My One and Only Wedding Photo

We are landscape photographers. CJ has the skills and ability to do a wedding photo shoot…but very rarely does so, and then, only for a close friend. Linda and Don…we are not responsible enough to pull it off…so we do not even try. HOWEVER…I…Don…did get one great wedding shot recently…and I am pretty proud of it.\

Linda and I went on a photo mission to Europe in July 2019. We drove thousands of miles exploring France, Spain, Portugal and Andorra. Got some wonderful shots. We were also impressed at how rural Spain and Portugal are, once you get out of the big cities. Loved the trip from the start in Paris to the finish in Paris.

Along the way we drove to the wedding of our dear friends, Pim and Renaud. The wedding was in a 14th century walled city in Guerande, France in the beautiful Church Saint Aubin. The whole area is beautiful…we stayed in La Baule and attended a party there on the beach and at a chateau in La Turbaille…all near the Bay of Biscay.

I snuck my good camera into the wedding…my Sony a7R4 with a 16 to 35 lens…compact enough to hide in my suit coat (second time I have had on a suit in the last dozen years). I sat on the aisle. I had to crank up the ISO to 800 to get enough light so I could shot hand held…and at the right moment I fired off just one mirrorless quiet shot. Below you will see the result…and I am stoked.

So…I am quitting wedding photography while I am ahead…one and done. Thank you Pim and Renaud.

And the rest of our European photo safari…pure magic. Linda and I loved Bilbao…Andorra…the sunflower fields of Spain and Portugal and Paris…we always love Paris. Oh…and Biarittz, France was as beautiful as ever. We love Europe.

Here is a sampling of our shots…starting with my one and done wedding shot and ending with a pretty impressive storm at the airport in Paris. Aloha.

CJ, Linda and Don On a Photo Mission to Kauai

Got a call from CJ…surfs up in Kauai and we need to go shoot that spot out at the end of the road past Hanalei. I quickly agreed and we headed off to Kauai. Along for the trip, our good friend, Bill McDowell..and excellent photographer and great travel partner.

The weather on Kauai…on and off rain. Pretty cloudy toward sunset, but that can be good or bad. So…off we went to hike out to the iconic spot where the surf hits the backwash along the Na PaliCoast.

I had forgotten that the hike out involved a major league rock scramble along a wet cliffside. Easy for CJ. Not so easy for Linda and I and our friend, Bill. But, we made it out and we were just blown away by the size of the surf that afternoon. It was epic. We all got good shots and some unreal color toward sunset. I am only posted a few of my shots with this blog but we will be adding more in the days ahead from CJ and Linda.

Next day, major league glare and tough shooting. We also shot a couple of sunrise locations and a rain storm crossing Hanalei Bay. Fun in Kauai.

I managed to get my leg cut up on the rocks. Linda managed to get her arm cut up from her luggage falling. CJ managed to get food poisoning. Bill managed to stay out of harms way…and got some great shots. Heck, we all got some great shots…and a few good enough for the gallery…which was the point of the whole mission.

We were blessed with good friends on Kauai who helped us find great locations and got us around relatively safely. Big thanks to Paul Grace and Jon Cornforth and all the other terrific photographers we saw along the way.

We will be back. Aloha.

The Hurzeler’s Head To China…ride a bullet, dodge a bullet

In November of 2019, Don and Linda headed to China for a photo shoot. We had never been to China and we left there just plain amazed by just about everything we saw.

Our trip started from Oahu, traveling with a great local Oahu radio host, Rick Hamada, and a group of about 50 people principally from Oahu under the great assist of YMT Vacations. The trip took us through Korea to Beijing. After several days exploring Beijing and the Great Wall, we flew to where we would see the Terra Cotta Warriors, then on to a city of some 33 million people…where we would board a ship for a cruise up the Yangtze River to the worlds biggest dam, after checking out the pandas at a great reserve for them…and then through areas so beautiful that they are featured on Chinese currency. When the cruise was over, we flew to astonishing Shanghai for a few days of photography and sight seeing. We then flew back to Oahu, once again through the most beautiful airport I have ever seen in South Korea.

The bullet we rode was a bullet train from downtown Shanghai to the airport. It is a mag lift train that travels at speeds up to nearly 300 miles per hour. It was completely smooth, except for that one moment when the bullet train going the other way passes you just feet away…both trains going about 275 miles per hour…and the shock wave did cause me to kind of grip the seat for a second. Clean, fast and cheap…a great way to get to the airport.

The bullet we dodged was the Corona Virus. It showed up in December. We had left China just about a month earlier. Glad we missed that bullet.

My thoughts on China were these….it is on a scale that is just not imaginable. The cities we saw were gigantic and getting larger by the day. In one case, the city was growing by a million people a year. There was construction everywhere. We were there in the mild part of winter, so saw no air pollution. We did see what had been done to reduce air pollution and it was a big surprise. They have moved manufacturing out to places we did not visit…probably for a good reason. Net result, places like Beijing seemed extremely clean. There were well tended parks everywhere…and lots of new trees planted. Saw no graffiti…none. Saw no vandalism…zero. I felt safe even as I wandered streets alone taking photos at 3am. Shanghai is about the most modern looking city I have ever seen. Skyscrapers everywhere. Housing everywhere.

