Friday, October 3, 2008

Weekly High Five #17

This High Five was very difficult to put together.

During the last week, more than 300 images were uploaded to the Photo-Africa Stock Library. How do you choose five images out of something like that? And then I still posted various images on the blog while I was uploading the images so that makes the choice even more difficult.

I have tried to steer away from the obvious choices as a lot of those have been used in the previous posts so here goes with quite a 'different' Weekly High Five.

Image 1 - Palms & Weaver Nest by Craig Muller

I thought this images was quite clever. Took me a while to find the nest. Clever image that starts off as almost nothing and then suddenly it all fall together. You get an idea of how small the nest is. Sometimes when you look around you see things that most people will not even spare a second glance. Interesting capture.

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Image 2 - Wild Dog Feast by Gavin Tonkinson

Not sure exactly what it was about this image but it stood out above all the other Wild Dog images. Perhaps it was the focal point that gets highlighted by all the dogs trying to get a piece of the wildebeest leg. You can see the social nature of these endangered animals and I reckon somewhere in that was my attraction to this particular one. It' one of those you cannot really put your finger on but you know you like it. Make sense?
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Image 3 - Ellie Trunk by Gavin Tonkinson

This image shows, in am abstract sort of way, how elephants make use of swimming pools to quench their thirst. This particular pool is quite raised and they have to stretch up with their trunk to reach and Gavin captured this very well. The trunk leads your gaze to the splashing water which gives the image a dynamic feel. Almost alien, almost abstract but I like the final result.
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Image 4 - Acacia Blossoms by Gerry van der Walt

This close up of an Acacia's blossoms works because of the depth of field. The focus is where it should be and therefore keeps the viewer's attention on the actual blossoms. These blossoms are some of the first to start 'popping' as summer starts approaching but does not last for too long. Interesting image that captures a small piece of nature and shows some of the beauty of the 'smaller world.'

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Image 5 - Wooden Face by Craig Muller

This is brilliant and again shows what happens when you look around with a creative eye. There are so many of these kind of 'images' waiting to be photographed by a lot of the time we don't notice as we are too busy looking for the obvious pictures. The red / brown color gives the image a nice feeling along with the 'grumpy old man' face in the wood. I love this image and was a close call for my favorite of the week!

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Image 6 - Rhino in a Row by Riaan Kruger

This shot could have been just another rhino image if the shutter was clicked a few seconds later and the closest rhino was out from behind the grass. Too often I find that people don't take an image because there is a piece of grass in the image. This goes too show how you can actually make it work for you. There is no doubt as to what animal you are looking at. The focus is perfect on the closest rhino and fades beautifully to the back of the image. The grass gives the images a very nice natural feel and you can almost feel the wind blowing through the tall grass as these ancient-looking beats graze across the images. I like this and, even though a difficult choice, my favorite of the week.

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You see. I reckon this is quite a different group of images. If you look back at the various posts while I was uploading you will see the great diversity that nature has to offer and that is what makes this so difficult. I suppose that is also what makes it so interesting.

Art. Documentary. Action. Close Up. Emotion. Beauty. Which one of these defines wildlife photography. I suppose the answer would be all of them but it is also then up to each photographer to find their own style. Their own way of portraying the stories they see and how it makes them feel.

Can you grow over time and 'create', because that is what we do, better images? Can you work on it and create your own style? I think the answer is yes... if you want to!

I believe you need to be willing to learn, take criticism and use this to steer your own work into a new direction. This is damn difficult but, I would like to believe, possible.

If you have any comments on these and other images on the Blog I would love to hear from you.

What do you like? Why?

What don't you like? Why?

What would you have done differently? Why?

This is how we all learn and get better so with that in mind, as always, I look forward to hearing from you and reading your comments.

On a slightly different note, I have been able to set up my own Internet connection at the lodge which, so far at least, has been working pretty well so hopefully I will be able to post more images, more blogs and try and get to more of your blogs as well! Thanks to all the regulars for your support and comments. (And thanks again to Mike from FenPhotography for help and input on how to get the new look going on the Blog! Really appreciate it!)

Until next time.

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