Monday, July 7, 2008

Weekly High Five #6

The challenge for any wildlife photographer is to tell a story. To share a moment. To create a connection between people and nature. It is to be out in the field sharing time with the things we love while at the same time respecting the power of nature as you try to get the best images in very challenging conditions.

As you look through this week’s High Five I want you to keep in mind that all the images found on Photo-Africa has been taken in the wild areas of Africa.

I believe it takes a special kind of person to spend days at a time in the field looking for that one special moment where technical expertise meets natures beauty. It can get very frustrating at times but then it only takes one image to make it all worthwhile.

When I look through my images after a shoot I am very critical and probably only end up with one decent image out of every fifteen! How many images must be in a box or pc directory somewhere that was deemed “not good enough”? Every once in a while I go through my old RAW files and find images that I can just crop slightly or alter the histogram to make it a usable and pretty good image.

With the Photo-Africa Stock Library approaching 2000 images there must be a couple of brilliant images that snuck through the sorting process as the photographers chose their 'good images'. Come one guys. Let's see some of these oldies as well!

Hopefully these will surface at some point but for now here goes with this weeks High Five.

Image 1 - Otter and Lions by David Trevor Guest

I added this one due to the story that it tells. The two male lions was looking for a place to cross the Marico River. As they approached the drift where they normally get over the running water a Cape Clawless Otter popped up and just stared at them. The lions apparently had one helluva fright and did not quite know what they were dealing with. The Otter was almost daring them to enter his domain and the lions only crossed the river once their little gate-keeper left. Not the most striking image, technically or composition-wise, but one that tells a story.

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Image 2 - Madikwe Sunset by Bradley Leighton

A great capture of one of the best times of the day. I am in the process of writing a Blog on technical considerations when looking at the composition of nature and landscape images and this one knocks it on the head. By keeping a bit of the foreground in the image you get a feel for how majestic and 'large' the sky looks during this time of the day. If Bradley added more of the dead, black foreground it would have taken to much attention away from the sky. Great African sunset image!

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Image 3 - Wild Dog Eating by Gerry van der Walt

When capturing any animal - it's all in the eyes! It's not so visible on this image but the eyes of the Wild Dog make this image. The color might look like it lacks a little saturation but it shows perfectly what the Southern African Savannah looks like during mid winter. This Wild Dog was feeding on a recently killed Impala and looked up just long enough for the shutter to be clicked.

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Image 4 - Elephant Head by Gavin Tonkinson

When an image makes you look twice it is a winner. Gavin waited for the elephant to close his ears before capturing this image. You kind of struggle to picture which way this ellie was looking and combined with the color, texture and lines makes this a great image!

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Image 5 - Lion Sepia Scene by David Trevor Guest

Great moody scene which is helped on by the sepia tones. If anything I would have tried to move the lion a little lower down from the tree line (but then it IS wildlife photography in which you do not always have those options) which would have emphasized him a lot more but still a great African image.

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Image 6 - Lion King by Gerry van der Walt

Beautiful Lion image and again the eyes have it. Light is great. The slightly raised head and full mane give him a very majestic look. An almost perfect lion portrait.

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Image 7 - Red Rhino by David Trevor Guest

Even though it has been slightly edited in Photoshop this is my pick of the week. Even in full color this image would have worked. The two rhinos have been placed perfectly in the frame and the open mouth gives it a dynamic feel. The desaturated of all the colors makes the faces and horns of the rhino pop and draws attention to the main focus of a rhino image such as this. I like it!!

Another great group of images for this weeks High Five.

Remember that all these images were taken in the wild!

To view more of the new images you can visit the Photo-Africa Stock Library and make sure to visit the Blog again soon as I look at various factors that influence the composition of your wildlife images!

As always I look forward to your comments!



M said...

As always very difficult to pick just one!!

Love the sunset and lion portrait.

Enigma3 said...

This is my first time on this blog. I am a wild cat fanatic and this is the real thing. Fantastic photos! I will visit frequently and add your blog to my favorites. Thanks for the feedback on my fireworks!

Enigma3 said...

This is my first time on this blog. You left feedback on my fireworks photo on Enigma3photography Blog. First of all thanks! I just love wildlife photography and you guys truly are the real deal. Fantastic work. I will visit frequently and I also added your Blog to my favorite blog links.

Mike - Fenphotography said...

Yep another great set of photos here Gerry, I am swaying towards the Sepia shot this week and I have been checking out the new shots in the stock and can see there are plenty more where that came from.

Michael Palmer said...

I am so diggiing that Rhino Shot!! WOW!