New Galleries From Rocco

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Oct 16th, 2005, 05:32 PM
  #1
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New Galleries From Rocco

Here are some of my favorite photos from this past safari:

http://www.kodakgallery.com/rocco/2005_favorites?

And, just in case anybody missed my thread earlier today, here is my photo album that concentrates on Conservation. There are some graphic images here of poaching/snaring (photos of photos, not events that I personally witnessed) but they must be shown.

http://www.kodakgallery.com/rocco/zambian_conservation?

I do talk about the conservation efforts in Zambia on my thread from earlier. Here is a link:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34693180

Thanks for any feedback on the photos and/or conservation programs.
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Oct 16th, 2005, 06:53 PM
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Rocco,

Have just been through your favourites - and I must say, there are impressive! Really loved the porcupine, the flying fish eagle, the kudu bull just through the water, the drinking leopard, the yellow billed hornbill standing on the road, hippo running in water, #23 I think, a leopard in a tree with light on its face.

About the cheetah, why is it blurry? Is that with movement of the camera?

Kaye
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Oct 16th, 2005, 08:20 PM
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austkaye,

There is a story behind that cheetah photo, otherwise, I realize it is not a very high quality photo.

On my last morning at Simbambili, also the last morning of my 19 nights in Southern Africa, the word came through on the radio that a cheetah had been spotted approaching Simbambili's traversing area.

However, we were on the far side of the traversing area and the cheetah was still in a neighboring reserve that Simbambili had no traversing rights over. We had to make the decision whether we were going to risk our game drive to find this cheetah or whether we were going to look for other wildlife.

The group in the vehicle collectively made the decision to look for the cheetah. We had already seen five different leopards in our three days there, along with a pride of seven lions, elephants, hundreds of buffalo, a few rhinos and just about every other possible thing in the Sabi Sand, so it was a no-brainer to go after the cheetah.

Unfortunately, as we were getting closer to the cheetah, word came over the radio that the cheetah had gone into Manyeleti, a reserve neighboring the Sabi Sand, rather than coming into Simbambili's traversing area. This portion of Manyeleti was strictly non-commercial and privately held.

Fortunately, the owners of Simbambili, Inzalo, had been in serious negotiation with the same owners for traversing rights. Our guide, Jaco, said it was a 99% done deal, and that Simbambili was planning on having a walking safari camp in the area next year.

After trying desperately to get ahold of one of the owners of the area, the decision was made by our guide to go into the reserve. The major problem we now faced, however, was that in this area the vehicle had to stick to the road, so that really lessened our chances of finding the leopard.

It was like looking for a needle in a haystack, and to make matters worse, I had a 9:30AM flight to catch back to KMIA, meaning that it would not be a full morning game drive.

Our guide and tracker, after driving around for about 15 minutes without success, theorized on where a cheetah may find it hospitable and after finding such a place, parked the vehicle and suggested that we all go out on foot to try to track the cheetah. Personally, I thought it was going to be a futile effort, but what did I have to lose?

So, with our armed guide in front along with our spotter, we ventured off into the bush. Not more than 100 yards into the bush, our spotter shouted "Cheetah!" and pointed to just under a tree, about 100 feet ahead. And there it was...I have no idea if it was the same cheetah from earlier, but it didn't matter, we found ourselves a cheetah just minutes before I would have to return to the lodge. It was one of my most satisfying safari moments ever and I was just happy to get the photo I did before the cheetah ran off.

I have spent quite a bit of time on Photoshop today and I will upload about 20 more photos that should appear by tomorrow morning. I have quite a few more leopard photos to upload, especially of a feisty little seven month old cub that was snarling at me, as I photographed it from about 10 feet away while it fed on a duiker kill.
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Oct 16th, 2005, 09:05 PM
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Rocco,

what a great story, and it is these events that are the most memorable. I look forward to seeing the next batch of photos. I shall be getting my 1st digital, and having tried my brother-in-laws Panasonic FZ20 for a few weeks, after driving my dog mad, then the reed frogs in my pond mad, I have decided to get the FZ30 which has been here a couple of weeks now. I had horrific results to begin with because of shaking but my most recent enlargements were not too bad! 80% of my walls are now african photos, everything else has gone - every photo I look at brings me back great memories, although I only have myself to please!

