2019-10-06: Feasting Leopard

I said this month was going to be freestyle for my Sunday posts, and as I was going through my catalogue earlier in the week, I was taken by images of this leopard and decided to edit a few to share.

One of the things I love about being in the bush is witnessing some of the drama that unfolds.  This sighting was definitely more than met the eye at first glance.

The previous evening, we had very briefly driven to this area, as there was a leopard on an impala kill.  It was getting dark though, so we decided to carry on and make this area our first stop the next day.  When we headed out on our morning drive from Chitwa Chitwa, other vehicles were already at the sighting, so we had to wait a bit, but when we got there, we found a different leopard on the impala kill.  So, sometime during the night, the male leopard that we initially saw left, and this female snuck in to have an easy meal.

Things were made even more exciting by the fact that she had a cub who was also nearby, but you’ll need to check back next week to see some images of the two of them together.

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While it doesn’t look like there is much left on the impala, it was still a valuable, and free, meal for this leopard.
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If looks could kill.

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She was really working to gain access to a new spot on the carcass.

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The tracker on this vehicle had *nerves* of steel.  The leopard came down the tree, and paused in front of this vehicle and stared up at the tracker for 5 – 10 seconds before making her way off.  It doesn’t sound like a long time, but witnessing it, it sure felt like it.   The entire time he did not flinch or move a muscle.  

More of this beautiful leopard next week.  Until then, wishing you a wonderful week ahead.

2019-09-30: Monochrome Monday

It seems like it has been a while since I have played around with tinted monochrome images.  This elephants looked good in black and white, but felt better with the warmer, coffee tones you see below.  These were taken on different days, but all fairly late in the morning, when the sun was casting harsh shadows.  Conventional wisdom says that’s the time to put away the camera, but I’ll keep shooting as long as there is something interesting to look at.  The bulk of an elephant and the highly textured skin seem to be able to handle harsh light quite well.

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2019-09-29: Photo Art – The Magnificent Seven

This post was originally going to be the big five, but I had images of cheetah and wild dog that I wanted to play around with, so the magnificent seven it is.

One of the reasons I wanted to focus on my photo art this month was to try and learn a bit more about Topaz Studio version 2.  I’ve played around with it a bit, and watched some tutorials, but for the workflow I am using, at this stage I will be sticking with version 1.  The issue that I was finding is I can’t get files to make a round trip using On1 Photo Raw.  I can get the file into Studio 2, and work on it, but the only option for saving is an “Accept” button, which with the workflow I am using, appears to do nothing.  I select it, but the file doesn’t get saved, exported or anything else.  New software versions are typically a bit buggy, so I’ll give it a few update cycles and then play around with it again and see what happens.

One of the great things about photo editing tutorials is getting the little reminders for things that are outside of the normal workflow.  In this case, the reminder was to play around with blending modes when using AI Remix, Impression and textures.  For example, the cheetah image below was edited using (amongst other tools) a filter in AI Remix called Neon Rise.  But changing the blend mode from normal to luminosity kept the amazing texture that the filter offered, but eliminated the wild and crazy colours for something far more subdued, and suited to the image.

I hope you enjoy the selections below.  Wishing you a fantastic week ahead.

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You can find some of these images in the Photo Art section of my gallery.

2019-09-22: Photo Art – Rhinos

Today is World Rhino Day, so I decided to combine that with my photo art project for the month, and edit some of the rhino images I took on my last trip.

I won’t go on and on about the plight of the rhino, and of the greed, arrogance and ignorance of humans that has fuelled their decline and cluttered news feeds with horrifying photos of poaching.  Other people can do that far better than I.

I simply want to live in a world where rhinos can live in peace.  And I will hold that thought in my mind and in my heart, and hope that it becomes a reality.

As with all the other posts in this series, these images were created from photos I took, modified primarily using Topaz Studio to create these effects.

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2019-09-09: Monochrome Monday

Like impala, vervet monkeys can sometimes be seen so frequently from camp and when out on game drives that you stop paying attention to them, or taking the time to take photos of them.  The alarm calls of the vervet monkeys can sometimes lead to predator sightings, so they are definitely an animal worth paying attention to out in the bush.  They are interesting and inquisitive animals, and can often be seen up in the trees near camp buffet tables, trying to work out the best way to steal a muffin.

None of the vervet monkeys in the photos below were up to any such mischief (though I have seen it happen many times).  These were from two different troops that we stopped to spend time with while out on game drives in May.

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2019-09-02: Monochrome Monday

Today I wanted to share a few of the images that I captured while driving the Panorama Route in South Africa earlier this year.  It’s a beautiful scenic drive with lots of opportunities to stop and take short walks to view waterfalls and breathtaking vistas, like the three rondavels.  If you are travelling to South Africa, it is definitely a day trip worth taking.

I hope you enjoy my selections for the day, and wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead!

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The three rondavels under stormy looking skies (not a drop of rain fell during the entire time I spent in South Africa though).
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Some of the small waterfalls at Bourke’s Luck Potholes, another stop along the panorama route.
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Berlin Falls

2019-08-31: Birds – Shades of Blue

Travelling through southern Africa, pretty much any time of year, will provide the opportunity to see a great variety of birds.  Today I chose to focus on ones with feathers in shades of blue.  I hope you enjoy the variety of images today, and wishing you a wonderful weekend!

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A lilac breasted roller
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A burchell’s starling
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A white-bellied sunbird
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A pair of cape glossy starlings
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A green wood-hoopoe
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A cape glossy starling
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A wire-tailed swallow
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A double-collared sunbird
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A lilac breasted roller