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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:16 am
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Location: Pretoria
Mxm great stuff, these pics are all very inspirational. I haven't been to KTP yet but I will have to make some arrangements, great photography your photos are bliss, good luck with the editing and sorting


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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:37 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Secunda
Day 3 continued...

Sometimes I try and find a different perspective, a special shot of something that everyone else has taken. Sometimes they work, sometimes they are plain. I like the silhouette here, no special reason.
Image

There was already a lot of rain during the early part of my trip. I remain surprised each time I got wet in the desert, I wonder if David Attenborough knows about the rain? Anyhow, this PCG was having a right royal bath. Not much splashing but certainly lots of wetting and shaking.
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Stop (me thinks to meself)! Wow, a sandgrouse, again, so exciting! (Please read this without the sarcasm it appears to have, I was with hastened heart and trembling hands when I spotted these.) The males were having a slight disagreement, possibly something around the pros and cons of submersible pumps vs windmills - aesthetic value vs function and cost, you know, the usual sandgrouse watercooler banter.
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In the next post, my first leg stretch with fun and phobia...

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Photographer, nature lover, birder

Follow my solo KTP photographic and birding TRAVEL TALE

Photograph all moments of beauty not to forget, but treasure them in your heart to remember


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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:25 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Lovely pics of the hyaena family. :clap: :clap: :clap: These guys were quite active at night while we stayed at Rooiputs. Luckily I slept well and only saw lots of footprints around the tent.

Nice shots of the PCG and Kelkiewyn. Always great to sit and watch them at a water hole. :thumbs_up:

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

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KTP a place where you can quench your thirst


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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:10 pm 
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Awesome hyaena and PCG pictures, Matt :clap: :clap: :clap:


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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:52 am 
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Location: West Coast of Canada
Your photos make me very envious - the silhouettes of the hyena are amazing! and the flapping ears of the bokkie are great!!

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Wishing I was back at KNP…..
next best thing - a trip report! A New Species each day! KNP Nov 2013


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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:45 am 
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I love the silhouette! Stunning image MxM! :clap: :clap:

Great sequence of the PCG bathing too! And the Sandgrouse - awesome! :dance: :dance:

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"Happiness, I have discovered, is nearly always a rebound from hard work." - David Grayson


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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:05 am 
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stunning pictures, MxM :clap: :clap: :clap:

I really like the shaking PCG. :thumbs_up:

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KTP 23.09.-08.10.2014
TR KTP 2013 In search of honey badger, porcupine and whistling rat
TR KTP 2012 It is almost time to go back to KTP
TR KNP 2013 Gatita's KNP - will we visit a green park again? March 2013


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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:34 pm
Posts: 148
Location: Essex, UK. Much too far from SA!
Hi MxM


More great pix :thumbs_up:

Especially love the Hyena clan and the bathing PCG :thumbs_up:

Regards,

DD

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TR: PF & DDs Game of patience in KTP - Oct/Nov 2013
--------------

KNP SEPTEMBER 2014
4/5 B 'n ' Dal
6 Skukuza
7/8 Tamboti
9/10/11 Shimuwini
12/13/14 Shingwedzi
15/16/17/18/19 Letaba


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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:04 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Secunda
Day 3 continued

I reached Melkvlei and decided to be an engineer. You know, follow procedure. I stopped and walked around the car to make sure that the tyres were fine and that nothing had mysteriously come loose and was hanging down. Yeay, all good.

I have a special spot for the ground squirrels. Now I know feeding animals is bad, I was brought up to know this. However, on my first (and only previous) trip I was much younger and less obedient (I listen to me most of the time these days, see, much more obedient). And there were mitigating factors. Now, I like to eat and have an appetite that would put most front rows (yes, I mean the three combined) to shame, especially when I was a growing boy, but, somethings are just not edible. I do not eat mieliepap (in case you would like to know, but not relevant here) and I detest bear bread (in fact, anything bitter). And there you have it, I was fed a bitter pretend food, so, so as not to waste the "food", my brother and I fed our portion to the obliging squirrels and pretended we were full. So, although I do not and will not feed them, I can still fondly remember the little guys that helped me out. Photographically speaking, I would like to note how not "zoomed in" this shot is. Although I have a very long lens, sometimes it is beneficial and striking to include some environment and area feel to an image - here the dry ground and burrow add to the story of the subject. Commonly people will complain that only if they had better longer equipment would they be able to get decent shots, sometimes an eye for art and a story is worth more than an expensive piece of glass. Also, the low angle makes the shot more interesting, I was lying on my oats biscuit filled belly for this (please check for thorns and poisonous biters before flattening yourself) - always try, as a default, to photograph a subject from eye level.
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Then I figures, I may as well use the facilities. There were gemsbok at the far waterhole and a few springbok at the nearby spot, but nothing seemed too dangerous so I pulled the car closer to the little hut and proceeded to check for lions. The design of the new facilities is impressive with it obvious that someone put some thought into how to let humans in by keep lions out. That said, there are always other possible dangers – like a lack of paper: this is why I always have my own stash of 2-ply in the cubbyhole. Well, a pleasing report is that this ablution, much like all the rest I inspected, was clean, functional, and endowed with some fresh paper. Still, I prefer my softer variety that makes even puppies play in advertisements.

But then, disaster, as in like I am about to die. Snakes I do, scorpions I can handle, spiders are nothing – all of these can easily be kept at a distance while you back away slowly, typically they will not follow. But what does follow and kills like the plague: wasps! Dirty big black super killer wasps that haunt you in dreams and are so scary that Disney shivers at the thought of using one as a baddy, yes, those wasps. Unfortunately, it flew in at an unfortunate time so I finished as quickly as possible and made a calm (by my standards) exit without hands flailing and voices yelping. Safe! Anyhow, the point is to look out for all dangers, like in the bowl etc. if you are lucky enough to be in the park – full inspection! Also, rather keep the doors to the car closed, you never know what may climb/crawl/fly in and murder you at your next lion sighting.

