2019-05-13: Monochrome Monday

During my travels it has been heartwarming to see several different rhinos cows with their calves.   I did have one sighting that turned out to be quite a missed opportunity though.  The Mom was busy having a drink at a watering hole, and the baby began to whine, wanting access to milk.  Mom wasn’t interested at that time, and the whining from the baby got louder and more insistent.  This went on for a good couple of minutes, and I didn’t even think to switch into video, and kept capturing still images instead.  The only time I have heard rhinos before is on nature programs, so it was definitely a wonderful moment in the bush for me.

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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.

2018-06-11: Monochrome Monday

A young rhino grazing peacefully in the early evening on Ongava Game Reserve in Namibia.  May it have the opportunity to live in peace, free from the harm of poaching.

 

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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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2018-02-26: Monochrome Monday

While I could have zoomed in on this rhino and created a standard portrait, I thought keeping things wide and showing the rhino in the landscape was far more effective for this scene.  Had we been driving fast, we probably would have missed it completely, as most of the time the head was down and the horn wasn’t visible, making it easy to mistake the rhino for a rock (and vice versa).

May there always be rhinos to peacefully graze.

Wishing you an excellent week ahead.

 

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A rhino grazing in the late morning.  South Africa, May 2017.

2018-02-25: Revisiting Old Work

During this month of revisiting old work, I’ve had the opportunity to take many trips down memory lane, remembering amazing moments in nature and the challenging times trying to work out what to do with my camera to make the image that appeared on my LCD match the thought I had in my head.

What this monthly topic has hammered home is that the gear doesn’t matter, its what you are able to do with it.  The software used to edit images doesn’t matter, its understanding how to make the tools work for you in the best ways possible.    These things get said time and time again, but they really become apparent when you start reviewing a collection of work gathered over time that has been captured and edited with a variety of different resources.

No one looking at my images is going to say “You shot that on this camera body and then you edited it with that software program.  There are times when I have been out shooting with more than one camera and once the images have been uploaded to my computer, I don’t know which image was shot with which body, without checking the info panel!

At the end of the day, the only thing that should matter is if the image moves you in some way.

And with that, here are a few images I have reworked this week.  I hope you enjoy, and please check back next Sunday to find out what the topic of the month will be for March.

A rhino with her calf seen while doing volunteer work with Wildlife Act in 2014.
Not a spectacular picture, but a fun memory for me. I took a day off work and went out shooting for a school project I was working on. It was a fine fall day so I took Spencer with me, and he was overjoyed at having the opportunity to dig in the sand next to the river. October 2013.
My first foray into Botswana included viewing elephants in the water from a boat. An amazing experience!  April 2013.
For my then and now image, I chose this wild dog lounging in the shade, seen while working with Wildlife Act in 2014.
Here is the now version of this image. I think I was much better able to highlight the texture of the fur compared to the original edit.  

2018-01-09: WPC – Growth

The first WordPress photo challenge topic of the year is growth.  There are lots of directions that this can be taken, but I’ve decided to use it as an opportunity to show off some of the younger generation of animals that I saw on my last safari.   The wild is a dangerous place for youngsters, with so many species having mortality rates above 50%.  I hope all of these animals have been able to grow strong and healthy.

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A rhino cow and calf seen during a late afternoon game drive on the Ongava Reserve near Etosha National Park in Namibia.  We were very fortunate to have several rhino sightings during our trip.  Namibia, April 2017.
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This lion pride was very busy, with 6 small cubs, all of whom were suffering with mange.  I am hopeful they all made it through the winter months.  South Africa, May 2017.
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I have few photos of this sighting, as the light was falling rapidly and the cubs were deep in a thicket.  But their antics were too adorable not to try and capture.  So while their Mom fed on a giraffe kill, these two scampered around, wrestled, and attempted to climb the tree behind them. They even had a few moments of playing with the food.  South Africa, May 2017. (1/250sec, f5.6, ISO 25,600)
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We came across these elephants just after setting out from camp early one morning.  They had discovered an underground water pipe and had pulled it up to get to the water.  Elephants of all sizes were enjoying a drink as the sun came up.  Being amongst the elephants is definitely one of my favourite things; I could have happily spent the whole day with them.  South Africa, May 2017.
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Right after leaving the elephants seen above, we saw this.  I don’t think it gets any better in terms of an amazing sighting; we were able to track this beautiful leopard all the way to her new den site, and then spend time watching the tiny cubs explore their new home (a hollow log).  South Africa, May 2017.

