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Landscapes of Zimbabwe

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grimelda View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote grimelda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Landscapes of Zimbabwe
    Posted: 27 August 2012 at 20:36
hey there hi there ho there dear dyxumers!

I'd like to share with you the beauty of Zimbabwe, by means of a selection of photographs i took when i returned to my home country this july. I outdid myself this year- making a whopping four thousand pictures. Maybe it was because of my new nex-7 camera, which certainly enhanced my appetite for taking pictures, but in any case zimbabwe still is an exceptionally beautiful and friendly place to visit, just like 10 years ago when i left the country.

For me, processing the pictures is part of the fun because i get to relive the holiday a bit. Still, I try not to alter colours or composition, limiting myself to change contrast, white balance and maybe once or twice use split toning.

We traveled through Zimbabwe in a rented Toyota land cruiser, a car which i cannot praise enough. We mostly visited national parks, and slept mostly in the rooftop tents and occasionally in lodges. We avoided commercial parks/reserves and the likes- they remind me too much of zoos.

I took all these pictures with either my sony a200 with a minolta 100-300APO or my new nex 7 with kitlens or various md rokkor lenses attached (50/1.4, 35-105/3.5-4.5, 28/2.8)

This first selection illustrates some of the landscapes one could encounter in Zimbabwe.

1. sunset view of the runde river surrounded by the arid savannah woodlands of gonarezhou. our camping place was somewhere along this hippo filled river.

a200 100mm f8 1/500s

2. the Chilojo Cliffs of Gonarezhou. impressive and humbling.

nex 7, kitlens, panorama

3. a small herd of very sociable elephant gather under the chilojo cliffs. extremely fascinating to watch, even at a distance of +/- 150 metres.

nex 7, md rokkor 35-135 135mm, f6ish, iso400

4. zebra on the dried up riverbed of lake mutirikwi. irrigation needs downstream and dry rainy seasons have ensured that the waterlevel of the lake has been some 20-30 metres below normal for several years now.

a200 100-300APO f7.1, 140mm, iso 100

5. an average skyscape on a moonless night in zimbabwe. despite of the dusty atmosphere because of the dry season, the stars and the milkyway are extremely humbling. the nex 7 exceeded all my expectations with regards to astrophotography. the peaking and mf assist is a godsend and so is the articulated screen when the camera is pointed directly upwards. and the performance at 3200 iso is pretty amazing.

nex,7 md rokkor 50/1.4 f2, 8.0s, iso 3200

6. nyanga highlands, the coldest parts of zimbabwe. they have a certain quality that reminds me of scotland.

nex 7 kitlens 20mm f9, panorama.

7. a freezing, early morning at our lodge in nyanga- impressive fog tendrils reach up out of the lake into the surrounding trees as the morning sun warms up the lake.

nex 7, md rokkor 35-135 100mm, f5.6, iso 100

8. the northern entrance to Hwange National park. Less than 5km away from this extremely beautiful park, coal mines destroy the earth.


9. View from Sinamatella camp in Hwange national park. This is a camp on the top of a large hill in the middle of hwange national park, which includes several lodges, a ZimParks headquarters, a football field, camping spots and extremely satisfying vistas. When we arrived, we watched herds of elephant navigating their way around each other from our camping spot, competing for drinking spots in the almost dried out Lukosi river until night fell and the sounds of lions surrounding us scared us into our tents.

nex 7, md rokkor 28/2.8 f7.1, iso 100 1/640s

10. A herd of elephant walking along the Lukosi river. The hours i spent gazing at this landscape were mesmerizing- ill never forget it. I challenge you to spot the smallest elephant in this picture!

a200, 100-300APO @300mm f8, 1/640s, iso 200

11. Water pumps- one windmill and one diesel pump. Sustainable and unsustainable energy. These are necessary because Hwange national park essentially is a refuge camp for all the animals that used to live in the whole northwest of zimbabwe, but who were chased away by humans claiming their lands. Hwange was a no mans land with no water and few resources so nobody wanted to live there, and by pumping water into the natural waterholes, the nature has all the resources it needs to sustain the animals without bothering humans. Win-win.

nex 7, kitlens @ 55mm, f7.1, 1/640, iso 100

hope you enjoy, and hope you comment, and i hope you visit zimbabwe too some day!

edit: here is a link to my "Birds of Zimbabwe"

Edited by grimelda - 06 September 2012 at 18:09
 



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MiPr View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MiPr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 August 2012 at 21:57
Some of those are breathtaking, in particular the skyscape. I also like #7 very much.
I'm noise-blind. And noise-about-noise-deaf too ... |   BTW, Dyxum Weekly Exhibitions don't grow on trees ...
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grimelda View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote grimelda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 August 2012 at 17:39
thank you very much MiPr! the skyscape looks impressive, but it pales in comparison to the majesty of the actual scene. one single exposure of 8 seconds at f2 and iso 3200 was all that was needed! the nex 7 amazed me- the peaking even allowed me to compose real time, without painstakingly taking a picture, recomposing, and taking a picture again. after using a dslr without articulated screen, this was so easy it almost felt like cheating
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Trav View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Trav Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 August 2012 at 18:09
Wonderful tour from across the world.
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@Jetsplace View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote @Jetsplace Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 August 2012 at 21:13
10 - second on the left?

Stunning landscapes and it must have been a great holiday.
A joy to watch your pictures.
Jet
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maewpa View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote maewpa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2012 at 03:03
I see the littlest one in #10.

Beautiful views and so much to like here. Hope you will share more with us.

#3 is a strange crop but a lovely picture.
Paul aka maewpa
 



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Orbis Pictus View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Orbis Pictus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2012 at 03:12
Love the stars!
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WestCoastCannuck View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote WestCoastCannuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2012 at 03:52
Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful pictures... and also for the great story and descriptions that go with them. The skyscape is awesome... I hope one day to see something like that somewhere in the world. Also really like number 3 - the crop works for me and I can imagine it would look great BIG.

Cheers

Mike
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brettania View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote brettania Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2012 at 03:57
The little one is between the two adult elephants on the left of #10.
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rickztahone View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rickztahone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2012 at 05:15
Is it just me or does that last shot just scream B&W conversion or something along those lines?
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grimelda View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote grimelda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2012 at 12:36
thanks for the very positive reactions!!!

Indeed, the second to last one in the line in #10! It was amazing to see how these groups navigated around each other- at one point this herd had to walk past another (rivalling) herd, and the closer they came, the closer they huddled with the smallest elephants in the middle and the big and strong ones guarding them. When they passed them, they were all visibly relieved and 'galloped' for a bit, the tiniest one now second in the line. the dynamics of such a group and how social they were really was very special. These animals are so different seen as you race by in a landcruiser compared to when you observe them, unnoticed, from a hilltop.

#3 is probably my favourite in this set- i came upon the idea of the very narrow portrait as i was researching chinese and japanese hanging scrolls. They preferably show landscapes/mountain ranges in a very narrow portrait, intending the eyes to slowly walk across the image, top to bottom, so that a story unfolds.
too bad i oversaturated it!

@ rickztahone in general, i dont really like bw conversions, but ill certainly try!
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brettania View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote brettania Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 September 2012 at 01:06
Originally posted by grimelda grimelda wrote:


Indeed, the second to last one in the line in #10!


Too easy! So easy I picked something that wasn't even there.
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