Friday, December 19, 2008

Weekly High Five #26

It is amazing to think that this will be the second last Weekly High Five for 2008.

For those of you that are new to this Blog here is how it works. The Photo-Africa Stock Library features a growing database of African Wildlife & Nature images. These images get uploaded by more than 25 wildlife photographers and field guides working in Game Reserves all over the African continent.

All the images have been taken in the wild and shows Africa through the eyes of people who care enough for nature and it's wildlife to capture the beauty and magic that is Africa. With many of the contributing photographers working in Game Reserves and witnessing the most amazing sightings every day , the images form a part of one of the most unique and regularly updated showcases of African Wildlife & Nature images on the Internet. All these images can be viewed on the Stock Site and is available as non-licensed commercial, editorial or personal use.

Every Friday I choose five of the latest images that have been uploaded to the site and feature them on the Blog with my thoughts on what makes these images stand out while always keeping photography and wildlife in mind.

With this being the 26th edition of the High Five, I have featured 130 images from the more than 3000 images on the Stock Site. For next week's edition, which will be the last for the year, I will choose my top ten favourite images of 2008. I know that as I am writing this it is going to be a very difficult thing choosing only ten but it will be interesting looking through the images all the way back to when the Stock Site was started in April this year.

Make sure to check in next week for Photo-Africa's Top Ten Images of 2008, but for now here goes with this week's High Five.

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Image 1 - Shaking Spurfowl by Matt Jones

Interesting image. This Natal Spurfowl is busy shaking himself clean after a dust-bath when Matt clicked the shutter. The head is slightly out of focus but still assists in creating a dynamic image of the bird in action. If the head was perfectly crisp this would have been ab even better image but I still find it fascinating.

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Image 2 - Black Shouldered Kite by Gerry van der Walt

This image presents quite an interesting exposure challenge but the final result is not too bad. What makes this image work is the Black Shouldered Kite looking straight at the camera - eye contact.  The ideal would have been to have the sun slightly more from behind the photographer which would have highlighted the beautiful red eyes more but still a good bird image.  Would perhaps have liked to see more contrast but not a major.

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Image 3 - Vulture Face by Paul Benson

As far as bird close up goes this is right up there.  As with the previous image, and all other wildlife images, it's all in the eyes.  Not only is the eyes crisp and sharp but the catch light makes the image come alive.  The negative space on the right is used perfectly and gives the vulture something to look at.  Stunning image of a very difficult to shoot subject.

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Image 4 - Mating Lions by Gavin Tonkinson

This image has quite a few things going for it.  The first is, again, eye contact.  The male lion looking at you as if to say "What are you looking at?" immediately draws you into the image.  The way it looks as if the male lion is kissing the female on her head gives the image a 'cute' quality.  I am not quite sure what to make of the look on the female's face but I like it.  Kind of confused perhaps? This image also shows that you should sometimes break the rules and place your focal point in the centre of the image.  There are so many small things happening that it does not feel like your gaze is stuck in the middle of the frame.  Nice one.

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Image 5 - Hyena Battle by Matt Jones

This is easily my pick of the week.  Absolutely stunning image that shows interaction between the two species of hyena.  The dry dusty environment works perfectly to heighten the emotion of the scene as the Brown Hyena kicks up the dust.  From a previous post, this image draws you in.  It must have excited the photographer as it does the viewer.  This is what wildlife photography is all about - showing the stories that play out in nature.   Great shot!

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It is nice to see that a lot of the guys are uploading more bird images.  Overall I have been very impressed with the diversity of images that have been uploaded this year and hopefully this will show in next week's Top Ten post.

As we approach the end of the year there are a lot of new ideas and regulars I would like to add to the Blog.  If all goes to plan this will probably start coming together towards the end of January after I have met with a few potential partners and sponsors for competitions Photo-Africa will start running.  I am also in the process of integrating the Photo-Africa Home Page, Blog and Stock Site into one.  Lots of work, many ideas and still quite a few things to iron out but the process has started.  Will keep you posted!

Even though things are quite hectic for us over this time of year I will still upload a few posts during the next week before the Top Ten post next weekend.

As always I look forward to hearing from you.

Until next time.


Kirsty said...

Absolutely LOVE the hyena photo. I don't know what it is, but there is just something 'special' about it, and has got me thinking about all sorts of questions.
Great, great image, even for someone who doesn't necessarily have a photographers 'eye' but just enjoys wildlife.
Merry Xmas and happy new year to all at photo-africa. :-)

Michael Palmer said...

Top Ten? Now that has got to be mind bending with all of the great shots you have posted!! Good Luck!!

Leslie said...

Thanks, for sharing, the pictures are awesome. I love animals and have dreamed of going on a Safari.
Merry Christmas to all.

Jorge said...

Amaizing photos!
For some minutes i'm felt in Africa! :)

More photos please...