2019-04-21: Leopards Playing

While this leopard sighting was almost two years ago, it feels both like a lifetime ago, and also like it was yesterday.  I find it interesting how the same experience can occupy those different spaces, seemingly at the same time.

This was the second to last day of my last safari, and the photos don’t need too much commentary.  Our ranger took us to a leopard and her two cubs that were deep in a ravine, and while we perched, parked on the side of a rather steep slope, the cubs went about their day, playing, chasing, exploring and occasionally, snuggling up with their Mom.

I hope you enjoy my selections for today.  Wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead.

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An excellent climber already.
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A fallen tree makes an excellent perch to look out over the ravine.
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A very intriguing tail.  A moment after this, it got a little chomp!
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Look at those messy green paws!
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Snuggles with Mom.
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A perfect cat pounce.
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Practicing stalking.
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It was wonderful to watch Mom get in on the game, and start to chase the cubs around.

2019-03-11: Monochrome Monday

Some leopards to start the week!  Leopards are definitely my favourite cats to watch (well, at least of the cats I have seen so far… once I have the chance to see tigers and jaguars, I’ll have to revisit this statement!)

The first image was taken in Botswana in the Okavango Delta, in a sighting filled will drama (for the humans involved).  Several vehicles from another camp were following this leopard, who was doing what leopards do best, being elusive and sticking to the cover of the bush.  There had been a lot of flooding in the area, and a vehicle got stuck while following this cat, and then a second got stuck, trying to help the first.  Our awesome ranger saved the day and got the vehicles mobile again, but both stuck vehicles missed out on the few photo opportunities that were available, like this one.

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Seeing this image brings back fun memories of a great (and rather muddy) game drive.  This can be a typical leopard sighting; lots of cover, grasses and bushes, but that’s also why I like it, because it is realistic.

This second image was also from the delta, and I have posted of this sighting many times before so I won’t go on and on.  I think though, this shot is how people dream of seeing leopards, but the one above is a far more realistic scenario.

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A gorgeous leopard who spent a late afternoon, through sunset, perched in tree, with only us there to watch.

This final image was taken in South Africa; our guide took us to a sighting of a mama leopard and her two cubs in ravine, and we had a brilliant time watching the cubs playing on the fallen trees, scampering through the swamp, and wrestling with each other.  The cub pictured here was just about to pounce on its sibling, who was a few feet below on the ground.  This was one of those sightings where, as we drove back to camp, our guide told us “we probably should keep this quiet while there are other guests around”.

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A playful leopard cub descending a fallen tree.

 

Just so you know, you can find lots of images like these over in my gallery page!

2018-12-03: Monochrome Monday

A trio of leopard images to start the week.  I hope you enjoying, and wishing you a fantastic week ahead.

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We were lucky enough to spend a couple of hours with this beautiful leopard, as day faded into night.
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Even though I got loads of great photos while it was still out light out, when our ranger got the spotlight out, I had to try for a couple more.
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A leopard cub descending a fallen tree to play with its sibling.

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.

 

2018-09-17: Monochrome Monday

I flagged this image as I was going to work on it over the weekend for my raw conversion comparison that I was doing, but 3 images repeated a few times seemed to be enough so I saved it for a monochrome treatment instead.

I’m glad I did!  Doesn’t this guy look striking in back and white?  He was so close to our vehicle, I had to crop out bits of the Land Rover that had made it into the frame.

Wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead.

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The Piva male leopard seen on Londolozi, May 2017. 

2018-09-03: Monochrome Monday

Wishing everyone a great week ahead!

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A zebra appearing shy while having its photo taken in Etosha.  namibia, April 2017.
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A glance over the shoulder by this gorgeous leopard, seen in the Okavango Delta. May 2017.
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A large male lion giving us a bit of a dirty look as we followed him down a roadway.  Londolozi, May 2017.

2018-09-02: Leopards in Luminar

I mentioned in my post last week that I would concentrate on using Luminar in Windows for the balance of the month.  I missed getting this posted before the end of the month, but still wanted to share the images and my thoughts on Luminar in Windows.

First off, thankfully the clone and stamp issue that I found the first time I opened my version of Luminar in Windows had been corrected once I updated the software.  Basically what was happening is the clone and stamp layer would appear to work normally, but then would disappear once you clicked done on the clone and stamp module.  A bit frustrating, so I am glad that is no longer an issue.

I had read in a few blogs that there were a couple fewer filters on the Windows version; I didn’t count them myself and never found I was missing a tool I wanted to use, so that’s definitely not a concern for me.  The one thing I really enjoyed was using the touchscreen for creating masks; my Windows machine is a Microsoft Surface complete with the Surface Stylus.  What a huge difference using that made in terms of accuracy.  I never transferred my logo file to my Windows machine, so I had to open up the edited files on my Mac to add a logo and then export.  I didn’t have any issues with using the files on different systems, which is a good thing as I don’t see leaving my Mac as my main editing machine any time soon, but it does mean that I can work on the road and transition to home in a fairly seamless way.

I’m going to say for my editing purposes, there really isn’t any difference between Mac and Windows for using Luminar.  Others may have a different experience, but I didn’t have any issues.

I decided on leopard images as I knew I had some that had some with contrast issues,  some wonky colours to deal with and an images where I would need to test the clone and stamp.  And Leopards in Luminar just has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

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A leopard cub explores the bottom of a ravine.  This image had some serious contrast issues due to the deep shadows and very bright mid morning sun.  I am happy with the way this turned out.
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A mama leopard carrying her cub to a new den site.  This image had some strange colour casts, and despite being able to correct it in Luminar, I tried a black and white filter and much preferred the result.
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This is definitely not the look you want a leopard to be giving you. This mama heard another leopard calling nearby, and was not at all pleased.  There weren’t too many issues with this image but it did need detail enhancement to be applied carefully so as not to accentuate the noise in this early morning, shady, high ISO shot.
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A leopard perched in a tree at sunset in the Okavango Delta.  This image had some need of the clone and stamp tool; I don’t know if it was a sensor spot or a bug, but there was something that was very distracting in the blue sky that I had to get rid of.