70-200mm IS lens, Animals, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silence

When I set out to take photos, I often think first about which cameras I am going to take with me.  When the answer includes my Canon 50D, the next question is which lens to bring. For my trip to the Serengeti, the answer included my 70-200mm lens, which broadly speaking, was chosen to help me get close up photos of animals that were a bit farther away from our vehicle. However, there were times when after taking a closer shot at 300mm, I would put the lens to 70mm to get a shot of the animal in its environment. And what a beautiful environment it is. This week I was editing one of those shots:

Giraffes in Black and White

ISO 1000 70mm f/14 1/2000

This version shows the giraffes we had been watching amble away from us in black and white.  Here is a color version:

ISO 1000 70mm f/14 1/2000

Both of these versions were edited first in Photoshop. I did my basic edits there, cropping and sharpening. Then both were sent back to Lightroom which I use for cataloging my photos. Lightroom is also a fairly powerful editing software package and I often use it on its own. For these photos though I have used the plug-in, Google Nik Collection. I’ve added the link to the free plug-in version that I used.  The top photo started in the Silver Efex Pro and the bottom in the Analog Efex Pro. The plug-in has a lot of nice preset options which I think are good starting points for further editing.

At this point, it would be fair to ask why I have chosen this image for a post called Silence. These giraffes were amazingly quiet as they made their way through the landscape. We were quiet too as we were watching. Well mostly. Our driver was cleaning the windshield. The noise of the wipers attracted the attention of the giraffes. They stopped to take stock of the situation before deciding to move on. It was a reminder to me that these animals depend on all their senses to stay alive. It was an interesting moment, and I got a few photographs as well.

What do you think of my edits? Do you have a preference for either version? At the moment I’m happy with both. The lens used here is not generally used as a landscape lens. Do you sometimes use lenses outside of there “intended” range?



46 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Silence

  1. Laura Bloomsbury says:

    Enjoyed reading this and all yout techniques. My preference is the colour image because you have such gorgeous shades in there. Thank for the link. My macro is quite good at times for cityscapes

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Silence – Street Light – What's (in) the picture?

  3. I think that this is a perfect image for the challenge. It screams silence so beautifully. I like the color version better because it feels like I could walk right into it and have the gentle winds blow through my hair as I stand silently observing the majestic scene so as not to disrupt it. The black and white is lovely, but doesn’t beckon to me in the same way


  4. Agree with Laura. I like the coloured version, and I think the lightness of the foreground brings out the dark sky. Brilliantly framed too. So true that we have to be selective about what camera gear to take with us when we’re on the road. I used to go out with a mirrorless. Being a small person, that actually got hard to me to carry and these days I carry a point and shoot – unless someone is there tagging along and doesn’t mind carrying my gear 🙂


  5. Pingback: WPC: Silence | Lillie-Put

  6. lifeinkarolingston says:

    Both photos are really good. You used beautiful colour composition in your colour photo. Therefore, my favourite is black and white giraffes, maybe because I love black and white photos.


  7. We just need to colour to see the grass is mostly brown, but the B&W image is very striking, Amy. I’m too old to lug my DSLR and lenses around much! I can still have fun with my Sony RX100M2 and my Canon SX50HS which zooms to 500mm. The latter weighs less than half the DSLR with two lenses. Of course, the iPhone is ALWAYS with me, and very adaptable 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Amy
    such an interesting point about how the giraffes depend so much on all of their senses…
    reminds us how vulnerable they are – and maybe we are too –
    anyhow, I like both images but after reading K’s comment I think I favored the color one – there is something vertical behind the giraffe on the left and the color version shows this a little better – ya know?


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