2019-05-13: Monochrome Monday

During my travels it has been heartwarming to see several different rhinos cows with their calves.   I did have one sighting that turned out to be quite a missed opportunity though.  The Mom was busy having a drink at a watering hole, and the baby began to whine, wanting access to milk.  Mom wasn’t interested at that time, and the whining from the baby got louder and more insistent.  This went on for a good couple of minutes, and I didn’t even think to switch into video, and kept capturing still images instead.  The only time I have heard rhinos before is on nature programs, so it was definitely a wonderful moment in the bush for me.

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2019-05-11: What I’ve seen this week

Here are some images from the past week of my travels, staying at two properties; Lions Sands River and Tinga Lodges.  I have had a wonderful time being back in the bush again!  It’s tea time shortly and then off to see what the afternoon has in store, so I will keep this brief.

I hope you enjoy my selections!

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One of my rare view of a scrub hare in the daylight.
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A group of oxpeckers atop a rhino.
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A long-crested eagle and a fork-tailed drongo.  The drongo had been mobbing the eagle, and resumed its pestering when the eagle took flight again.
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A wild dog looks off towards the rest of the pack.
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A very relaxed lioness.
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Baby elephants are just the cutest!
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Elephants galore on an afternoon game drive.  I think we saw more ellies than impalas!
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An elephant quenches his thirst, with a large herd of buffalo in the background.  Two of the big five in one shot 🙂
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A family of dwarf mongoose in the fading afternoon light.
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An impala making good and sure this lioness was heading off.
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A buffalo making his way past our vehicle, while some rhino look on.  Another two of the big five in one shot.
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A group of wild dogs greeting one another.
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Soon after this was shot, this baby elephant picked up the pace to catch up with Mom.

2018-06-11: Monochrome Monday

A young rhino grazing peacefully in the early evening on Ongava Game Reserve in Namibia.  May it have the opportunity to live in peace, free from the harm of poaching.

 

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2018-05-06: Topic of the month – Painterly Effects

To some, using software to make a photo look as if it were sketched or painted may seem like an abomination.  Photographers often go to great lengths (sometimes at great expense) to create sharp and crisp images that show the viewer exactly what the scene looked like.  But what about those times when that beautifully crisp, perfectly exposed image doesn’t convey the feeling of the moment?  Or, heaven forbid, what if you goof up on the exposure, or mess up the focus a bit, but the moment was great and you still want to do something  with the image?  These are just some of the reasons for exploring painterly effects with photography.  I’ve edited photos in the past for all those reasons and while I don’t post them too often, I do have a gallery of my favourite Artistic Impressions or Photo Art images.

This week, I was inspired by a vintage style travel poster I have had hanging up for around the last 12 years or so.  I see it every time I walk towards my sitting room; this week I was struck by the interest in creating a photo series inspired by it, whereas most of the time I just look at it and think “I really want to go to the Serengeti someday”.

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A quick snap of the poster that inspired this week’s editing.

I decided to do a series of Big 5 animals; I can imagine these in a vintage travel brochure advertising visiting the “Dark Continent” to see the wild and ferocious Big 5.  I edited all of them using the Topaz Simplify filter through the Topaz Studio program.

I hope you enjoy!

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2018-02-26: Monochrome Monday

While I could have zoomed in on this rhino and created a standard portrait, I thought keeping things wide and showing the rhino in the landscape was far more effective for this scene.  Had we been driving fast, we probably would have missed it completely, as most of the time the head was down and the horn wasn’t visible, making it easy to mistake the rhino for a rock (and vice versa).

May there always be rhinos to peacefully graze.

Wishing you an excellent week ahead.

 

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A rhino grazing in the late morning.  South Africa, May 2017.

2018-02-25: Revisiting Old Work

During this month of revisiting old work, I’ve had the opportunity to take many trips down memory lane, remembering amazing moments in nature and the challenging times trying to work out what to do with my camera to make the image that appeared on my LCD match the thought I had in my head.

What this monthly topic has hammered home is that the gear doesn’t matter, its what you are able to do with it.  The software used to edit images doesn’t matter, its understanding how to make the tools work for you in the best ways possible.    These things get said time and time again, but they really become apparent when you start reviewing a collection of work gathered over time that has been captured and edited with a variety of different resources.

No one looking at my images is going to say “You shot that on this camera body and then you edited it with that software program.  There are times when I have been out shooting with more than one camera and once the images have been uploaded to my computer, I don’t know which image was shot with which body, without checking the info panel!

