Zebras felt like a good follow on to last weeks post showcasing some giraffe images. They are another lovely animal to spot in the bush, especially when they are chilled out and allow a photograph with some nice eye contact.
As I was editing these images, I noticed as I was zooming in and out many scars on the adults. Perhaps from a brush with a predator, conflict with another member of the herd, or scrapes and scratches from moving within thick bush quickly. Potentially, a combination of all three. Seeing images of a few different individuals highlights that all the stripe patterns are unique.
The weekend got away from me, so just a quick few photos in the hopes that it helps me keep with the habit of completing a weekly post.
I selected some giraffe images to share today. They are such an interesting combination of goofy and elegant, and are usually quite chilled out when spotted on safari which allows for lots of photo opportunities.
Now that I have moved my editing back to Lightroom, I’ve rediscovered quite a few images that I had flagged in my quick collection as ones I wanted to edit, from my trip to South Africa in 2019. The first four images are from that trip, and the last three from my recent trip to Zimbabwe in 2022.
While a lot of time has passed since 2019, I didn’t spend much of it on photography during the Covid years, as I was otherwise occupied in graduate school (during my free time from work) and when I did have time for photos, I was exploring using Capture One during that time period.
Coming back to Lightroom feels both familiar and very different at the same time, and I definitely need to spend some time relearning the familiar tools, and learning about all that has been added in the intervening time. I felt a sense of accomplishment working through these images and only completing the edits within Lightroom, not moving on to familiar plugins available in Photoshop.
All of these images were shot as long exposures around midday or early afternoon, using an infrared filter and then converted to black and white. It is something I want to work on more as I really enjoy the look of the shockingly bright foliage and inky skies.
After wild dogs last week, I decided to work on the few jackal photos I had this week. Jackals are fairly common on safari, but on this past trip, the jackal sighting I had were of moms and youngsters, which was very cute to see. These images were taken just before dusk, and we had only a minute or two at the sighting before they were gone.
I was drawn to elephants today, and wanted to put together a bit of a variety of images, so I have a few in colour and a couple in monochrome to share today. While I have a decent catalogue of elephant images, these are all from my most recent trip to Africa in 2022.
I felt like some colour on a dull day, so small birds with bright feathers it is. The lilac breasted roller remains one of my favourite birds to spot on safari, and I was quite excited on my past trip to have the chance to see other types of rollers as well. I didn’t get great photos of the other rollers, but included them anyways to show the variety of colours.
It was unfortunate to only see the purple roller and racket tailed roller high up against very bright skies, but at least I did get the racket tailed roller at the right angle to show off the interesting tail feathers.
These weaver images were taken in different areas; the southern masked weaver is wide spread and they create very interesting nests that often hang over water. The males are in charge of construction, and the females in charge of determining if the nest is up to standards or not. When you come across a large colony, you will often see nests that have been abandoned partway through construction.
I had high hopes of working through a decent number of images this week, while I was off work on a staycation, but I also have a tendency to create a mental to do list that 3 people couldn’t finish, let alone just me. My household projects, yard work and the like all had a lot of effort directed at them, but creative time took a backseat. With winter coming, there will be lots of time to be inside working through images, while getting the autumn yard work done (and a round of golf in) has a pretty limited time frame now that September is almost to a close.
For my image today, it is a lovely sunset taken on my first evening staying in Madikwe last November. It’s hard to believe almost a year has past since that trip.
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.
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.