I felt called to work on some elephant images this week, and as soon as I came across a the first photo I thought a selection of images showing little and large would be just right. I can’t even put into words the magic that I feel when spending time amongst elephants, and a breeding herd is extra special, with the lovely bonds and all the extended family pitching in to help look after the little ones.
I was fortunate to have a huge number of elephants sightings on y last trip and have lots of images to choose from. Which is a good thing, because it is still going to be a long while before I’ll be there again.
I always hesitate a bit about sharing images of predators feeding, as some people (including me) are squeamish, but I don’t find this to be gory or difficult to view, so I hope no one else finds it challenging to look at. Many people say that they want to see a kill while on safari; I never have, though I have arrived at lions feeding very shortly after taking down a pair of impala, and it’s a very hectic experience to witness. In terms of an animal feeding, this was very tame as the carcass was already well picked over and it was high in a tree so there weren’t a lot of smells with it. But it still spooked one of the people in our vehicle, and after a short time there she indicated to our guide that she was ready to move on and that it was getting a bit much for her.
The day previous, she had been quite keen to see a cheetah starting (and then quickly failing) at a hunt. I wonder what would have happened had the cheetah been successful? My thoughts on this are, when heading out in nature, do your best limit your expectations of what you will experience, and what you hope to experience, and even, what you think you will enjoy experiencing.
We spent time viewing these siblings after a rather lengthy search, and couldn’t have found them in a nicer spot, next to a dam in the late afternoon. There was a giraffe watching them wearily from the other side as it awkwardly bent over to get a drink.
The body language here is interesting to me, with the lying down lion obviously not too pleased at the affectionate head bump from the young male. He had obviously been in a few scuffles already, judging by the healed gashes on his flank. One thing I have learned from all the guides I have met, and all the nature programs that I have watched, is life as a lion definitely is not an easy affair. Young males get ousted from a pride; from the small size of his mane, this one still had a bit of time left with his family, though I am sure by now, more than 1 1/2 years on, if he is still alive, he would not be with the pride any longer.
I found a few more images that were similar to do some side by side editing between Lightroom and Capture One Express for raw processing. I continue to be impressed with the colour and detail that Capture One brings out of my Fuji files.
I edited these photos on different days and didn’t cross check to try to make them look the same, but just to bring out the best in them. I think the colour rendering is nicer on the Capture One version as it has less of a magenta cast, and generally it feels to me a bit richer with more depth.
Because I need to keep the file sizes manageable for the webpage, some of the differences that I see when looking at the images within the editing programs doesn’t reflect in the versions I post online, but, I think these give a good example of what I am experiencing with this new (to me ) software.
I had an email from Fuji a couple of days ago advertising a new version of the free Capture One Express software, and decided to download it and give it a try. Since I can’t go anywhere to take photos, playing around with new software at least gives a different spin to what I have already been looking at for some time.
I’ve been pretty unsettled with my photo workflow; I used Lightroom for years, then switched to On1 Photo Raw, and then switched back to Lightroom. I have other photo software as well, such as Topaz Studio and Luminar, but found that neither suited my purposes as my basic editor, though both have their place as a secondary editor through Photoshop.
I’ve watched a 7 minute quick start video on Capture One and then decided to edit a couple images using that as my starting point, and a couple others from the same area in Lightroom to see what the difference would be. While the Capture One Express lacks some key features such as spot removal and watermarking capabilities, there are other options to do those tasks. What I was really interested in was what software made the images look the best they can. From my very brief test, it looks like it will be worth the time to explore Capture One in much more depth.
These images were all taken at the Potholes on the Panorama Route in South Africa. It’s an area with beautifully red tinted rocks and lots of small waterfalls. We were there just before noon so there were lots of deep shadows in areas and very high contrast.
These next two images weren’t in the exact same area, so there were actual differences in the colour tone of the rocks, it is not just an element of the processing software.
Comparing only two sets of images is definitely not enough to formulate any type of solid opinion on a new (to me) software product, but the results have me really excited to play around and see what I can create. Capture One Express, at first glance, has a much larger selection of Fuji film simulations compared to Lightroom, and I really like the look they give an image to start the editing process. For both of these images, I selected “Film Standard” curve in conjunction with the ICC profile that was pre-loaded for my camera.
Sometimes there are a lot of vehicles all trying to see the same thing, and rangers operate on a first come, first served basis at a sighting, (usually a maximum of three vehicles) and then everyone else puts their name on a list. It’s always been my experience that all the rangers involved do their very best to maximize the viewing for their guests, while still being fair to try and allow everyone to opportunity to have a view. In this situation, we were pretty far down the list on this sighting that happened during afternoon drive, and we were all hopeful that perhaps we would get a glimpse of a leopard before nightfall.
The groups before us only saw the mother leopard. They knew the cub was somewhere in the thicket, but it wasn’t interested in making itself seen at that time. Harley, our guide, navigated our vehicle to the best spot he could find, and after the other vehicle that was there cleared off, the cub popped its head out of the bushes and made its way down to spend some time with Mom. We had a short while enjoying the sighting, and then a second vehicle came along to also get a quick view of the leopards before nightfall. I think it was the second vehicle that spooked the cub back into the thicket, so our vehicle ended up being the only one to see both mother and cub during that sighting. We headed off to give the other vehicle the best viewing spot, and enjoyed a sundowner a short while later.
I was so fortunate to see loads of rhino during my last trip to South Africa, including numerous youngsters alongside their Moms. One of the best sightings, which I didn’t get any photo or video of, was a young calf at dusk whining and crying at its mother trying to get milk, but she was laying down having a rest and wasn’t giving in. Everyone on the vehicle was having a good laugh listening to the antics as it quickly grew dark.
This pair was incredibly relaxed with our vehicle nearby, peacefully grazing and gong about their business.