Monday 3 November 2014

Sleepy Eyes

I just love discovering a gem in my archives. Unlike what many people may think, I am not on safari for the better part of the year - I actually have 3-5 opportunities to go to the bush for periods of between 3 and 8 days every year, depending on leave roster at work, my Wild Eye schedule etc. So the majority of photos I put out on my blog and social media channels may actually have been taken some time ago. I'm actually just lazy in deleting excess images, so I have to inevitably go back into my archives to clean up some space. In doing so, I actually come across photos I'd forgotten I'd taken. They may not have grabbed enough of my attention in my initial processing binge after returning from that particular trip, but for whatever reason I didn't delete them initially as there was some sort of moment caught there.

Case in point, this image...

Nikon D3s
Nikkor 500mm f4 VR-II
f4.0  |  1/500 SS  |  ISO-200

click on the photo to display at best resolution and sharpness
We came across this Verraux's Eagle Owl asleep in a mopani tree along the Mphongolo loop north of Shingwedzi camp in the Kruger National Park. The scene was cluttered and the bird was asleep, but something about the moment spoke to me, and I snapped it.

Fast forward to last week, when I was looking for a "fresh" photo to process for the popular "black and white challenge" that is viral among photographers on Facebook. I scrolled over this one again, and immediately saw the moment that spoke to me initially when tripping the shutter, and knew that it was a good candidate for monochrome...

After some tweaking in Photoshop and Nik Silver Efex I was happy.
The result??

click on the photo to display at best resolution and sharpness
Quite a different feel, mood and effect, right?
It's actually about more than the owl - and that's what I like.
It's not about what it evidently is - it's also about what else it is...
Photography should evoke more than it describes, if it's to be seen as an art-form...
I hope these statements above resonate with you?

Now, go dig up those gems in your own archive!
Until I write again...

Morkel Erasmus

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