2019-08-05: Monochrome Monday

This week I decided to work on some cheetah images for monochrome Monday.  I only had one cheetah sighting on my last trip, but as we had the opportunity to watch the female cheetah stationary under a tree, and in the beginning stages of a failed hunt, there were lots of opportunities for images.  I’m still waiting for the magic moment of seeing a cheetah moving at something faster than a saunter; but that’s just another reason to go on safari again someday!

I hope you enjoy my selections for the week.  Happy Monday, and wishing you a wonderful week ahead!

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Cheetahs are such slender animals, that when they lay on their sides with their heads on the ground, you can barely see them.  I think we might have driven past this female if she hadn’t lifted her head at an opportune moment.
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A stretch and a yawn, then she moved about 5 feet before laying down again.  
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Disappearing into the tall grass at the start of a failed hunting expedition.  The herd of impala spotted her as she moved through a clearing, ruining any element of surprise.  Here though, you can start to see how these animals become invisible in their environment.  If she had been slinking along through the grass in a more crouched position, she would have been invisible to any impala that glanced in her direction.

 

2019-07-29: Monochrome Monday

I’ve had the amazing good fortune to see wild dogs on all of my trips to Southern Africa.  I don’t think I could ever tire of spending time with these amazing animals; seeing the interaction between different members of the pack is always an interesting experience.  On this past trip, I had two different sightings; one where the dogs were active and out in the open, and the other, where they were lazing away the morning deep in a thicket.

Here a few of my images from these two sightings.

Enjoy!

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Alert and at the ready.  Lion Sands River Lodge, May 2019.
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Always a good idea to check on who, or what, might be sneaking up on you from behind.
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Two of the pack members greeting each other; the behaviour of our pet dogs at the dog park is so similar.
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Taking the path of least resistance; a pair of dogs set off down the road.
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A pack of wild dogs resting deep in a thicket at mid morning.  This group was seen in the Timbavati, whilst staying at Kings Camp.

2019-07-22: Monochrome Monday

I spent a bit of time playing with my infrared filter while traveling, and while it is a style I definitely need to explore and practice more, I am quite pleased with how these images turned out.

I actually remembered to do the custom white balance before taking these images, which made editing them a more straightforward process once I got home.  I’m actually considering having one of my cameras converted to infrared sometime in the future, to make it a bit easier to explore this genre of photography.

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This beautiful tree is at the edge of the river, seen from the main deck at Lion Sands River Lodge.  
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This is the river view from the main deck at Lion Sands Tinga Lodge.  The long exposures that are necessary when using a traditional camera with IR filter showcase the movement of the water, and the breeze playing with the leaves and the grasses.
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Another river view from Lion Sands Tinga Lodge.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my selections of the day.

Wishing everyone a great week ahead!

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!

2019-07-08: Impala

When you pull up to a small group of impala, in my experience they will either bolt immediately, or give you a passing glance and then go back to grazing.  But when you encounter a large herd like this near the side of the road, things tend to get a bit hectic, quite quickly.

We stopped to take some pictures of the herd and all was calm; until it wasn’t.  The noise of the vehicle didn’t startle them; perhaps it was realizing that we were actually looking at them, not something else, that brought up their urge to flee.  Or brought up the order for one of them to flee… but when one bolts, all the others follow suit.

A lot of people don’t really give impala a passing glance whilst out on safari; their abundance in so many areas; compared to the relative scarcity of predator sightings, can make them seem a bit boring to some.  I think they are beautiful creatures though, and love when I have the opportunity to watch them and take a few images.

I hope you enjoy my selections this week.  I hope your week ahead is wonderful! 🙂

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A large herd of impalas, near the side of the road we were traveling on the way back to camp on our morning game drive.
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One of herd got anxious, and then they all pick up on the vibe and start getting anxious.  
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The dominant ram trying to retain control of the situation, and lead the females away in the direction that he wants to go.
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The slightest sound or movement is enough to set them off, and the group begins to panic, bolting in every direction.
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Some running for it, while others leap in to the air to prove how strong and powerful they are (and therefore not a good target for a predator).

2019-07-01: Monochrome Monday

Happy Canada day to my friends and family.  I know I should have been out capturing the beauty of my own country, but the day has been pretty rainy and miserable, so instead, I offer you today a trio of baby elephants.

Wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead!

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Wait for me!!!
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The tenderness shown towards the baby elephants is heartwarming, every time I experience it.
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If this happy baby doesn’t make you smile, you are definitely visiting the wrong blog!  The joy that this little one shared with us, and the excitement about the stick, was contagious.  Everyone on our vehicle was grinning ear to ear.

2019-06-24: Monochrome Monday

There is definitely more to see in South Africa than just wild animals on safari.  On some previous trips, I had the pleasure of spending time in Cape Town.  On this trip, I got to do a day trip of the Panorama Route.  Here are a few images showing some of the beautiful scenery in the area.

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One of several waterfalls that I saw; this one is called Lisbon Falls.
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The three rondavels under broody skies.
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Some smaller waterfalls at The Potholes.

2019-06-17: Monochrome Monday

I had some good opportunities during my travels for some animal portraits.  Here are the first couple that I have worked through, just in time for monochrome Monday.

Have a great week everyone!

Pensive Cheetah
I only had one cheetah sighting during my past trip, and it was an interesting one.  We had the opportunity to watch this female try to get close enough to a group of impala to begin to hunt, but her cover was blown.
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One of the many leopards that I was lucky enough to view this past trip.
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A side view of a lioness.

Did you know you can find these images, and other like them, in my gallery?  You can see an evolving collection of my favourite images there, and even order a print or two if you choose.

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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