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.

2019-09-22: Photo Art – Rhinos

Today is World Rhino Day, so I decided to combine that with my photo art project for the month, and edit some of the rhino images I took on my last trip.

I won’t go on and on about the plight of the rhino, and of the greed, arrogance and ignorance of humans that has fuelled their decline and cluttered news feeds with horrifying photos of poaching.  Other people can do that far better than I.

I simply want to live in a world where rhinos can live in peace.  And I will hold that thought in my mind and in my heart, and hope that it becomes a reality.

As with all the other posts in this series, these images were created from photos I took, modified primarily using Topaz Studio to create these effects.

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2019-07-15: Monochrome Monday

This past trip was filled with a lot of rhino sightings, and like elephants, I think they make terrific subjects for black and white photography.  Their thick, textured skin can be highlighted very well in monochrome, and by removing colour, it is actually easier to see how such a large animal can blend into the surroundings so well.

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A rhino cow and calf spotted while staying at Lion Sands river Lodge.
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An oxpecker perched between the eyes of a rhino.  These birds do a valuable service in removing ticks and other bugs from the skin of their hosts.
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A pair of bachelors moving through the bushes.  These two were spotted in the Timbavati, and they moved between open and thicker areas.  Out in the open they are easy to see, but as soon as they are amongst the trees, it is nearly impossible to spot them.  Like elephants, I am always amazed how an animal an large can disappear into the bush so easily.

I hope you enjoy my selections for the day; I hope your Monday is fantastic!

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?

2091-06-16: Rhinos

It’s Father’s Day today, and as my Dad is always really excited for the opportunity to see rhinos, I decided that would be a good topic for my post today.

I was incredibly fortunate to see rhinos most days on my past trip, and lots of youngsters included in the sightings.  They are still a species under tremendous threat, but it is heart warming to see them peacefully going about their lives, unaware of all people who are working tirelessly behind the scenes to try and keep them safe.

I have been on properties that have dehorned all of the rhino, and on properties where they have been left intact, and horn or not, they are magnificent creatures.

I hope you enjoy my selections for the day, and wish everyone a fantastic week ahead.

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One of the many rhino youngsters seen while travelling; this one keeping an eye on us while Mom grazes.
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A rhino cow and her calf.  This was actually one of my sightings where I saw two of the “big five” at one time.  This pair was watching a buffalo bull ambling past.
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Like elephants, I think rhinos are wonderful subjects for black and white images.  The details of their thick, textured skin really stand out in monochrome.
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Sporting a thick coating of mud to protect from the sun and to dislodge parasites.
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We were looking for the tracks of lions when we drove up to a small waterhole and found at least eight rhino having an afternoon gathering.  They quickly disbursed into the bushes; I am still amazed at the opportunity to see so many of these animals all at once.  Previously, the most I had seen at once was three.
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A pair of rhino moving through the bushes, grazing along the way.
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A pair of rhino grazing as the sun began to set.

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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