Fresh Kill In the Trees of Botswana

Invercargill PhotoWalk and Speaking Event!

Open to all! This will be a great event and I’m really looking forward to it. Thanks again to Val and the Southland Photographic Society for organizing the event!

We’ll start with a great PhotoWalk together. ALL Skill levels are allowed and it’s a family friendly event! Bring a friend even! Anything from a mobile phone to a DSLR is perfectly cool. The PhotoWalk will go on for about 1.5 hours and then we’ll head into the presentation + Q&A. It’ll be a great night and I look forward to meeting everyone!

Day: THIS Friday, 10/24
Time we Depart: 7pm
Meeting Location: Age Concern, 50 Forth Street, Invercargill
RSVP: Email Annie at annie.carmichael21@gmail.com

Daily Photo – Fresh Kill In the Trees of Botswana

We tracked leopards for the whole week and didn’t find one until just a few hours ago. This female had killed a warthog and just dragged it up about 20 feet into this tree to keep it away from the lions and hyenas. She was eating it (you can see bits of it below her) while I took the photo. This girl was totally badass and you can see she doesn’t care. I can still hear the sound of her crunching teeth through the soul and bones in my head…

Fresh Kill In the Trees of Botswana

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-6000
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4000
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length600.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

A Pair of Winter Trees

Five Days of New Tips/Tricks Videos on the Blog! Day Four!

Let me know if you have any questions… happy to answer!

This was shot inside the Beijing Planning Museum. This sounds like a boring place eh? But it’s not! You can see how I chose to compose this shot…

Processing like Cooking

I had a great time processing this photo. I had no idea what I was going to do with it and started with half an idea. I’m not sure I could ever process this photo exactly like this again… I try new stuff all the time. I was thinking that processing photos is a lot like cooking food in that you never get exactly the same dish twice. But maybe my processing is much more extreme than that! I dunno… anyway, perhaps it is an apt analogy.

Daily Photo – A Pair of Winter Trees

I don't know what drew me to these trees! I was driving around with some friends and suddenly I pulled over and jumped over a fence to go to these trees. I'm sure my friends thought I was crazy! Maybe it's because I've been looking for an interesting pair of trees by themselves for so long. Anyhoo, I was obviously super-happy to find these two!

A Pair of Winter Trees

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Autumn Awesomeness in Queenstown

Sony A6000 Review!

Come see the new Sony A6000 Review! I’ll keep adding to it as the weeks and months go on, but I thought you might enjoy an early look! :)

Five Days of New Tips/Tricks Videos on the Blog! Day Three!

Let me know if you have any questions… happy to answer!

Here’s some behind-the-scenes from our recent autumn workshop! Don’t forget to check out the New Zealand Photo Adventure page to find out more about that upcoming event! It’s the only thing planned now for 2015… it’s gonna be another great one! :)

Daily Photo – Autumn Awesomeness in Queenstown

Even though I've been here three years now, I have only experienced one proper autumn! I travelled too much in previous years, so now I'm going to make a point to stay home more to be sure to get all these amazing colors. Amaze-maze I say! There is so much to explore and see and do around here in the Autumn. It's just Spring now here, so I've got another five months or so to wait! But Spring and Summer ain't so bad either!

Autumn Awesomeness in Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/6000
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Approaching Aït Benhaddou

Five Days of New Tips/Tricks Videos on the Blog! Day Two!

Let me know if you have any questions… happy to answer!

Here’s a collection of behind-the-scenes videos from Morocco. I started at the Mausoleum of Mohammed V in Rabat them moved on to Fes when I was at Ryad Alaya (highly recommended – thanks Hassan!)

Using many different cameras!

I’ve been using a bunch of different Sony cameras lately! While in Africa, I used a Sony A7, A7r, A7s, and an A6000 (come see the new Sony A6000 Review!) Whenever I get some time, I’m gonna write up a few more reviews… they are all cool and interesting in their own way! I don’t want to make it over-complex, of course… Naturally, you can always check out the Camera Equipment page where I have recommendations.

