Friday, June 13, 2008

Weekly High Five #3

Here we go again with the Weekly High Five.

Actually, this week it should be called the 'Weekly High Eight' as I had quite a bit of trouble choosing only five images and so I thought I would just add the lot! Nature, and African wildlife specifically, offers us so much visual beauty and having to choose one image over the other when the content is so divers is a very difficult thing.

When I go through the images I try and not only look at it from a photography point of view, but also from a wildlife point of view. Anybody can take a snapshot of a lion but if an image can capture that little bit of magic, even if technical quality is not 100%, then I believe you have a winner! It's about showing the animal in their natural environment, doing what they do. To be able to capture these moments and still maintain a high level of technical quality while showing off your own artistic interpretation of that moment is what drives a wildlife photographer. Well I think so anyway...

So with that in mind, here are my choices for this week.

Image 1 - Boomslang by Matt Jones

This one snuck in as I was busy going through my choices when Matt uploaded this image - a young Boomslang (Tree Snake - direct translation from Afrikaans). This image has an abstract feeling to it but shows the character of the snake very well. Quite a shy species but always on the lookout. The brown color of the tree contrasts very nicely with the large eye of the snake (which is one of the diagnostic features). Nice image!

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Image 2 - Lion Snarl by Grant Marcus

If you see lions on a regular basis you will get to see many of their different facial expressions. This image captures on of these moments perfectly. I love photographing lions because of the different facial expressions they give and this image is a great example of that. If the flash did not catch the eye and make it stand out so much (draws quite a bit of attention) it would have been an even better image but this is something Photoshop can fix very easily and not a great worry. Great shot of Africa's largest cat.

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Image 3 - Squirrel Sentry by Gerry van der Walt

I think what makes this image is the two contrasting colours (of the sky and tree) and the side-lighting on the fur. It was a cold winters morning and he was just busy getting active from warming up in the sun. The image could have been a bit sharper but not the worst I have seen. Initially was not sure about this one but ended up liking it after all.

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Image 4 - Curious Seagull by Gerry van der Walt

I uploaded this image this week even thought it was taken two years ago in Cape Town. This whole shoot consisted of around 250 images but this one still stands out. The head tilted sideways gives the seagull a very curios look and the darker color on the wings forms two very nice leading lines into the focus area of the image. One of my own favourites.

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Image 5 - Lions on Patrol by Grant Marcus

Another great capture of lions doing what they do. It's not just the lions walking perfectly in line but also the way the image has been framed with the edges of the road on three sides leaving the front open for them to walk into. The colors feel a bit flat but regardless of that, this is a classic lion image!

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Image 6 - Winter Squirrels by Edmund Fourie

Another image that starts off with the 'cute-factor'. The color on the image captures perfectly the early morning winter light. The behaviour is also shown perfectly as squirrels huddle together in the sun during early mornings to heat up. A nice touch, excuse the pun, is the one squirrel putting his paw on the other one. You can almost see this being a Valentine's Day card. Great capture.

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Image 7 - Impala Jumping by Grant Marcus

A great action capture. The fact that you can see three impala in the image, all in a different stage of jumping and that not one of them is 'touching' the other one makes this a very good image. I also like the clever cropping in the image which leaves the right hand side open for the impala to move into. Love this shot!

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Image 8 - Caracal by Matt Jones

I think the best compliment any photographer can get is when another photographer says "I wish I took that shot!" I have no idea where Matt got this image but I wish I took this shot! An amazing capture of a very rarely seen animal - the Caracal. The colour and texture has been captured perfectly. (Caracal is also called a 'Rooi Kat' in Afrikaans meaning Red Cat.) The background is perfectly out of focus and the detail is perfect as you can even see the tufts of hair on the end of the cat's ears. Beautiful capture and my favourite of the week!

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So there you go, some of the highlights of the week. You can see how it is difficult to choose one image over the other. All great images and really makes you want to get out into nature and see these things for yourself! To view the latest images that has been added to the Photo-Africa Stock Library click here!

The Photo-Africa Stock Library has been growing very fast and now showcases the work of 15 Wildlife Photographers with ever growing galleries of African Wildlife & Nature images. We have also just finalized our Payment Gateway and the site is now full functional with regards to online, secure purchases of digital images.

If you email me and mention this Blog you will receive a voucher for 50% of your fist purchase with Photo-Africa!

Let me know which image you prefer and, if possible, which is your favourite!!

Until next time,

Gerry

5 comments:

me ann my camera said...

These are all such wonderful photos but my favourite is the three lions walking in a row. I am so glad I had book marked your blog as your photos are fascinating and its such a wonderful place to visit.

Ann at nature tales and camera trails

Photo-Africa said...

The lion shot is great! Awesome to see them like this!

Thanks for visiting!!

M said...

Another great group of photos.

Personal favorite must be the seagull!

Mike - Fenphotography said...

All stunning again Gerry, the Winter Squirrel shot is the one for me, such warm colours and then theres the cuteness value and I agree about the Caracal just beautiful.

Sandpiper said...

These are so beautiful, Gerry! I don't know that I could choose a favorite among these. I do love the caracal though. I spent an afternoon with a rescued caracal when I was in South Africa. It was a very special day. In fact, I have a picture over my desk of me sitting with the kitty.