The whole point of starting a blog was for two reasons; to be able to document my experiences and to share my photography journey. As an amateur, there are some mistakes that I have been making and the more I read and watch YouTube videos about Photography, is the more I learn the do’s and dont’s. ISO, Aperture and Shutter speed, these basics are emphasized in every medium I have come across. I also have a great mentor and the experience so far, has been nothing short of amazing. And as for writing, it’s what I have always been good at, though sometimes I get strangled by the Imposter Syndrome. Combining these two things feels just perfect.

Yesterday I discovered a photography technique called Panning. After work, I rushed home and took out the camera to practice and after a few shots, I managed to capture what I think is good enough for a first timer.

Vehicle In motion with a blurry background

I waited for a vehicle to pass by and before that, I made sure that my composition and exposure were on point. I then adjusted my Shutter speed to 1/30, my Aperture was at f5.6 and because the sun had already gone down, I set the ISO at 400. Trial & error, when done with a bucketful of patience, will reward you.

I can’t wait to more pictures after knocking off and experiment more. Be sure that I will share the fun with you as I delve deeper into this awesome technique.

Elephant Havens- A home for the orphaned elephant calves

Good deeds deserve to be highlighted and praised. On our visit to Elephant Havens this past Sunday, we got to appreciate the efforts that the team there are making to ensure that the orphaned elephant calves are taken care of and kept alive. We had underestimated the distance from Maun nor didn’t anticipate the terrain we would use to get there. We were supposed to have arrived there by 4pm but because we were about 30 minutes late, we had to rush in, followed the guide (Onks) as he told us about their cause.

They host five elephants, one bull and four cows. Apparently the first of the herd was rescued after its mother had died while it was still a few months old. It stayed alone for about 6 months, until it was joined by another calf.

It was interesting to watch the interaction between the elephants and the guides. Bonolo, Tshepiso and Mmamotse, some of three of the Setswana names they reacted to when told to stop or brought back from wandering off from where they were feeding.

. The most amazing feeling was the warmth and the softness I felt on the back of Tshepiso’s ear,something that I had never imagined,looking at the skin on its front.

Not too long afterwards, the elephants started walking (as part of what they have been trained to do), headed towards the structure that was built to house them and we also had to leave them to rest. It did seem that so much thought and consideration was done to make them feel home. Their hope and mine is that in the future, the haven can have enough resources to cater for more orphaned wild animals, not only elephants.

Such a short visit but so worth it. I will definitely go back sometime to see the progress and maybe I will get to find more rescued elephants, Mmamotse having had a calf of her own, or an orphaned filly or colt.

Chanoga sunsets (4th visit)- Twilight

Ever since I discovered Chanoga, I have made it a point that I take a drive there almost every weekend, for the sunsets specifically. On my 2nd and 3rd visit, I didn’t take any pictures because the sky was clear and there was nothing exciting to capture (I usually rely on the urge and if it’s not there, I don’t even attempt to search for it). And then one evening, while out there, the urge rushed back in and the magic happened. I think I am getting addicted to this, to the adventure, to the beauty of the twilight, to the scary grunts and growls of the hippos.

It looked like someone had just made the fire by the river bank and left it or they were probably in the nearby settlements and was going to come back. I took a picture, practicing what I learnt about the Shutter speed, ISO and Aperture and this happened;

This experience is fun and I intend to keep at it. A few minutes before it got too dark, I took these and had to leave before the hippos came out of the water to hunt.

Thanks for taking this journey with me. Another post coming right up soon!

The Moremi Game Reserve trip

While on our lunch break at work, a few of us came up with an idea to explore Maun and its surrounding villages. We decided to visit the Moremi Game Reserve, plans were made and two Sundays ago, the wild embraced us. Before we reached the park gate, giraffes greeted us with their patches of beauty. A few metres further, a herd of elephants both excited and freaked us out. Shabba, the amazing guide that drove us there, took every chance to tell us about the animals, the birds and the trees in the park. I sat right behind him, a good position for a photographer I must say, and the inquisition started. He answered all my questions and the team and I learnt a lot. On the route to the part of the Okavango Delta where we went for the boat cruise, I kept seeing some beautiful flowers, randomly sprouting amongst the bushes, making it hard for ΔΊme to ignore their beauty. “Flame Lilies”, Shabba said as he stopped the vehicle to tell us more about them, I aimed and the Canon 650D did the magic. The lessons about the ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed are sinking in. It feels good to be completely off Auto mode.

Flame Lily
Giraffe posing
One of the Elephants we saw

All of us had hopes of seeing lions and just before we gave up, we were warned by other tourists that there was a leopard up the strangely tall mophane tree. Unfortunately by that time, my camera battery was dead (lesson learnt; always carry an extra battery with you) and I failed to take a picture. We had not seen any lions but the leopard was the best consolation. We had seen birds of all kinds, saw the tallest version of some of the familiar trees in other parts of Botswana, and while on the boat, we cruised past the water lilies.

Saddle-billed stork

Chanoga sunsets (first visit)

There is a place called Chanoga about 30kms from Maun in Botswana. Just a few kilometres into the village, there is a right turn that leads to the only spot that has water in the Maun area, with Thamalakane river having been dry for so long. Discovering that beauty has been a blessing more than anything. the sunsets there are peace, tranquility and on most days, healing. The picture of my first visit there was taken with my smartphone camera, telling a story of nature just showing off. I arrived there, excited about the view, the next minute, the sunrays pierced through the dark clouds and I just had to capture that moment.

Nature just showing off

How it all began: My Love for Photography

Sometimes the most uncomfortable things happen to us and can either destroy our lives or propel us towards greatness. One day I will share the story of why I started taking pictures in an attempt to capture the memories of all the beautiful and sometimes ugly moments of my life. I have never been a fan of selfies but I also understand why other people use every chance they get to take a picture of themselves. And no, not because of the addiction to self, but because most times, there is no one else around to ask to take the picture for you. Inside the elevator, in the bathrooms, in the bus to an unfamiliar place, in the office, we are usually alone in these spaces or just not in the mood to mingle. I, on the other hand, am guilty of taking pictures of everything. For the longest time, since the first smartphone I ever owned, I have been taking pictures of whatever I thought needed to be memorized. Years passed by and I finally started pictures with a proper camera, Canon D650. My partner suggested that I should try taking pictures with it and man, has it not been fun! It has been over 2 months now and I am no longer interested in selfies anymore. I am still an amateur (admittedly) and I can only get better from this point on. I am learning about the basics, The Elements of Art, The Principles of Art, Exposure, ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture. What a journey it has been. In my next posts, I will share the pictures I have taken and the story behind them. Wish me luck.πŸ˜‰

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