Daily Photo – Approaching Aït Benhaddou

What an amazing spot this is! After spending about three weeks in Morocco, I finally approached this incredible fortified city. It is right in the middle of a caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech, which is the same route I was on! This place is mostly abandoned, but there are still eight families that live on the inside…

There have been many famous movies made here including The Last Temptation of Christ, Kundun, The Mummy, Gladiator, and The Prince of Persia. There were even a few scenes from Game of Thrones shot here!

Approaching Aït Benhaddou

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3000
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length300.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Light on the way to Milford Sound and Tiananmen Square Photography

Five Days of New Tips/Tricks Videos! Day One

Each day for the next five days, I’m gonna post a new video here on the blog! :) Let me know if you have any questions… happy to answer!

I’m here with my friend Tom in the middle of Beijing. I decided to go to Tiananmen Square for the day and take photos… here’s a little of what happened. A bunch of people came up to me that had never seen a white person before; I was like a freakshow!

Daily Photo – Light on the way to Milford Sound

One of my favorite drives is from Queenstown to Milford Sound. I've made it about eight times, and I can't wait to make more!

Here's a tip for you as far as light is concerned. Some of the best days for landscape photography are those partially-cloudy days. This is because it makes the light sift in random ways across the landscape, lighting one thing while darkening the next. This can do cool stuff, as you see below, such as light up the trees while darkening the mountain behind… it's the kind of stuff that would take you ages in photoshop (or be nearly impossible!!). So, next time you are in a partially-cloudy situation, be more patient than normal and watch the light as it sways around from one thing to the next…

This photo was taken in Lumsden, btw.

Light on the way to Milford Sound

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3200
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length66.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Long Live the Painted Wolf!

The Wild Dogs of Africa

What an incredible species! It was so fun to track them across Botswana and finally catch up with them in Salinda.

Look, I sound like I know what I’m talking about, doesn’t it? I really don’t. Well, a little bit thanks to my friend Neville Jones who was my gallant trailfinder on this African adventure. He’s quite the African Explorer. He’s been to Botswana 7 times and never seen the Wild Dog before, so I can tell this is Kind Of A Big Deal.

We were staying at the Great Plains in Salinda — wow what a place! This fits perfectly into my wheelhouse because my idea of “roughing it” is slow room service. This amazing place is owned by Dereck & Beverly Joubert, who are now friends after our elongated stay! We had a wonderful dinner where they grilled me on social media! Haha… I had to think fast! I don’t remember what sort of advice I gave them, but it was just the beginning since I have a feeling I will work with them again… maybe on their great White Rhino conservation project.

Well this article is about the also Quite Endangered Wild Dogs, also known as the Painted Wolf. I like Painted Wolf better, don’t you? That’s a straight translation from the Latin Lycaon Pictus; another name that I also like is the Painted Ornate. It sounds like a Magic: The Gathering rare card doesn’t it? Awesome.

Botswana Amaze (310 of 2505)-6

They lie on the ground getting ready for something. These two are alert and smelling a wildness. They are watching something I don’t see.

 

Botswana Amaze (307 of 2505)-7

Holy fuck.

 

What Neville (and most people) find most fascinating about the Painted Wolf is their social structure. They live and hunt fiercely in packs. There’s a dominant male and female. They mate but the whole pack takes care of the young. They nestle the very young inside underground burrows that were made by warthogs or ardwolves (I didn’t think that was a real animal either — I feel like I should not have stayed home sick so much during kindergarten where normal kids Learn Their Animals).

The pack that we saw had eight members, and you could see how social and playful they are. There is also a wildness there. Sometimes, one would get close to me. I saw a regular, wonderful dog there… but sometimes you’d get a glimpse of a crazy-eyed-killer. There was something else feral and inter-dimensional going on in there…

Botswana Amaze (328 of 2505)-5

Here’s what they see across the way. It’s a warthog. At first I thought it was just a warthog head, placed there as some sort of a tribal effigy to warn other warthogs from coming into this den of wild dogs. But it was alive. It was just cold-chillin’ up there. Warthog don’t care. He’s inside an ardwolf mound. Yes, an ardwolf is a real animal.