This is not a political blog, so I am not going to get into things like the lack of freedom, the lack of diversity, the strong handed control of the government nor the general lack of joy we noted in the people of China. However, I tried to put myself in their shoes and wondered how I would govern 1.5 BILLION people…keep them healthy, clothed, fed, employed and calm. I can assure you it would be difficult using the kind of government we have here in the USA. It is a tough situation. I am proud of all they have accomplished. Amazed at their progress. Intimidated by their capabilities. And would love to see more of beautiful China…but thankful I live where I live.

By the way…we kind of laughed at the fact we noticed a doctor and nurse next to a big machine that read the temperature of every human who walked underneath it at the airport…as they screened travelers for any kind of illness. We are laughing no longer…seems like a really good idea now.

I am attaching a few of our photos from the trip…more to come. Aloha.

The Hurzeler’s Head to Australia…just before the big fires of 2019-2020

Don and Linda returned to Australia for a photo trip in August of 2019. The trip was unique for them as they took along their 12 year old grandson, Nathan, and the trip ended back in Hawaii on their 50th wedding anniversary.

The trip started in Sydney, where a day trip up to the Blue Mountains caused us to both wonder why the dry mountain woods had not burned to the ground. It looked like a disaster waiting to happen. Everything was tinder dry and the winds were howling. Fortunately, it was late winter and there was a bit of moisture in the air, but it looked like trouble was right ahead. It was, the fires that happened in late 2019 were devastating. Glad we got to see the area before the fires.

The surf was huge at Bondi Beach, near Sydney…about 20 feet on the two days we shot there. I will post a shot or two from those days. Loved our time in Sydney and got some great shots.

Off next to Uluru…the Red Rock in the center of Australia. We also visited Mt Connor and the Kata Tejuta. Beautiful and remote.

Our favorite spot was Port Douglas and the Great Barrier Reef. I am posting one of Nate’s photos from one of our many snorkel trips on the reef. He swam over to me and asked if he could borrow my underwater camera. I gave it to him and he headed off with his feet looking like egg beaters…he was chasing something. A few minutes later he returned with a big smile on his face. He said he got a great shot of a turtle “You will probably want to sell it in the gallery” is how he described it. I told him we would see. Once we got back to the hotel room, I put the shot in the computer and edited it. Sure enough, it was a professional quality turtle shot…well done, Nate. I showed it to him and asked him what that was….pointing to something on the right side of the shot. I then blew it up a bit for him to see. His eyes got wide as he saw that it was a large black tip shark…he had not spotted it in front of the turtle. I mentioned that shark had swam right past me headed for him…the shark being about 50 percent larger than Nathan. However, that type shark is not known to be aggressive and there were plenty of them around…so I did not feel in danger nor did I think he was in danger. But, a great lesson for anyone in the ocean…have your head on a swivel and always look around to see what else might be in the water with you.

When we arrived back to Hawaii, we were me by CJ, his family, my family and assorted friends…and we all went out to dinner to celebrate Linda and my 50th wedding anniversary. A great end to a great trip.

We will be posting additional shots from this trip on the website. The one of the guy looking into the camera is a shot Nate took by mistake as he reached in the bag for the camera just after sunup on a day we had hiked around the entire base of the Uluru red rock…starting at about 3:30am on a cold day…the shot puts a smile on my face. I am also including one of his croc shots and his turtle shot…along with a Bondi Beach wave, a giant clam, an clown fish and a black tip shark photo…and the beautiful small water/mineral stream on Uluru. Nate did a great job with the camera for a beginner…heck, it just plain did a great job. And, he would want me to mention, he got to surf Banzi Pipeline and Backdoor on the return to Oahu…about head high surf, but pretty exciting to watch. Aloha.

A Big Day For Lava Light Galleries

Do you recall these two young guys? They had just graduated from a street kiosk, where they sold prints in the evening hours near Bubba Gumps, to this place…the old Sloan Gallery on Alii Drive. CJ Kale and Nick Selway turned that small space into a terrific gallery…their first real gallery. That was over a decade ago. Nick has now moved to Breckenridge, Colorado to run his own gallery. CJ teamed up with Don and Linda Hurzeler to continue the Lava Light Galleries brand. Our beautiful (sorry for the lack of modesty…but we love the place) gallery in the Queens Market Place at Waikoloa continues to thrive. We have plans to do lots of interesting things in the future. But, the time to close our small gallery on Alii Drive arrived today. We will be putting our efforts toward making the Waikoloa gallery better each year…and we plan to be there for years to come. Thank you for your support that helped us be successful for oh so long on Alii Drive…and for the past six years and counting in Waikoloa…and online. Mahalo.

Wave Photography Explainer-Part Two

The last blog covered photographing waves above the water. This one will explain photographing waves under water.