Kaye
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Oct 16th, 2005, 09:44 PM
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My favourites by far are the shots of the leopard drinking with tongue showing. Good subject matter, sharp, and reasonable composition. You've got some good hippo action, too. Well done.
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Oct 17th, 2005, 05:40 AM
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Thanks for sharing Rocco. I gathered from your previous posts that you were a photo novice. Your pics. are very well done however, for a beginner or anyone. I'm awaiting the arrival of my fz30 and can't wait to practice - you've given me much inspiration.
Also, on another note, I looked for photo vests at the REI store yesterday - to no avail.- sold out. All I could think of was the reaction from a past post to your vest and had to chuckle at the thought of the possibility of a vest becoming a polital weapon of sorts.
Anyhow, keep shooting --(photos that is).
Best;
Sherry





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Oct 17th, 2005, 07:07 AM
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Rocco

You have some absolute gems there, some stunning leopard shots (my favourites are the ones of the drinking leopard and reflection, the porcupine, some of the buffalo and one of the hippo ones with two hippos right out of water.

A lot of your hippo ones are suffering from some really bad post processing in Photoshop - they have really really harsh light halos around the edges of the animals where you've selectively adjusted levels/ curves/ brightness/ colour balance or whatever.

Would recommend some Photoshop training to help you make selective changes more subtly. Those images where you'd processed on the entire image look fine.

Nice work, Rocco.

So which are your top 5?
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Oct 17th, 2005, 07:21 AM
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Rocco, great photos. My favorites are the porcupine (I have seen one in Kruger and one in South Luangwa, but was never able to get a quality photo) and the birds in the water (very impressionistic). Plus beautiful male kudu. Great stuff.
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Oct 17th, 2005, 07:34 AM
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Nice photos Roccco.

What are you using for shooting (camera/lenses)?
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Oct 17th, 2005, 01:13 PM
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I used a Canon 20d (I actually took two Canon 20d bodies) and the lenses I used were as follows:

Canon 17-85mm Image Stabilizing lens (used for about 15% of my photos).

Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 lens (used for about 20% of my photos).

Sigma 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 Optical Stabilizing lens (used for about 65% of my photos).

Sigma 1.4x teleconvertor (used for about 10% of my photos, sometimes with the 70-200mm lens so I would not have to carry the heavier zoom lens and other times on the 80-400mm lens when I really needed a long zoom, as I did for a couple leopard photos and a couple bird/raptor photos).

Although I was undisciplined and rarely used them, I also brought along a Sigma EF500 Super Flash and a Manfrotto monopod.

I brought about 6 camera batteries and about 6 Gigabytes of CF Cards (in 1 GB denominations), as well as a Compaq Presario laptop computer with 80GB of memory so I could download all of my images.

On a typical day, I would shoot anywhere from 1 - 1.5GB of photos, so I never stressed out about not having enough memory or batteries.

This trip was a learning experience as this was the first time I really had the chance to field test my photo gear since it was specifically purchased for this safari.

I really don't think I would have done anything differently with my equipment. The second camera body was completely useful, as was having the flexibility to have the 70-200mm lens rather than the 80-400mm lens. The 70-200mm f/2.8 was perfect for the Sabi Sand but would have been completely insufficient for Zambia.

The only thing that annoyed me on this trip was that the battery life for the laptop was only two hours and this prevented me from using it as much as I would have liked to have used it. Fortunately, there was electricity in the rooms at each Luangwa River Lodge, Puku Ridge and Simbambili.

I am fortunate that there were no theft issues, because I was quite liberal with leaving my equipment around.

The biggest problem I think I had was proper focusing. I should have left the auto-focus on the center target, but sometimes changed it and this would cause me problems.

I do still have a lot to learn with Photoshop Elements, but I have saved all of my original images.

I will definitely find a couple photo workshops in the near future so I am able to continue my progression as a photographer. Admittedly, however, I do need feel very motivated to take photos of non-wildlife subjects.