So, I continued a little was north, just to see what would happen where I came upon one of the birdies I had on my most wanted list, a swallow-tailed bee-eater. After more reversing, no a little forward, okay back again, I kept to a spot that may work and rather waited for the colourful beauty to perch nearby. Done, on my list!
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Then, moving along a little way, in a sad looking excuse of a tree, I found this guy pretending to cross the road (lame, I know, but he did look left and right and left again). Btw, I have this as a chat flycatcher, correct me if I am wrong - lbjs may fill my list but I am not their ID king. Anyhooo, another new guy to my list, albeit not one I was overly excited about beforehand, getting him now means another on the list, so yeay.
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As I approached Kij kij and the entrance to the LDR, I noted this lonely and scruffy springbok. I like different shots, the rain made him look different. To me at the time anyhow. As it had been a slow day, anything resembling a decent shot was a photograph worth taking.
Image

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Moments by Mullineux Photography
Photographer, nature lover, birder

Follow my solo KTP photographic and birding TRAVEL TALE

Photograph all moments of beauty not to forget, but treasure them in your heart to remember


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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:07 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:27 am
Posts: 319
Location: Secunda
Son godin, Pumbaa, jaytea, hilda, gatita, KNP-junkee and Dassiedelight - thanks for following and the kind comments. I like to share details and thoughts where I can.

If anyone has a general or photographic question (either around a specific shot or technique) please ask here.

John

edit - :big_eyes: wow, now I see how many different names were on the previous page too - thanks guys! :think: :gflower:

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Moments by Mullineux Photography
Photographer, nature lover, birder

Follow my solo KTP photographic and birding TRAVEL TALE

Photograph all moments of beauty not to forget, but treasure them in your heart to remember


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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:48 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 2:33 pm
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Location: Paarl
Love that Bee Eater. Love the LBJ - I like LBJs even if they drive one nuts.Looking forward to the next instalment.

Keep well
Pete

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:37 am 
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Awesome bird sightings MxM, beautifully captured! :clap: :clap:

Those little Squirrels are always worth the while watching! So entertaining! :dance: :dance:

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"Happiness, I have discovered, is nearly always a rebound from hard work." - David Grayson


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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:19 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 319
Location: Secunda
Day 3 continued

I was super surprised to see just how many tortoises there were in this arid world. The most I counted on 1 day was 27, which is around 5 times what I thought I would have seen on the whole trip. After a little while I figured I ought to give them a chance on a canvas of mine.
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Having cleared the dune road, where there was preciously little to see other than some special scenery, I spotted first a family of three spotted thickknees and then the smallest springbok ever. The dark stripe is barely visible.

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Now for some not so special but should be spotted feathered fellows. First an ant-eating chat (not one of my favourites, but hey, another bird for the list of the trip). Notice here how the preset "sunshine" white balance ruined the image as the subject was in too much shade causing the yellow cast.
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Look, an LBJ. I have pencilled this in as a fawn-coloured lark.
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And now for another lbj (be prepared to photograph many and sift through them later to ID, there are so many birds but mostly lbjs in the area). I am at least pretty sure that this is a spike-heeled lark.
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Wow, that concludes the morning drive. See, even for a slow day with what many would call nothing (no lions) there was much to notice. Later in the trip I started seeing even more, perhaps I was lucky, but I think I was just getting more accustomed to my surroundings.

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Moments by Mullineux Photography
Photographer, nature lover, birder

Follow my solo KTP photographic and birding TRAVEL TALE

Photograph all moments of beauty not to forget, but treasure them in your heart to remember


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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:04 pm 
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Location: Fourways, Johannesburg
Great trip report and wonderful photographs. Keep both the photos and commentary coming.

I do, however, note your comments regarding the incorrect and/or inappropriate white balance settings. I may have missed it if you did mention it earlier, but do you shoot in raw, and of not, why not? Secondly, what editing software do you use, as most packages will be able to undertake blanket changes to inappropriately set white balance. Trying to recover a photo with an incorrect white balance setting and/or incorrect exposure is far easier when working with raw rather than JPEG files. Just a thought.

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:27 pm 
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Location: Secunda
Hi Scottm

I do shoot jpeg, mostly as my 1D4 does pretty good conversion in-camera, but mostly owing to the volume of images in my shoots. I average 1000 shots a morning of water birds. This trip had over 8000, so practically, as I have extensive back-ups as well, I prefer jpeg.

I corrected a number of my images in PS5, a little time-consuming as the autocorrect was not to my liking. However, I only corrected those that I am entering into competitions and printing in my album.

The reason I have included images with less editing is to show impacts of poor choices and hopefully someone can learn something.

As I started my photography with film and built slowly up to decent equipment, I prefer to ensure that where possible I take the shots right the first time and only edit for brightness/contrast and saturation using levels and/or curves, brightness (there is just something about its algorithm that makes images pop) and saturation/vibrance. Then noise reduction and sharpening at times. Oh, and crop. Not much else. I like to think that this forces me to take better pictures first time.

However, your point around shooting raw is vital advise for others, especially those doing landscape work as it allows for saving detail in the shadows and highlights above the other things you mentioned.

Thanks for the note!

John

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Moments by Mullineux Photography
Photographer, nature lover, birder

Follow my solo KTP photographic and birding TRAVEL TALE

Photograph all moments of beauty not to forget, but treasure them in your heart to remember


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