2018-05-21: Monochrome Monday

Today I felt inspired to share a few images from my last morning game drive before heading home from safari last May.  It was a rather epic morning, featuring elephants, leopards and this pair of lions (basically an entire safari’s worth of sightings in one morning).  After listening to lion calls whilst having our morning coffee and rusk stop, we found this pair a short distance away.  They would walk together for a short distance along the road, stop and survey the area or lay down for a few minutes, and then carry on.

I hope you enjoy my selections; wishing you a wonderful week ahead.

 

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Pausing and listening before moving on.  There were lots of lion calls in the distance; lots of drama in the bush that day.
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An impressive guy, one of the Matshipiri male lions.
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A bit of lion flirting.
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We drove down the road from the lions a short distance so we could get photos of the pair walking towards us along the road.  Obviously they didn’t get the memo as to what was anticipated 🙂
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Our ranger parked alongside a termite mound to give the pair space as they came closer along the road.  They stopped to one side and looked as if they were going to mate (pictured here).  She suddenly changed her mind, crossed the road and climbed to the top of the termite mound we were parked alongside, and they proceeded to mate there instead.  When that happened, the pair was inches from the hood of our vehicle.

2018-05-20: Painterly Effects Project – Namibia

I was inspired this week to explore images from Namibia with my painterly effects project for the month.  In the brief time I have spent there, I have found it to be a magical place. The light is beautiful and the landscapes are at times surreal.  From the air, the vast open spaces seem lifeless, but on the ground, it is a completely different story.

I hope you enjoy my selections for the week.

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A group of oryx walking in front of one of the impressive dunes in Sossusvlei.
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A lone elephant moves through the desert, looking to catch up to her herd that had already reached the river.
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Sunset over the desert in Hoanib.
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A group of flamingos in flight over the Skeleton Coast.
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The land of vast deserts sometimes surprises with lush greenery.  This lion was lounging in the cool grass with the rest of his pride nearby.
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Large groups of seals awaited us when we visited the Skeleton Coast from Hoanib Camp.  Inland it was a clear, blue sky day, but on the coast, fog and mist obscured the view.
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A group of lions, newly evicted from their pride, roaming through Etosha National Park.
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In Damaraland, you can easily feel like you are the only people for miles around.

 

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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2018-04-29: Kenya Highlights Video

I’ve had a great time over the past 10 days reviewing all of my video clips from my time in Kenya and putting together some highlights as the last instalment of my wide angles only project.  With the exception of the lion cub video clip, which was shot on a Panasonic FX1000, all clips were done on the Gopro, and I edited and built the video using the free Gopro studio software.

 

If you missed the video from Uganda, you can find that here.

Wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead.  It’s time for me to ponder what my topic will be for May.

 

2018-04-28: WPC Lines

The photo challenge topic for the week is lines (not the kind you were stuck writing in school if you were misbehaving in class…) 🙂

Here are a few images that I found that I feel have a strong linear element to them.  I hope you enjoy.

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A game trail through the desert leads up a hill and around a bend.  Don’t you find yourself wondering what might be just beyond the line of sight?  Namibia, April 2017.
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Jagged hills zigzagging into the distance in this aerial shot above the Damaraland region of Namibia.  April, 2017.
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Game trails through the desert again, but this time leading us to a lioness heading towards the river for a drink.  Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, April 2017.
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A road through the Nxai Pan leading to the Baines Baobabs.  The image is deceiving, as the tree trunks are as wide as a vehicle.  Botswana, May 2017.
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I took this image of the sky while on a sundowner drinks stop; I was drawn to the way the setting sun was illuminating the linear clouds.  South Africa, May 2017.

WPC: Lines

2018-04-10: WPC – Smile

The photo prompt of the week is smile; either an image of a smile, or something that makes you smile.  Since baby animals are a universal crowd pleaser, here are a fewer images of youngsters that have made me smile.

I hope you enjoy!

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A trio of cheetah cubs braving a late afternoon windstorm.  Their mother was nearby, definitely ill at ease because of the weather.
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Looks at the big full bellies of these lion cubs.  They were going back and forth between the females, greeting each with affection.
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A pair of leopard cubs playing amongst the fallen branches in a ravine.  These two were all over the place; there Mom definitely had her work cut out for her.
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The tiniest lion cubs I have had the privilege of seeing.  Their Mom had brought down a giraffe calf, but these two were more interested in playing than feeding.  They were under 3 weeks old.
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An elephant calf having a go at the balance beam 🙂  He came pretty close to ending up in a heap on the ground, but recovered from it well.
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I don’t think I have ever seen anyone smiling as much as our ranger when we were at this sighting.  To say he was thrilled is a complete understatement.  A dream come true, once in a lifetime moment on safari.
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This is where mama leopard stashed her two youngsters.  The hollowed log didn’t make for the best photo opportunities, but it did make for a very safe spot for these leopard cubs to stay hidden and out of danger.

WPC: Smile

2018-04-09: Monochrome Monday

A trio of cats to start the week.

Wishing you all a fantastic one ahead 🙂

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This leopard was the star of many of my images one evening in the Okavango Delta.  We stayed with him while he lounged in the tree, while another vehicle from the lodge was making its way over so some late arriving guests could spend some time with him as well.  Since I had spent over an hour with him at sunset, this night image under spotlight was captured just an opportunity to play around later with editing.
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As soon as this young cheetah rested her head down, she was invisible in the grass.  With the location she was in, I am still in awe of the tracker that spotted her.
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The king of the savannah heads off to patrol his territory (or find some shade for a nap).  Given the amount of time lions sleep, it was probably the less glamorous sounding second option.

 

If you’d like to see more images like this, head over to my gallery to see some of my favourite.  And remember, you can find beautiful textiles with my images on my Vida site.

2018-03-25: Multiple Exposure Project

I had a completely different image ready to go, but something about it just wasn’t sitting right with me.  So I started scrolling through my photo catalogue, and came across the series of images I took of a pride of lions that had treed a leopard, seen during my safari in 2015.  That sparked my creativity in a whole new direction.

I wish I would have thought of creating a composite image like this when I was originally editing the series and creating a blog post about it.  I think this image captures the essence of the sighting in a way the individual images were unable to.  If you didn’t catch the story of the lions versus a leopard the first time around, you can fid it here.  There was definitely a lot going on that morning!

I hope you enjoy this last instalment of my multiple exposure project.  Next month, on to something new.

 

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