 

If you would like to see more images and hear more about my time at the camps these images were captured at, feel free to check out: 2017-07-16: Highlights of Little Ongava2017-08-15: Ngala Tented Camp and 2017-08-27: Londolozi Game Reserve

 

Please visit:

www.jennifersawickyphotography.com for wildlife, landscape and nature inspired artwork.

and

https://shopvida.com/collections/jennifer-sawicky for textiles inspired by my photography.

 

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2017-09-22: World Rhino Day

Today and every day, let’s keep these magnificent creatures safe.  There are so many dedicated people working to combat poaching; I do hold hope that the tide will shift and people will curb the demand for rhino horn.

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2017-08-08: Phinda Game Reserve

After my time in Botswana, we finished out our trip at three different camps in South Africa.  All were places we had visited previously and liked so much we wanted to return to experience them again.

Travelling from the Okavango Delta to the Durban area in South Africa is pretty much a full day event.  We didn’t have time for a morning game drive, so we had an early breakfast and took a leisurely 1 1/2 hour drive to the airstrip that was being used by Machaba while the local strip was flooded.  From camp we flew to Maun, onwards to Johannesburg and then finally into Durban, arriving around 9pm.  Rather than take another flight, we had a driving transfer from Durban to Phinda, around a 2 1/2 hour drive, that left our hotel around 10 the next morning.

Arriving at Vlei lodge, we were greeted like family with welcoming hugs from Kathryn, the camp manager (whom we had also met during our previous stay).  We also had a chance to reconnect with the wonderful chef Happiness, who even asked us for our favourite items from the previous stay, so she could make sure they were on the menu during our visit.

Unlike the lodges we visited later that were adjacent to Kruger, Phinda is a fully fenced reserve, and as such have taken the difficult decision to de-horn the rhino population in an effort to curb poaching.  With horns or without, rhino are such impressive creatures to come across.  It is just so sad that it has come to this in order to keep them safe.  Like the properties in both Namibia and Botswana, Phinda had received an abundance of rain during the rainy season, after several years of rather severe drought.  The abundance of food and water meant that general game were much more scattered, and often the game drives were quite for periods when we didn’t see any animals around.  We did have one epic morning drive though filled with fun elephant encounters as well as several groups of rhino.

Phinda is definitely a good place to go if you are interested in seeing cheetah.  We saw 6 different cheetah during our stay, including a mom with 3 cubs.

Here are a few of my images from my recent visit to Phinda.  If you are interested, you can find some from my previous visit here and here.

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A nightjar spotted by our guide Dumi on the way back to camp one evening.  This was the first time I had a chance to photograph one of these birds.  As with anything, a bit more practice required!
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We spotted this herd of zebra, along with a large number of wildebeest on an afternoon game drive.  It was a very blustery day, and the herd seemed quite on edge.
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This group of five de-horned white rhino just wasn’t interested in cooperating and facing the same way for a photograph.
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We spent time with a breeding herd at the water hole on a morning game drive.  
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Close encounters of the elephant variety!  This guy was on route to the water hole, and wasn’t about to let our driving on the road slow down his pace.
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We found these cheetah cubs and their mother later on the windy afternoon.  They too were on edge and on high alert.
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Our first afternoon game drive, we came across three lionesses wandering down the road.
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Being investigated by one of the elephants at the watering hole.
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A yellow-throated long claw found on a foggy morning game drive.
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Drink in hand and a full moon rising.  This was a lovely break on what was otherwise a rather quiet game drive, where we saw only a few small groups of general game like impala and zebra.

 

Please visit:
www.jennifersawickyphotography.com for wildlife, landscape and nature inspired artwork.

and

https://shopvida.com/collections/voices/jennifer-sawicky for textiles inspired by my photography.