Thanks for the interest in my photo galleries and the feedback is also appreciated.
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Oct 17th, 2005, 01:40 PM
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Cybor,

I am a total photo novice but I may have benefited from a couple photo workshops and from asking 1000 questions on this board and others such as at www.fredmiranda.com

As far as a photo vest goes, I was very happy with my experience with this company, and here is the direct link to the vest I bought:

http://www.lapolicegear.com/saphve.html

This vest was a lifesaver, each for the baggage weight restrictions when getting past the Virgin Atlantic personnel and in carrying around batteries, CF cards, camera accessories and money. This thing has so many pockets that even I had a hard time finding my money at times...I could feel it in the vest, just did not know how to get to it!
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Nov 21st, 2005, 08:49 PM
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I just uploaded about 30 more photos. Some real nice elephant photos in this group, including a juvenile elephant stealing food out of its mother's mouth.

I also finally found the elusive Civet photo for which I have been searching. It is not facing me, but at least it is a daytime photo. This was taken in the Nsefu area of South Luangwa.

A few more buffalo pics included, as well.

http://www.kodakgallery.com/rocco/2005_favorites
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Nov 22nd, 2005, 05:07 AM
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Rocco,
Your photos are superior. Wow on the Rhino. Beautiful shots of the children,leopards,nature shots and everything. Got to ask, what kind of animal is in the 12th from last photo - sorry that's the only way I can think to ask.
Did you photoshop these for such wonderful clarity?
Well done;
Sherry
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Nov 22nd, 2005, 05:34 AM
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Thanks Rocco - That lion looks really hungry, poor thing. Did he ever get something to eat?

Sharon
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Nov 22nd, 2005, 06:13 AM
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Cybor,

The animal that you are referring to is a Civet. They are related to a Genet but neither are really considered a cat because each are omnivores rather than carnivores. It is very difficult to photograph a Civet as they are nocturnal and very shy. Therefore, even though the Civet is not facing me, I am still happy that I was able to take this picture.


Cooncat,

That hungry lion was out hunting by himself and we spotted him one morning during our pre-morning drive tea. His pride was very nearby and I do have a feeling that he was just attempting to flush those pukus/impalas into the waiting jaws of the lionesses. Since this skinny lion was seemingly uninjured and moving around briskly, I feel pretty confident that he eventually ate that day or the next.
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Nov 22nd, 2005, 06:21 AM
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Wow, that's a great civet photo -- you can really see the spots. I have seen a couple, but never been able to photograph one.
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Nov 22nd, 2005, 06:26 AM
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Cybor


civets are quite rare to see especially in daylight.
Last year i was extremely lucky in seeing one in a tree (some textbooks will tell you that the are purely terrestrial) in daylight. The sighting took place at Kwando Lagoon camp
http://www.kodakgallery.com/Slidesho...y=-3uncnc&Ux=0

app pictures 125 -127 (middle of third row)

Michael
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Nov 22nd, 2005, 06:50 AM
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Michael,

Those are excellent Civet photos. I have never even seen a Civet's face in daylight, yet less been able to photograph it. Also, those are amazing preceding photos of the lion killing the hyena.

Thanks...It will be a real pleasure to casually go over your entire gallery later.
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Nov 22nd, 2005, 07:14 AM
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Went to your photo site Michael - I hadn't seen it prior - thanks - your photos are amazing - the dogs and pups, the elephants, the birds, even your location shots make me want to see it for myself. Where's that last lodge location with the hippos nearby? - that looks like a must see.


Rocco: thanks for the civet info. - now I can know what to look up - you really captured the absolute beauty of it's magnificant fur coat - lucky you on your sighting.
Sherry
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Nov 22nd, 2005, 08:13 AM
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Sherry

if you do a search on my name (MV) you should be able to find the trip report
I went to the following lodges

Impalila Island lodge
Susuwe Island lodge both in Namibia
Kwando Lagoon
Kwando Lebala
and the last one was Kwando Kwara all in Botswana. The trip was in August 2004

Michael
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