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Game Warden

"I wish that all of nature's magnificence, the emotion of the land, the living energy of place could be photographed."

- Annie Leibovitz

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ld1

I'll kick things off before the really fabulous images pop up!

 

This image was taken in the Okavango Delta, Linyanti (Kwando, Lebala). It was early in the morning and its a picture of nothing in particular which is the reason I like it. I was using a canon bridge camera at the time and it was never going to pick up the finer nuances of a misty forest at first light (especially from a slow moving URI) but the picture never the less reminds me of how beautiful the morning was and how full of anticipation the start of a new safari day is.

post-6053-0-29850500-1441141756_thumb.jpg

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Tom Kellie

~ @@ld1

 

Couldn't agree more that ‘nothing in particular’ images frequently get to the heart of nature's beauty.

What I especially love about your image are the most distant trees in the background, which appear lighter than the dark silhouetted trees in the foreground.

They provide a sense of depth, as well as reflecting the luminosity from overhead.

Very Nice!

Tom K.

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twaffle

 

"I wish that all of nature's magnificence, the emotion of the land, the living energy of place could be photographed."

- Annie Leibovitz

 

 

I think that despite it being an excellent quote, the words themselves explain the problem with any photograph trying to capture them. Many times the emotion in a picture come from the experience of being there. I'll see an image that may not be extraordinary in its execution but the emotion and energy and magnificence comes from my response to the memory of the place because I have knowledge of the landscape.

 

This is really why I think so many photographers have problems with presenting images that make the viewer feel something. It is a problem that hasn't resolved itself at all.

 

With any luck, we will get lots of different images posted here and at least some of the them will speak to some of the viewers. In the meantime, if anyone has an answer to Annie's comment I for one will be very grateful to hear it.

 

But I will try to find some images to share ……….

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Tom Kellie

post-49296-0-55916800-1441150978_thumb.jpg



Meru Skies



~ Photographed on 20 July, 2015 at 9:53 am in Meru National Park, Kenya, with a Sony RX1 R camera.



ISO 100, f/11, 1/320 sec, handheld Automatic exposure.



*******************************************************************************



The energy of the clouds, the resolute growth of the vegetation, and the intense colors conveyed the living energy of the place to me.



Highly subjective and individual, nonetheless when I returned home and saw this image, I felt emotional at once again seeing the magnificence.



It's not been post-processed in any way. This is what I saw. Ms. Leibowitz's wish may be an aspiration of many who raise a camera lens to Africa's loveliness.


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twaffle

Love Meru @@Tom Kellie, always rewarding.

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twaffle

I always post produce my images … I don't think I have ever taken a photograph that shows anything like what I 'saw' and certainly nothing like what I 'felt' without post production. But that's a whole different debate. :wacko::rolleyes::P

 

Masai Mara from 2011

 

gallery_5545_1344_281647.jpg

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twaffle

And from Kiturua Conservancy 2013

 

gallery_5545_1344_37651.jpg

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twaffle

And a last one from Ngorongoro 2012

 

gallery_5545_1344_285441.jpg

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Tom Kellie

I always post produce my images … I don't think I have ever taken a photograph that shows anything like what I 'saw' and certainly nothing like what I 'felt' without post production. But that's a whole different debate. :wacko::rolleyes::P

 

~ @@twaffle

 

Ha! Amateur hobbyist shutterbugs wouldn't dream of debating gifted professional photographers.

Safaritalk is so nice as it accommodates all levels of skill and experience, with different approaches posted together.

Lacking insight or even awareness of the deeper issues underlying photography, I try different styles, but mostly use images as an expressive device of my own inner feelings.

Being an older, rather quiet and solitary — i.e. outside of classrooms — person, I frequently struggle to express what's inside. Safari photography has enabled me to show both what I saw and what I recall having felt.

It should be noted that whenever I post photos, I read the entry for the relevant game drive in my safari diary. Doing so restores memories with half-forgotten details.

Being highly debate-averse, I'm content to recognize and admire diversity of aesthetic approaches in safari photography.

I'm certainly no artist, but I do love to look at your intensely felt, well-crafted images, as they speak to me of Africa's splendor and mystery.

With Happiness!

Tom K.

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twaffle

@@Tom Kellie I think and hope that there is room for us all. I too am fairly solitary and my safari photos are often my salvation.

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Tom Kellie

@@Tom Kellie I think and hope that there is room for us all. I too am fairly solitary and my safari photos are often my salvation.

 

~ @@twaffle

 

Ooh! That's WONDERFUL!

You've eloquently pinpointed exactly what I feel.

I'm sitting at home this morning, uploading a few recent safari images to several different photography threads, and will soon resume my trip report.

Doing so restores my confidence, renews my hope and brings a smile at the memory of happy times past.

