Reticulated Giraffe at Water Hole, Lewa Wilderness Conservancy, Kenya
Before our safari, I was unaware that there were different varieties of giraffes. To me, they were all the same … beautiful, long-necked creatures. As I was searching for an image for this week’s ‘Rule of Odds’ (where an image is more appealing when there is an odd number of subjects), I thought this image of a mother, daughter and baby were a good example versus had it only been mother and baby. These are Reticulated Giraffes with their striking and crisp geometric patches, with males being darker as they age.
Below, although a nice image, I find not as interesting as the one above. But it does provide an example of the difference in giraffes. These are Masai Giraffe, whose irregular brown patches are on a yellow-buff background whereas the Reticulated Giraffes’ pattern is much more crisp. Just another little interesting fact I learned from our wonderful guides in Kenya.
Cheetah in the Masai Mara, South Western Kenya
We saw a number of these beautiful cats during our visit to Africa. The Cheetah, the world’s fastest land mammal, stalks its prey alone, getting as close as possible before attacking with a burst of speed, eventually tripping its prey and seizing it quickly by the throat in a suffocating grip. They immediately try to drag the carcass into cover to avoid scavenging hyenas, lions or jackals who will steal it from the cheetah. An interesting fact I was unaware of is that the cheetah’s tail terminates with a series of black rings and a white tip and that the tail rings are as unique as human fingerprints!
I used this image for Week 25’s Golden Ratio category which placed the cheetah’s head in the exact location of the beginning of the Fibonacci Spiral with the four squares. I actually use the Fibonacci Spiral frequently in the crop guide overlay in Lightroom. It is always helpful but sometimes I just go with my gut!
My backyard has two pine trees that stand high above others in the area. Because of its height, it provides a great view for avian predators on the hunt, such as bald eagles, hawks, owls and an occasional great blue heron. Early in the evening the other day, I kept hearing a “who-who” nearby so I grabbed my camera and went out to investigate. It took a few moments to find him, but there he was, high above me, staring down at me … a Great Horned Owl! And he wasn’t alone. There were two of them. I took a bunch of photos hoping for some decent shots since the light was fading and they could fly away at any moment. But it provided me an image for this week’s theme “View From Below”. Hope you enjoy!
My back yard in Lakewood Ranch.
One of the things I love about Florida are its beautiful sunsets. Each one is unique unto its self and oftentimes I am left in awe at such beauty. When we purchased our home two years ago in Lakewood Ranch, one of our criteria was to have sunset views. Before putting an offer in on our house, we asked our realtor to bring us back around sunset so we could evaluate the view. Well, as you can see from this image, we were not disappointed …. SOLD!
The above image was captured a few days ago with my iPhoneX and edited in Lightroom.
Rowing in fog.
This week’s theme is one of my favorites … the use of negative space in an image. I find myself drawn to images that use the effect of negative space to create ‘quiet’ images. I find that it can often make the main subject feel more isolated.
The above iPhone X image was rather nondescript on a foggy, gray day but the juxtaposition of the rowboat and sailboat made for an interesting composition of man-made power (rowing) vs. mother nature power (sailing). Hope you think so too.
I discovered this little guy outside my second story landing trying to find a way through the window. I stood and watched him for some time as he would dart about the branches close to the window and then fly into the window, attempting to peck his way in. Over and over, he repeated this behavior, returning to various perches to examine the window as if it were a puzzle that he was working out.
I grabbed my camera and captured a number of images through the window. I must have taken 30 or so photos and as usual, ended up with only a few decent ones. I loved the ‘movement’ of the above image and the lines in the birds feathers mimicking the palm in the background. I cleaned up the image and used a Photomorphis texture to give it more punch. As for the Warbler, he hung around for over an hour attempting to break in!
Salvador Dali Museum, St. Petersburg, FL
Yesterday, I joined some friends to view the Clyde Butcher exhibit at the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg. I most recently became aware of Butcher’s black and white nature scenes of Florida and instantly loved his work. Some call him the ‘Florida Ansel Adams’ and I agree. Butcher was approached by the folks at the Salvador Dali Museum to capture the rugged coastline of Dali’s homeland. Butcher spent 10 days in Spain in Dali’s childhood village of Cadaques, the Cap de Creus, Port Lligat and other parts of the Catalonian region. The results are striking with many 8-foot panoramas.
I couldn’t wait to get outside to capture the building’s beautiful design. It all ended up being a perfect theme for the ‘Geometric Shapes‘ assignment! I loved the reflections on the outside glass of trees and clouds and if you look closely, you can see the gift shop that lies behind.