2016-06-19: Artistic Impressions

This week we have had some truly awful weather (I heard it referred to as Junuary, and that was pretty appropriate since the high one day was 6C with 60+mm of rain) and as such, I haven’t been out with the camera much.  So, I thought I would share a few of the photos I call my ‘Artistic Impressions”.  Generally, I like to keep colour photos as true to life as I can remember, and take my liberties with monochrome edits to highlights the subject to it’s best advantage.  Sometimes though, a photo seems to be asking for more, and I take it (for me) to an over the top place.  I’ve been having some fun recently doing more of these artistic edits, and thought I would share a few today, since I don’t have anything else.

Have a great week everyone!

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My sunset shot in the Sabi Sands got photobombed by a dragonfly.  
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An interesting afternoon in the Sabi Sands, the skies built and a fantastic electrical storm followed about an hour after this.
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Dead Vlei in Namibia; reducing the saturation really made the footprints in the dunes stand out.

2015-09-28: Monochrome Monday

You'd think it would be easy to edit a zebra in black and white.. but surprisingly it took me some time before I found the look I was seeing in my minds eye. Grazing in the Sabi Sands, May 2015 1/800sec, f5.6, ISO110
You’d think it would be easy to edit a zebra in black and white.. but surprisingly it took me some time before I found the look I was seeing in my minds eye.
Grazing in the Sabi Sands, May 2015
1/800sec, f5.6, ISO110

Weekly Challenge: Today Was a Good Day

The first thing I thought of when I saw this weeks photo challenge was seeing all of the big five in a single game drive.

It was our first game drive leaving from Chitwa Chitwa, and the first of the big five we came across were the elephants.  We ended up in fairly dense bush amongst a large herd, and I know some of the other people in the vehicle were a little nervous of the proximity!  At some points, we were completely surrounded by them (I was thrilled!!!)

A little too close for comfort for some of the people in our vehicle. 1/1000sec, f7.1, ISO 1000, at 98mm.
A little too close for comfort for some of the people in our vehicle.
1/1000sec, f7.1, ISO 1000, at 98mm.

The second we came across was the leopard.  She was only steps away after we started moving away from the elephants.  We followed her through the trees as well, and spent some time with her as she rested atop a termite mound.

A gorgeous leopard rests atop a termite mound. 1/400sec, f8.0, ISO 5600
A gorgeous leopard rests atop a termite mound.
1/400sec, f8.0, ISO 5600

We stopped for a sundowner drink and spotted a group of 3 rhino in a mud wallow off in the distance.  The light was fading, and the viewing was certainly better without the camera.

A crash of rhino enjoy an early evening mud wallow. 1/100sec, f4.8, ISO 6400
A crash of rhino enjoy an early evening mud wallow.
1/100sec, f4.8, ISO 6400

Just as we were getting back into the vehicle after our drinks and snacks, Surprise our ranger pointed out a couple buffalo crossing the road off in the distance.  The photo is awful, I knew it would be when I snapped it, but I thought I should take it as evidence of seeing 4 of the big 5 in a single drive.

Two buffalo cross the road, long after my camera was able to take a photo without a flash or spotlight!
Two buffalo cross the road, long after my camera was able to take a photo without a flash or spotlight!

As we were heading back to camp for dinner, we followed the tracks of some lions, and came upon them resting quite close to the camp.  And with that, it was the big 5 all within the space of 3.5 hours!  An absolutely amazing time.

A gorgeous lion rest in the early evening darkness.  A female was close by as well. 1/160sec, f6.3, ISO 6400
A gorgeous lion rest in the early evening darkness. A female was close by as well.
1/160sec, f6.3, ISO 6400

Of course, most people know by now that I am thrilled to view anything when on a game drive, from the smallest bird to the tallest giraffe and everything in between.  Here are a few other interesting sights from that drive.

A chameleon that our tracker spotted while we headed back to camp.  I don't think he was too thrilled with being pointed at, he has a rather sour look on his face.
A chameleon that our tracker spotted while we headed back to camp. I have no idea how they can see them in the pitch black from a moving vehicle, but it seemed to be a skill most of the trackers had!  I don’t think the chameleon was too thrilled with being pointed at, he has a rather sour look on his face.
A yellow billed hornbill perched at sunset (or as my Dad calls them, a flying banana).
A yellow billed hornbill perched at sunset (or as my Dad calls them, a flying banana).
A pair of white backed vulture perched in the fading light. 1/200sec, f5.6, ISO 1100
A pair of white backed vulture perched in the fading light.
1/200sec, f5.6, ISO 1100

Have a great day everyone!

Today Was a Good Day

World Elephant Day

Anyone that has read more than a few of my blog posts knows that I love elephants.  I could spend an entire day happily watching them; scratch that, I’m pretty sure if I saw them every day for the rest of my life, I wouldn’t grow bored of being around them.  I find them fascinating, beautiful, amazing and peaceful creatures, and being in their presence, even just for a few moments, is a blessing.

Here’s just one of many, many photos I have, I hope you enjoy.

A breeding herd of elephants stops by the watering hole outside of the Chitwa Chitwa main lodge for an afternoon drink. 1/500sec, f11, ISO 1600
A breeding herd of elephants stops by the watering hole outside of the Chitwa Chitwa main lodge for an afternoon drink.
1/500sec, f11, ISO 1600

Chitwa Chitwa Highlights

I was originally planning to combine the two areas of the Sabi Sands I stayed at into one highlights post, but I’ve been having such difficulty finding the time to work on my photos the last few weeks that it just wasn’t feasible.  Fingers crossed I’ll be able to get to the final highlights post this weekend, so I can move on to the other editing projects that I want to do – and get out and do some more shooting too!

This guy only had eyes for one thing (the female that  is out of shot).  More about that in another post.
This guy only had eyes for one thing (the female that is out of shot). More about that in another post.
We turned the corner, and there he was!
We turned the corner, and there he was!
A huge group of vultures gathering near a kudu carcass.  They were waiting for a female lion to clear off before heading in fight for scraps.
A huge group of vultures gathering near a kudu carcass. They were waiting for a female lion to clear off before heading in fight for scraps.
A wild dog peers at us from between two small tree trunks.
A wild dog peers at us from between two small tree trunks.
A lion take a pause from his kudu breakfast.
A lion take a pause from his kudu breakfast.
A dagga boy.  One of the old buffalo bulls cooling off in the watering hole.
A dagga boy. One of the old buffalo bulls cooling off in the watering hole.
A yellow billed hornbill, or as my Dad likes to say
A yellow billed hornbill, or as my Dad likes to say “the flying banana”.
A wildebeest enjoying the cool air of early morning.
A wildebeest enjoying the cool air of early morning.
Not who you would expect to see in a wallow.
Not who you would expect to see in a wallow.
One of my favourite birds, the beautiful lilac blasted roller.
One of my favourite birds, the beautiful lilac breasted roller.

This time-lapse was one of my first attempts, and shows a mid afternoon at the dam in front of Chitwa lodge.  Lots of waterbuck around that afternoon!

I hope you enjoy, and have a lovely day!