 

One interesting thing (among MANY) about the Painted Wolves is how intimate they are with loving one another after waking up. They lick and nuzzle each other, a canine bacchanalia. At some point, the Alpha Male decides it’s time to hunt. Most of the pack takes off at 50km/h through the bush. They spread out like ebola and take down prey as they converge, as if they are a US Navy Seal team controlled via infrared by satellite. They quickly eat all they can and sprint back home before they can digest. The younglings chew on the bottom lip of the older dogs who regurgitate the viscera in a waterfall of ambrosial carnivorism.

I’m glad that the amazing Dereck & Beverly Joubert have done so much to influence the policies of Botswana to keep all these awesome animals wild. I felt like I was on a Star Trek away mission, watching an alien species that I didn’t even know existed for the trip. Thank you, Neville.

Botswana Mazy (238 of 1941)-12

These guys love to roll in the grass and play with their fellow painted wolves. Whenever they get up and become alert, they usually have a bit of grass here and there.

 

Botswana Mazy (168 of 1941)-13

Here’s the youngest pup we saw. He’d grab sticks and wander around the periphery, occasionally getting his stick stuck on other sticks.

 

Botswana Mazy (365 of 1941)-10

A wildness in there.

 

Botswana Amaze (389 of 2505)-3

Two of them stretch before going off for a possible 50km/h hunt.

 

Botswana Amaze (230 of 2505)-9

They would roll around in a semi-violent playfullness. See the painted wolf on the right? He was now heading off with the alphas. They went one at a time, in order of age. These two, the youngest, were last to follow.

 

Botswana Amaze (259 of 2505)-8

Downward wild dog.

 

Botswana Amaze (336 of 2505)-4

When he stared at me, there was no doubt that time stood still.

 

Botswana Mazy (302 of 1941)-11

Their coloring was so amazing. I see why they got the pretty name…

 

Botswana Amaze (400 of 2505)-2

Even while they walk together, they playfully attack one another.

 

Botswana Amaze (497 of 2505)-1

Their playfulness gets a bit wild and violent as they establish dominance in the pack.

 

Daily Photo – The Painted Wolf

What an awesome animal… I love the smile, I think, vaingloriously anthropomorphic.

The Painted Wolf

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-6000
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1600
  • Aperture4
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length200.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Lindy

Fresh Newsletter coming within 24 Hours!

We have something supa-fresh and awesome coming… we only send out about one per month! Actually, we’ve been kind of lame, and it’s been 2 months, so a big train is comin’ down the tracks!


Daily Photo – Lindy

With the greatest of ease…

Lindy

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture8
  • ISO2500
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+1

Cows under the snowy mountain

Taking Coffee to my Studio

A quick tour of my studio near my home in Queenstown, New Zealand. Sort of a quick and dirty video… nothing too exciting here… move along… :)

Daily Photo – Cows under the snowy mountain

We were over near the Greenstone trail near Glenorchy and there was a big cattle drive going on. I usually don't see this many cows in New Zealand! I'm used to a lot of sheep, but this is the most cattle I had ever seen together. It reminded me of Texas except for the massive snowy mountains behind them. It was kind of surreal and awesome for me!

Cows under the snowy mountain

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length36.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Looking Down From the Bell Tower in Beijing

New Perspectives with Drones

I really like this top-down view that you get from drones. It’s so interesting to me… I follow a few other quadcopter photographers that do this also, and I’ve seen a few comment that it’s now “passé” — which I find to be ridiculous! I love looking at them and I think it will be a long time before I tire of it.

Daily Photo – Looking Down From the Bell Tower in Beijing

This is on the edge of one of the most famous buildings in Beijing. The building itself is great, naturally, but one of the best views is right here along this road. It’s where all the little covered bike-things line up to ferry people to and fro. I like how they are all a deep red and stand out against the greenness of the Beijing concrete.

Looking Down From the Bell Tower in Beijing

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraHero3-Black Edition
  • Camera MakeGoPro
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length2.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

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