The Sabie River flows in front of Tinga Lodge, and on an afternoon game drive, only a couple minutes from camp, we came across a huge herd of buffalo. Some were crossing the river, others lounging in it, and others pausing to take a drink. Mixed amongst them were also a number of elephants. We spent a few moments watching all the action, and then carried on across a wooden bridge over the river.
It wasn’t a remarkable moment on safari by any stretch, but a lovely moment none the less and when I came across the photos today when trying to decide what to work on, they made me smile and remember the warm sun, the dust, the slight breeze and the scent of elephant, buffalo and the plants growing along the river bank.
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.
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”.
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.
Hanging out with the buffalo is definitely a good match for the egret, but I am not so sure it is a two-way street. The buffalo’s movement and grazing causes insects to scatter, becoming easy prey for the egrets that walk alongside the herd of buffalo. Here the buffalo was wading in shallow water at the edge of the river, and the egret is just catching a ride.
The first thing I thought of when I saw this weeks photo challenge was seeing all of the big five in a single game drive.
It was our first game drive leaving from Chitwa Chitwa, and the first of the big five we came across were the elephants. We ended up in fairly dense bush amongst a large herd, and I know some of the other people in the vehicle were a little nervous of the proximity! At some points, we were completely surrounded by them (I was thrilled!!!)
The second we came across was the leopard. She was only steps away after we started moving away from the elephants. We followed her through the trees as well, and spent some time with her as she rested atop a termite mound.
We stopped for a sundowner drink and spotted a group of 3 rhino in a mud wallow off in the distance. The light was fading, and the viewing was certainly better without the camera.
Just as we were getting back into the vehicle after our drinks and snacks, Surprise our ranger pointed out a couple buffalo crossing the road off in the distance. The photo is awful, I knew it would be when I snapped it, but I thought I should take it as evidence of seeing 4 of the big 5 in a single drive.
As we were heading back to camp for dinner, we followed the tracks of some lions, and came upon them resting quite close to the camp. And with that, it was the big 5 all within the space of 3.5 hours! An absolutely amazing time.
Of course, most people know by now that I am thrilled to view anything when on a game drive, from the smallest bird to the tallest giraffe and everything in between. Here are a few other interesting sights from that drive.