I also love to take photos of old abandon structures. I chose this one of an old house in the town of Ninilchik, Alaska. There were a number of these types of old abandoned houses and boats. I liked this one because of the see-through window and the flowers surrounding it. I chose to make it a black and white and then just added a little color back into the flowers but left them unsaturated…. happy Friday!
Another from Utah. We took an afternoon ride around the Park City area and found this rustic mountain road by accident. It was in the afternoon so the light was just starting to get good.
Just a quick post from Park City, Utah. The skiing is pretty good but took a short walk around town this morning to take a few photos….
As I said in my last post, I just finished putting a slideshow of our trip to Africa together. It was pretty easy to just pull a few photos that we are using to tell part of that story. On our first night in Tanzania, our evening game drive was spent with a large pride of lions. We first spotted some of them sitting on a large rock while others were climbing up…. My friend Mike actually took this photo as a panorama as I didn’t have any lenses to take this very wide shot.
As we got closer, we saw there were two lioness on the rock with many cubs. They were pretty busy trying to feed and manage all the little cubs.
After a while, they all settled down and started their naps. Luckily for us, it was just as the sun was going down and we had some REALLY nice light for photographs. Hope you enjoyed this 3 photo short story of one amazing evening in Africa……
Who knows where they were really going….or what they consider home? In any case, I offer this photo as an apology for not posting anything this week (until now). I’ve been working on a photo show that my traveling companions and I can use to tell people about our incredible trip to Africa and it has taken a lot of time.
This is one of my favorite photos from our trip. Groups of elephants typically travel in lines like the one shown but I liked this one as it shows them cresting a hill (what is on the other side?), heading into a dramatic sky, and it also highlights the beautiful landscape of trees and rocks in the northern Serengeti. I did it in B&W (as I did with many other elephant photos) as it seems to “equalize” the grey elephants with their surroundings rather than have them overwhelmed by the colors of the landscape. I hope you like it – and I’ll get back to my series of posts on our trip next week…..
One of the things I love about photography is that you never know where or if you will find a treasured image – one that recalls the experience you had, the magic of the moment or the splendor of the subject. Even in a place like Africa where the opportunities are endless, you never know if you will get that one “keeper”. Even after you go through your photos a couple of times that treasure may still elude you. That kind of happened to me as I went through my Africa portfolio – there are MANY that I think are good photos and capture the moment well but I was hoping to get at least one that I could have printed professionally to put in our own living room. It wasn’t until I started doing a first cut of post- processing on some of the photos that I stumbled upon this one that I really liked. I had taken a photo of a male lion sitting in the grass of the Serengeti – the light wasn’t great and he wasn’t doing much but he had this very wispy mane that I liked. I decided to see what it would be like as a simulated oil painting using some of the photoshop tools and came up with the image below. I love the expression in the lion’s face and the way his mane translates into brush strokes……. I have sent this away to be printed and am anxiously awaiting its return – hopefully to become a treasured part of our living room decor.
Just another quick post to show a beautiful bird species. This is a European Roller which I gather again is pretty common over a wide area of Europe and Africa but they are exotic to us Americans. A very colorful and welcome sight during our trip….
Left the house this morning in the sunshine to go for a walk down at the beach. When I got down there it was cool with a dense fog. As I walked along the bay, I thought – boy, I wish I had my camera. Then I remembered I did have my iPhone with me so I snapped a couple of quick shots. When I got home I found a shot that I liked so I thought I’d post the first iPhone shot I’ve ever posted on this site! (Sorry , no animals)
I always seem to forget to post pictures of some of the incredibly colorful birds that we encounter during our trips. I thought I’d post this photo of a bird that seems to be common throughout Africa but is amazingly beautiful. They are even more beautiful when they fly but I did not manage to get a good flying photo 😦 Hope you enjoy.