Our late @@graceland exchanged thoughts with me about safaris being a kind of healing. For me, safari photography adds the ineffable to that healing.

I really, really, really LIKE what you've expressed above.

Many thanks for that...

Tom K.

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JohnR

I always post produce my images … I don't think I have ever taken a photograph that shows anything like what I 'saw' and certainly nothing like what I 'felt' without post production. But that's a whole different debate. :wacko::rolleyes::P

I agree 100% with @@twaffle for scientific reasons.

 

The retina of the human eye has a completely different response to colour intensities than the sensor in a digital camera and each sensor manufacturer's red, green and blue detectors will be different. So someone has to make a decision how to combine the three raw greyscale images a particular sensor produces into a colour image that the viewer can relate to.

 

If you shoot JPEG and just use the factory settings, software writers at Canon/Nikon/Sony/Panasonic/... factory decide how to combine the three RGB greyscale images to produce the final image for you, usually on a scene based algorithm. Then there are the in camera settings for white balance, contrast, vivid,...

 

If you shoot RAW then you are either using a RAW converter whose software engineers came up with some settings you like which you the tweak a bit, or you are making decisions based on your memory of what you saw or what you would like to see.

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Tom Kellie

post-49296-0-89572400-1452864811_thumb.jpg



Safari Trees



Photographed at 11:52 am on 3 May, 2015 in Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, using an EOS 1D X camera and an EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II super-telephoto lens.


ISO 10,000, 1/4000 sec., f/16, 400mm focal length, handheld Manual exposure.


*****************************************************************************************************


What's the essence of Africa's spirit, were it possible to be photographed? Starting with safaris, many visits to Masai Mara have imprinted in my consciousness spreading acacias as signifying being on safari.


When I spotted this alignment of trees I asked Anthony to stop. There was no wildlife in view, yet the trees themselves projected the stillness of being far from settlements, petty quarreling and endless merchandising.


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Tom Kellie
On 9/2/2015 at 2:57 PM, JohnR said:

If you shoot JPEG and just use the factory settings, software writers at Canon/Nikon/Sony/Panasonic/... factory decide how to combine the three RGB greyscale images to produce the final image for you, usually on a scene based algorithm. Then there are the in camera settings for white balance, contrast, vivid,...

 

~ @JohnR

 

When I read your learned comment three and a half years ago I nodded in agreement but thought no more about it.

 

Reading it again tonight it continues to ring true. It's also clear where I fit in within your description.

 

I shoot JPEG, utilizing the “user customize” option. Utilizing a “grey card” and a series of tests, I calibrate the settings once per year to approximate my own impaired vision (I see in the right eye only).

 

My aim is nothing more than a moderate approximation of my own color sense, which has no connection to the precision required for industrial dye processes.

 

The current trip report was the only safari wherein I shot with anything other than Manual mode, which is typically my default shooting mode.

 

I don't use auto ISO and I prefer manual focus Zeiss lenses, whenever possible.

 

Therefore my camera settings are the most user controlled possible. 

 

Yet even then, as I've explained to students, there are any number of subtle ways whereby engineers influenced the result.

 

Having acknowledged that, the students who've visited Africa with me for field work have commented that the photos “look like what we saw”.

 

That may be flattery of the instructor, but it may also very slightly reflect the result of using my own judgment aided by calibration test images with a grey card.

 

Few artistic efforts are precise as their value lies in their expressive quality. When I want precision, I'm thankful for the body of work of mathematicians through the ages, including you.

 

Tom K.

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Tom Kellie
On 9/2/2015 at 4:56 AM, Game Warden said:

"I wish that all of nature's magnificence, the emotion of the land, the living energy of place could be photographed."

- Annie Leibovitz

 

~ @Game Warden

 

When I read this challenge several years ago, I had less experience. I thought of the big sense of nature, of Africa, and of the living essence of a place.

 

With time, my feelings have shifted. The most intimate moments in the wild best express magnificence, emotion and living energy.

 

Accordingly, I'll post a 2019 response below, to reflect my updated sensibilities. I hope that you don't mind, this being an older thread.

 

Tom K.

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Tom Kellie

2140429246_MotherandThreeCubs.JPG.29eb47dbaa067073782f5824fa2962a3.JPG

 

 

Mother and Three Cubs

 

 
~ Photographed with a Canon EOS 1D X camera mounted with a Zeiss Apo-Sonnar T* 135mm f/2 ZE telephoto lens, hand-held, Manual shooting mode.
 
In Sabi Sands, Mpumalanga, South Africa, on 22 January, 2016 at 8:13 am, ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/640 sec.
 
 
*****************************************************
 
This scene, a dozing family overhead, best expresses my sense of the magnificence, emotion and living energy of nature, especially Africa. 
 

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twaffle

I had forgotten this thread.  Leopard and three cubs is something to behold.

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