At the end of the day, the only thing that should matter is if the image moves you in some way.

And with that, here are a few images I have reworked this week.  I hope you enjoy, and please check back next Sunday to find out what the topic of the month will be for March.

A rhino with her calf seen while doing volunteer work with Wildlife Act in 2014.
Not a spectacular picture, but a fun memory for me. I took a day off work and went out shooting for a school project I was working on. It was a fine fall day so I took Spencer with me, and he was overjoyed at having the opportunity to dig in the sand next to the river. October 2013.
My first foray into Botswana included viewing elephants in the water from a boat. An amazing experience!  April 2013.
For my then and now image, I chose this wild dog lounging in the shade, seen while working with Wildlife Act in 2014.
Here is the now version of this image. I think I was much better able to highlight the texture of the fur compared to the original edit.  

2017-07-16: Highlights of Little Ongava

 

The second stop on my recent trip to Southern Africa was at the beautiful Ongava Game Reserve adjacent to Etosha National Park.  Like at our first camp, here we also found a familiar face, as the camp manager we met on a previous trip to Namibia had moved over to this region, and was running the lodge during our stay.  We had a wonderful time catching up with Maggie; I am still amazed that we not only found familiar faces so far from home, but that people remembered us as well 🙂

Typically, we went into the national park to explore on our morning game drives, and the spent the afternoons on the private reserve. The Etosha region had also received higher than average rainfall, and was very lush and green during our stay. Right before we arrived, they had a day of heavy rain, and on our first game drive we ended up stuck in the mud on one of the roads on the Ongava Reserve.   After about 45 minutes, our awesome guide Willy managed to get the vehicle moving again.  We were all covered in splattered mud from head to toe, but laughing and smiling; its all part of the safari adventure.

We spent time with elephants and rhino, lions and wildebeest.  We saw zebra, oryx springbok and impala, and an abundance of birds.  The reserve had a lovely hide, but due to the rains in the region, water sources were abundant and the man-made dam near the lodge was not being frequently used during our stay (with the exception of the resident terrapins).  It was a beautiful region that I hope I have the opportunity to explore again in the future.

Here are a few images from my 3 nights in this beautiful area.

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A bull elephant on Ongava Game Reserve.  This big guy was attracting quite a crowd, as he is one of only four elephants on the reserve.  All the elephants ended up there after breaking in from neighbouring Etosha, and then deciding to stay.
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We saw many herds of zebra during our drives through Etosha.  
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This young wildebeest was part of a sizeable herd, but was unfortunately injured and hobbling around on a broken leg.  This one will definitely be the animal the lions size up as a potential meal, the next time the pride and the herd cross paths.
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We were fortunate to see both white and black rhino during our time in the Etosha area.  Such impressive creatures.
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One of the highlights driving through Etosha was coming across this group of brothers chilling out next to a waterhole.  They were very close to the road, giving lots of people a fantastic opportunity to see lions up close.  One of the brothers went into stalk mode, and crossed the road towards a group of springbok, but they had spotted him quickly so it was a no go for some springbok for breakfast.
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A rock hyrax seen near the dining area at Little Ongava.  This little one was calling out constantly and making quite a racket, but it took me a bit of time to spot it.  Apparently, this hyrax is always hanging around the camp.
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A pair of ostrich seen during a drive through Etosha National Park.
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A waterbuck on the Ongava Private Game Reserve.  Waterbuck are not a naturally occurring species in the area, but were introduced the the reserve around 10 years ago to see if they could cope with the terrain and climate.  The population there has been thriving.
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Our last morning in Ongava, we spent time on the reserve rather than in the park, as we had a fairly early flight to our next destination.  We were having a rather relaxed drive when another guest on the vehicle spotted a lion hidden in the grass in a thicket; we were able to drive closer and find the entire pride having a rest as the day heated up.

 

Please visit:
www.jennifersawickyphotography.com for wildlife, landscape and nature inspired artwork.

and

https://shopvida.com/collections/voices/jennifer-sawicky for textiles inspired by my photography.

2016-12-24: Photo Slideshow

Hi everyone!  I recently put together this photo slideshow for my photo club Christmas party, and thought I would share it here as well.

The photos are taken over the past three years, and there are several from each of my trips to Africa.

I hope you enjoy, Merry Christmas, and all the best for the coming year.