One of our primary motivations for going to Africa this time was to go see the mountain gorillas. Our friend and companion Mike has had this on “his bucket list” for a long time so he did most of the research and planning for this part of the trip – and a great job he did! After leaving the lions in Queen Elizabeth park, we took a long and very bumpy drive south to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and National Park. The next morning we headed to the park to get our pre-trek briefing and arrange for our porters (to carry our day packs, lunch and also to help to get us past any “hard spots” on the hike – a great investment for $15/porter). We and our other 4 trekkers were assigned to the Mubare group and we immediately began our hike up the mountain. Mountain gorillas are only found in two populations–one in Rwanda and the Congo, and the other in Bwindi. Total population between these areas is estimated at about 900 gorillas – the good news being that the tourist business has essentially stopped the gorilla poaching. We had heard that the Uganda treks were more difficult than the hikes in Rwanda but, although there were some steep climbs, the trails were good and not muddy as there hadn’t been any rain for a few days. We crested the mountain after about an hour and half and reached the gorillas at about 2 hours. We dropped our excess gear, walking sticks and packs and proceeded through very dense bushes and vines to the gorillas who were about 75 hards away (we could see their movement through the bushes but couldn’t immediately see them). A tracker with a Machete led the group in, clearing a path as he went. We could tell we were close but were surprised when, with one last swing of the machete – there was the Silverback gorilla – right in the middle of an “amorous engagement” with one of the females. After a short time, they split apart and we began to watch other members of the group. Mike and I followed the silverback to a cave-shaped thicket where I tried to take some photos – unfortunately, there were a large number of flies in front of the gorilla and I couldn’t get a good focused shot. As I was trying to get a better position, the silverback came straight towards us and this was what I saw in my viewfinder……!!
What a thrill! He walked right past me – lightly brushing my pants as he went by – a great beginning to our hour with the gorillas! We had lots of opportunities to get close (much closer than the 7 meter zone that our guides had briefed us on) and watch the gorillas eat, nap, and interact with each other. They pretty much ignored us other than the curious glances that we often got as we stumbled around through the underbrush.
After our hour passed (all too quickly), we started back to our staging point where we left our gear and porters. I thought I’d include this photo of one of our guides to show how dense the forest was where the gorillas actually hang out….
After the trek and a nice shower, we settled in for a wonderful dinner on the veranda of the Mahogany Springs Lodge (wonderful lodge and incredible staff) and enjoyed the beautiful evening view of the gigantic mahogany tree just in front of the lodge…..
Okay – ya gotta bear with me on this one. First of all – I don’t do selfies…..as a matter of fact, I never appear in the vast majority of our photo trips because I am always in back of the camera and not in front of it. But every once in a while, we get close enough to an animal that I can actually see the reflection in its eyes. Such is the case with this photo of an African Jackal….can’t really see me, but if you blow it up (click on it) and look close you can clearly see the reflection of the ground and the sky AND our safari vehicle! That tiny bump on the top of the vehicle is me….. an “almost a selfie”…..
In case you were wondering, here is whole picture that I was taking – the very cute Jackal sitting in the middle of a road!
On the way through the southern part of the Queen Elizabeth Park, our itinerary had advertised a chance to see rare, tree climbing, lions. Now you could think, lions are cats – of course they can climb trees! That seems perfectly logical until you realize that lions can weigh up to 500 + pounds and they have to haul all that up a vertical surface. So anyway, while lions CAN climb trees, they are not normally found there. We had driven through the majority of the southern area of the park and it was a very quiet day for any kind of animal so we all began to think this was “hype” for this transit part of our trip but that we were unlikely to see any lions looking down at us. We had, in fact, called the restaurant where we were to have lunch and placed our orders for 20 minutes later. Just then our guide received a phone call from another guide and off we drove (at high speed) to get to the lion tree before they woke up and came down. When we arrived there were actually 5 lions in a large fig tree – all in various stages of their nap cycle. Some were awake and keeping an eye out.
Some were snoozing.
Some were yawning (and looking very fierce in the process)
And some were just hanging out…
We just counted ourselves as very lucky to have been able to spend some of their nap time with them before we left for our lunch. I should mention that no one knows why these lions climb trees while most other lions don’t. The theories range from trying to stay cool in the heat to getting a high and safe spot to be able to spot their prey – sounds like we should get a grant to go back and study this for a few months…… 🙂 Just one last shot to show the tree that they were in. We didn’t get a shot of all 5 but this photo that my friend Mike took caught three of them.
Just another rotten day on the east african safari trail…… 🙂
Just a quick post today. On the way from Queen Elizabeth National Park to our Gorilla adventures we passed by a herd of elephants feeding in the forest. One was intent on getting his food from the highest places he could reach. I thought it made an interesting picture with his trunk kind of blending in with the tree trunks……