2019-11-10: Amongst the herd

Sometimes on safari, the vehicle is stopped to watch a small group of elephants, and quite suddenly, you find yourself in the middle of a rather large herd, with elephants to all sides of the vehicle as they make their way through the bush.  I feel incredibly blessed as this has happened to me numerous times while out on game drives.  For some people, the situation can feel a bit intimidating, but I always trust that my guide is reading the situation correctly, and has an exit strategy prepared in case things get dicey.

Thankfully, we’ve never had to use one of those, and instead can enjoy elephants as far as the eye can see.

I hope you enjoy my selections for today, and wishing you a wonderful week ahead.

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Part of a breeding herd of elephants that were moving back into the bushes after being down at the river for a drink.  All of the dust in the air had been kicked up by others elephants passing by.  We had thick bush to both sides, so we just sat and waited until this group moved off the road before carrying on our way.  Tinga Lodge, May 2019.
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This is the closest I have ever seen to the cute drawings of baby elephants hanging on to Mom’s tail.  This was just a fortunate flick of Mom’s tail and the baby moving its trunk at the right time.  These two were part of a massive herd that we spent time with at Kings Camp in the Timbavati.
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A few more elephants from the large herd at Kings Camp.  We saw this group a couple times during our stay, but because the ground is fairly flat with short, bushy trees, there was no way to really capture the scope of the herd.  Groups of a half dozen or so was all I could accomplish.  There were so many little babies in this group, it was heartwarming to see such a baby boom.
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The fading late afternoon light wasn’t great for photography, but sitting with this herd while on a game drive from Chitwa Chitwa was a lot of fun.  We had a couple of safari newbies on our vehicle, and their reaction to how close the elephants came to us while grazing was great.  Lots of gasps and excited whispers from the back of the vehicle!
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Another situation where there were elephants in all directions, but only opportunities to capture a few individuals at a time.  But this adorable baby!  Just look at that face!

2019-11-04: Monochrome Monday

While staying at Lion Sands River Lodge, we set out on our afternoon game drive and came across a small bachelor group of elephants.  These four broke off into pairs, play fighting as the day grew dim, while a couple of other bulls grazed nearby.  It’s so cool watching the interaction of these animals.

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Happy Monday everyone!

2019-11-03: Baby Elephants

My focus for the month is on elephant images, and I decided to start off with some of the adorable babies that I saw on my last safari.

I’ve had the great fortune to spend time amongst the shy ones, the boisterous ones, the playful ones and the ones too focused on food to even give the vehicle a passing glance.  I adore them all.  I hope that the individual character of each animal shines through these images below.

Wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead!

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This little elephant was having a blast playing with this branch.  Waving his trunk while holding it, smacking itself on the sides with the branch, and at one point, tossing it in the air and having it land on its head, wearing it like a leafy crown.
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When you’re hungry, you’re hungry.  Even if that means creating a bit of a traffic jam for the herd behind you.
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This little elephant seems to be very proud of the stick that it is holding.
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Another elephant calf with a stick.  Fetch anyone???
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This was the first group of elephants I saw on my trip.  Being around these beautiful animals makes me incredibly happy.  The elephant baby boom we witnessed at all the properties we stayed at was just amazing.  There were babies everywhere, and so many of them, in large herds.

 

 

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.

2019-06-23: 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?

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.

2018-12-09: Artistic Impressions

This week, I felt inspired to play around in Topaz Impressions and create some of my artistic impression images.  Or as I like to say, what I would paint, if I could paint :).

Next week, I am going to try and work with the new AI Sky Enhancer that Luminar just released.

Wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead!

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A young elephant seen on an early morning game drive.
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A leopard scanning the horizon at sunset in the Okavango Delta.
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A regal lion laying in the tall grass just after sunrise.
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A large warthog moving through camp.
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A fiery sunset – Africa has the most expressive skies!

2018-10-29: Monochrome Monday

I met a friend for a tea and a visit last week, and as she also feels a connection to elephants, I started telling her about the elephant encounter I had on the last day of my last safari trip.  Since I still had a few flagged images from that sighting that I wanted to edit, I thought they’d make a great post for today.

I posted a bit of the story of these elephants before, which you can check out here if you’d like, along with a couple more images.

I hope you enjoy my selection of images, and hope you have a wonderful week ahead.

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A tiny elephant calf dwarfed by Mom and an aunt.
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One of the youngsters coming up to the vehicle to check me out.
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An elephant calf enjoying a fresh drink of water from a burst landscaping pipe.
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Adults and youngsters all jockeying for position around the water.  The littlest seemed to be trying to do a balance beam routine on the small log, and nearly tipped over just after this was taken.