like a long time, but witnessing it, it sure felt like it.   The entire time he did not flinch or move a muscle.  

More of this beautiful leopard next week.  Until then, wishing you a wonderful week ahead.

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.