2019-10-14: Monochrome Monday

For some reason, lions were calling to me today, so that’s the feature of monochrome Monday for the week.  These images were from a few different lion sightings on my most recent trip to South Africa.  I hope you enjoy, and wishing you a fantastic week!

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The Torchwood pride spent one day around Chitwa Chitwa, and we were fortunate enough to see the whole pride on the move, both in the morning, when this image was taken, and long after dark the same evening, where instead of trying to take pictures, I just sat back and enjoyed watching the lions walking under the light of a full moon.
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A lone lioness moving through the bush.
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An impressive male lion.

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.

2019-08-20: Monochrome Monday

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend, and is ready for the week ahead.  I found a lion image from a previous trip that had been edited but never shared, so I found a couple of others to put together this grouping.

I hope you enjoy, and wishing you a fantastic week!

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This image was from 2017, when we had prolific lion sightings and had the pleasure of listening to their roars cutting through the night.  On this past trip, I didn’t hear a single lion roar, but the lion dynamics can change significantly on properties over a few years.
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This young male was seen in the late afternoon lounging next to a waterhole at Kings Camp in the Timbavati.  Doesn’t he look majestic?  You can find this image, along with lots of others, over in my gallery.
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This lion and his brother were moving at speed through the property that Chitwa Chitwa has traversing rights to.  We were fortunate to have an opportunity to view them before they crossed the boundary, and could no longer be followed by our vehicle.

2019-07-21: Babies in the bush – Lion Cubs

Last week I focused on leopard cubs, and this week, it’s the lions.  The lion sightings on this past trip started out very slowly, which was a stark contrast to previous trips to South Africa, but, you just never know what mother nature is going to show you.  The first cub that was spotted was an older cub (a teenager) with her mom and aunt on a buffalo kill at King’s Camp in the Timbavati region.  These weren’t the first lions that I saw, but the first lion that was still young enough to be referred to as a cub by our ranger, rather than a sub-adult.

On my last day at King’s Camp, we found a huge pride of lions, and I actually lost count of the cubs, there were so many of them around.  They were spread out over a fairly large area, so I don’t even have a photo with the whole pride visible to try and recount, but it was around 12-14 individuals, including the two pride males that were spotted nearby.

Both for lions and the leopards, the cubs that I saw on this past trip were quite a bit older than some of the tiny babies I saw on previous trips, but no less wonderful to spend time with.  And, the nice thing about the most of the lion sightings on this past trip is they were a bit active, rather than just snoozing away the day (or night).

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The first lion cub of the trip, seen her with either Mom or her aunt.  Our ranger was able to distinguish Mom and aunt while watching them feed; he was very good at figuring out the dynamics of the body language and posturing that was going on.
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Three of the young cubs spotted on my last day in the Timbavati; there were four lionesses occupying various patches of shade in the area, each with a few cubs in the vicinity.
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Two cubs sharing a meal.
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One alert cub amongst a mass of lion bodies.

I hope you enjoy my selections for the week; wishing you a fantastic week ahead!

 

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?

2019-06-17: 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!

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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.

2019-05-11: 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.