I’d always hoped for the chance to capture an image of elephants silhouetted against a sunrise or sunset. I had the opportunity when I was in Zimbabwe last year, though the results weren’t quite what I had in mind. I think if we had been in position about 15 to 20 minutes earlier, the sky would have been a bit brighter, though still colourful enough to be interesting. Though, of course, had we been in this particular spot earlier, the elephants wouldn’t have been there, as they were on the move and just passing through the area.
There are so many sightings I think would be interesting, and images I would love to capture. I don’t put pressure on myself or guides when we are out and about to find certain situations, as part of the joy of being in the bush is the unexpected. Though if we are at a sighting, I will ask for a vehicle to be repositioned, if it is safe to do so and doesn’t adversely impact others, in order to be able to capture better images, but usually, the guide has already thought of that as they position a vehicle.
One of the days on my recent cruise was a scenic cruise to the Hubbard Glacier. While I was told that it is not as impressive as cruising in Glacier Bay National Park, I thought the scenery was breathtaking and beautiful.
Similar to most mornings when we were out at sea, I awoke to pea soup fog, and I thought that perhaps we wouldn’t see much of anything. I took in the morning talk by the onboard naturalist, and then headed to the coffee bar for a mid-morning pick me up. I got to chatting with some people while having a coffee, and it was explained to me that as we headed into the bay, and got closer to the glacier, the weather would shift very dramatically. At noon, we headed into the bay, and sure enough, we left the fog in our wake and had gorgeous sunny blue skies and beautiful scenery (and, when we left the bay, the fog closed in as rapidly as it had lifted earlier in the day). There were some whales spotted from the ship, both on our way to and from the glacier, which was wonderful to watch.
I took an enormous number of photos during this scenic cruise, and since I am behind in my cataloguing a bit, I just selected a few that appealed to edit and share.
We’ve been having a lot of thunderstorms recently, but it’s not particularly picturesque or open where I live, so I am not able to get interesting photos of the storms. I did try once driving around to see if I could get a decent vantage point, but didn’t find anything that made me want to take my camera out.
However, I did get some fantastic storms while I was away in November, complete with open vistas to take pictures of the towering clouds approaching filled with rain. Here are a few of those shots.
Without a doubt, the favourite excursion I did while on my Alaskan cruise in May was take the White Pass rail trip from Skagway, Alaska, to Fraser, BC. After disembarking in Fraser, we carried on by bus into the Yukon (my first time in one of the territories). I had hoped to be able to do a longer rail trip all the way to Bennett, but it was too early in the season.
There was still significant snow at the higher elevations, and a definite chill in the air on the 8:00am departure, but I spent as much time as possible on one of the outdoor platforms, watching the scenary and taking lots of photos. I was quite fortunate as only two other people in my rail car had any interest in being outside for any length of time, and there was enough room for three on the platform, so I had a great view to entire way. I’d duck in for few moments when my hands got too cold to warm them next to the heater, and then back out for more photos.
These infrared landscape images I took in Zimbabwe caught my eye as I completed the process of moving back to Lightroom and reorganizing the images that I have left to edit. They look rather strange scrolling past unedited, as they are almost a neon red/orange tone, but once converted to black and white, offer a different look than a typical monochrome landscape.
These were both shot near mid day, and the infrared filter requires a long exposure, providing some nice movement in the foliage, like this palm tree.
This second image was shot by the waterhole at the camp we stayed at in Hwange. The pair of marabou storks were almost motionless with their wings outstretched, making them look almost fake in the long exposure image. The sky looks extra dramatic in black and white, and later in the day, we had a spectacular thunderstorm with torrential rains.
I’m in the process of making some changes to my cataloguing of photos. After a few years of trying to work with Capture One exclusively, I’m moving back to Lightroom for cataloguing and basic edits. Given how hectic life was during the time I was trying to use Capture One, I probably didn’t put enough effort into learning the program, but Lightroom feels easier to use, and right now, that’s enough of a pull to make the switch. In all honesty, it’s nice to have so many different choices of software to use, and my choice may change again in the future.
It’s a little tedious transferring over my star ratings, since there isn’t an automated way to do things, but at least it means I am going through all the photos again to decide if I do want to work on them in the future.
As for today’s image, it should be no surprise that I gravitated towards elephants. This sighting was right after lunch when we arrived at our camp in Hwange, and everyone enjoyed the antics of this group rolling in the mud and dust bathing.
I recently returned from a trip I had wanted to do for some time – a cruise to visit Alaska. I found an itinerary that worked with my schedule and booked it, and hoped for the best weather wise, but anticipated the worst. I packed a toque, gloves, scarf, fleece, rain coat, rain poncho… all the things to deal with excursions in damp and cold weather, and instead needed to apply sunscreen at each stop and spent my time outside in t-shirts. Many of the people that I met on board, some that had done Alaskan cruises on multiple occasions, agreed that we had strangely amazing weather (and not to expect that if I should go again).
I’ve not yet done a full review of my images, but this one caught my eye when importing. I took this from my balcony as we left Sitka, heading for our next port of call. I’m looking forward to sharing more images from this trip, and especially interested to start looking through the images I took while whale watching, to see if any turned out.
I had planned to edit a few images today, but then the day got away from me. This seems to be a familiar occurrence lately, and I am going to need to do a bit better in planning my time to work on photos.
This image caught my eye out of the grouping that I had flagged to work on. These young giraffes were necking in the warm glow of the early morning sun.
Midday is generally not considered the best time for photos, with harsh glare and intense shadows. But a group of elephants, happily frolicking in a muddy puddle, is too good not to shoot, regardless of the conditions outside.
I know I’ve said it many times before, but spending time amongst elephants makes my heart happy.