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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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.