Saturday, August 23, 2008

Weekly High Five #13

It has been a very busy week at Tuningi but I finally got a chance to sit down and upload this week's High Five.

The game viewing has been spectacular and I am sure that all the guides from Madikwe who contribute to Photo-Africa has been getting some amazing African wildlife images. I know I am sitting on at least 50 images that I want to upload to the Stock Site but due to the Internet being a bit slow I need to pace myself. If things keep going at this rate I will be uploading well over 200 new images when I get back to Johannesburg, and fast Internet, towards the end of September. I will still try and get as many images up onto either the Photo-Africa Stock Library or the Blog.

The week has not been without it's share of 'challenges' such as fan belts breaking on the way to a leopard sighting, waking up to a flat tyre on the vehicle and Gizmo, my little Boston Terrier, having to go to the vet and staying until Monday after chewing on a few anti-inflammatory tablets. Crazy stuff all round but whenever you get out into the field things always seem better.

Anyway, back to this week's High Five. Quite a nice mix this week and as always I look forward to hearing your thoughts and choices of the week.

Image 1 - Side Lighting on Cheetah by Craig Muller

What makes this image for me is the Cheetah being slightly on the 'tense' side and the side-light catching the fur on his neck. The image is also rounded off nicely with the Cheetah's puffed up tail creating a nice 'end' to the image on the right hand side. Great capture.

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Image 2 - Bush Fire by Johann Marais

The idea behind any image is to tell a story or set a mood. The above image might look quite plain and simple but if you have ever witnessed the power of fire in the natural world you will appreciate the story that is being told. As you might have read in previous Blogs, many parts of ther Madikwe Game Reserve has been burnt this year. Whether one of these or a natural fire, the above image shows the process very nicely. Perhaps a little on the 'documentary' side, but I like it!
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Image 3 - Fishing Lioness by Denzel Edward Rogers

Another image that tells a story. At first glance it does not look like much but look closely and you will see that this lioness is standing in a puddle filled with catfish. Quite a unique situation. As the summer ends the African bush gets drier and drier. Some of the seasonal ponds dry up completely and as they approach their end the fish have to worry about staying alive. This lioness must have stumbled onto this seen and jumped at the opportunity. The image might have been a bit stornger with more fill-flash but still a nice image and must have been an amazing sighting!
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Image 4 - Lioness Profile by Gerry van der Walt

This lioness, the Etali female from the Madikwe Game Reserve, is around 6 years old and in perfect condition. This image shows her profile and absolute concentration. I like the sharpness in the image but felt that perhaps the chin was chopped off a little. Not major as the focus in her eyes, blurred background and diagonal line created by her face makes the image work.

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Image 5 - Elephant Sunset by Matt Jones

Stunning! The image without the ellies would have been pretty nice but the way they were included works perfectly. It might be a small thing but I love the way the ellie on the right has his head lifted towards the sun and the trunk making the small circle as he drinks. The colors work very well and capture that magical time of day and I also like the small shrubs that have been included on the right of the frame. Finishes it off nicely and keeps your attention in the frame. Great image to print or use as a wallpaper on your pc to keep you longing for those magical amazing African sunsets!

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Image 6 - Muddy Elephant by Gerry van der Walt

This elephant was playing around the Tuningi watering hole when I got this shot. As the herd walked within 5 meters of us (safely on the deck) this one stopped and stared straight at us. The sun was exactly behind them which would normally mean don't even try but the fact that they were so close worked out very well. I took the image full frame to try and eliminate the glare in the sky and was pleasantly surprised to see that the ellies wet, muddy skin caught quite a bit of reflection from the puddles of water on the ground. Pleasant surprise after I only fixed the histogram slightly and ended up with this image. My personal favorite image of the week and also my choice for this week's High Five.

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Almost time to get going on this afternoons game drive. It is a strange problem to have but I am kind of hoping that we have a quiet drive so that I can catch up on the hundreds of images I have to work through from the last few weeks. Then again nah... Absolutely love going out there and searching for that one in a million shot!

I almost drove over one of the Batia males mating with the Sereti female in the road yesterday morning. Have not checked them yet but I have a feeling there are a few classics in there!!

I will do my utmost to get some of my images up on the Blog during the weekend but make sure to also visit the Photo-Africa Stock Library to purchase or view the latest images as they are uploaded!

A quick thanks to all the eople who visit the Blog regularly and leave comments. I must apologise for not answering all the emails and comments but know that I appreciate and value your feedback and comments! Special thanks goes to Enigma, Mike Palmer, Sandpiper, Mike Fenney, SA Photographs and all the others I cannot think of right now (sorry!!) Appreciate your support guys!When you have a moment visit these Blogs for some more great photography!

It is also great to get comments from people who joined us at Tuningi and shared in some of the sightings and moments that you all read about on the Blog. Was an absolute pleasure sharing our little bit of African magic with you. If you have some images that you would like to 'show to the world' email them to me and I will add them to the Blog!

It won't be a week before my next post so visit again soon!

As always I look forward to hearing from you!

Until next time,



Anil P said...

Fabulous pictures. I hope other creatures will get as much focus as well. I belive Africa is rich i bird-life.

Mike - Fenphotography said...

Another stunning week Gerry, never fails to blow me away, the elephant sunset shot is a keeper, love it.
Cheers for the nod and link.

Patty Hankins said...

Wow - incredible photos as always. The elephants at sunset is amazing.

Thanks for posting the High Five every week.

joshidaniel said...

Yeah i too liked the elephants at sunset shot very much.

Michael Palmer said...

You never fail to impress- thanks for the shout out!!

I love the elephant sunset as my fav also