The interesting part of a wave under water is the tube of the wave. When waves break, they either crumble from the top and turn into white water immediately that then rushes to the shore. Or…the top of the wave throws out ahead of the rest of the wave, traps air in a cylinder…the tunnel of the wave. That cylinder continues to roll toward the beach as an intact cylinder for a short period of time. During that time, the front and back of that cylinder are often mirror like…sometimes appearing to be silver in color. The surface of the cylinder can be clear enough to see a surfer inside the cylinder or to see all the way through it to the beach. You only see this if you are underwater, with googles or a facemask on…or with your eyes wide open and very near the breaking wave. Most people never see it in a lifetime…too busy just trying to negotiate the passing wave and all of its’ chaos.

One more thing about the interesting part of a wave underwater…all that air that gets trapped in the tube has to eventually be released. This happens in two ways. The tunnel can just collapse into a mass of white water. Underwater this looks like a depth charge exploded…and it feels that way if it happens right on top of you. Or, the tube can create vortices…tornado looking rings that vent air from the tube to the surface. The rings are just about the coolest things I have ever seen…and they only last for about a half a second and then the tube collapses into that white water explosion. Despite surfing my whole life, I never knew they existed until I started photographing waves underwater about ten years ago. You can not see them from above the water.

Size matters. If the wave is too small it will only crumble from the top and there will be nothing to photograph underwater. Or, if it is too small it will become odd shaped underwater and not an interesting subject. Small waves also tend to break right near the beach…so they often break in water that is saturated with sand suspended in it…and you can’t see or photograph a thing.

Big waves tend to break out in deeper water and churn things up significantly…difficult to photograph and often dangerous, as the bigger waves around here are breaking over coral. There are places around the world where big waves and coral combine to create a breathtaking setting for back of the wave photography…Teahupoo, Tahiti comes to mind.

So, we look for mid-sized waves of two feet to six feet in height. These waves are well shaped and the first wave of a set will usually be in water that does not have a lot of sand stirred up in it.

We shoot wide lenses, typically around 15mm. This means we must be right next to something to get a good shot of it. In the case of a breaking wave we do this one of three ways. As the wave is breaking, we dive underwater about ten feet in front of the breaking wave, hold the camera out to our side pointed at the incoming wave and start firing the camera. If we get lucky, we catch the rings and approaching tunnel of the wave. If we get very lucky, we pass right under that energy and surface on the other side. If we do not get lucky and the tunnel and/or rings hit us…all hell can break loose…which is why we do not have our heavy camera housings right in front of our face.

Or…we position ourselves to the side of the wave, submerge as the wave nears and try to capture the scene from under the tunnel and rings. Much safer and we often get quite interesting shots using this technique.

Or, we position ourselves almost exactly where the wave is breaking, but a little further out to sea. As the wave approaches, we submerge and start firing at the back of the wave as it passes. Most of these shots have too much sand in them to be of use…but every now and again you get one that is crystal clear…and those are the winners.

The first photo is of a good sized wave rolling right at me…showing the tunnel and rings of that approaching wave. It may look further away because I am using a fisheye lens that distorts distances a bit…but I promise you that shot was taken from no further than five feet away from that incoming bomb…and since it goes all the way to the sand, it ate me up.

The second photo shows what those rings look like from the side, as a buddy of mine and I try to get under them. We did not get under them and it violently spun us around like rag dolls.

The third photo shows the typical thing you see underwater, the wave collapsing into a white water explosion that the swimmer is about to encounter. Looks like there was just enough room to get completely under the exploding section of collapsing wave.

The last one is a crystal clear shot of the back of the tunnel of a wave. You can see the lip part of the wave curving over the top, sealing in the air and forming the tunnel. All the little concentric circles are from drops of water from the breaking lip of the wave landing on the tunnel. At the far left side you can see it starting to collapse and turn into white water. If the sun is in the right position, it makes these tubes either silver in color or reflective or both. It is an amazing thing to see…and only lasts for a few seconds.

So…lots going on when we are photographing waves. All the action takes place in one of the most violent parts of the ocean…the impact zone. Takes some getting use to so as to avoid getting injured. I’ve been doing it since the 1970’s and I still get smashed on a regular basis. So, if you are going to gear up and give it a try…make sure your medical insurance is in place and has a low deductible. And when it gets big…come join me on the beach with a telephoto lens so we can enjoy watching CJ doing what he does best.

Wave Photography Explainer

CJ and I love to do wave photography. People who come into our galleries usually appreciate the photos we get…but are often confused as to what they are seeing and how we got them. So…here is an “explainer” for those who are interested.

There are several great ways to photograph waves…from the ocean shooting down the tube of the wave, under the wave, behind the breaking wave, above the wave using a drone, from the shore using a telephoto lens or a wide lens…depending on where you are shooting…and from a boat or jet ski. We’ve done them all. Our favorite…from the impact zone where the wave is breaking shooting right down the middle of the tunnel of the wave.

Quick explanation of “tube/tunnel or barrel” of the wave…a wave comes in from the deep ocean in pretty much a straight line. When the energy of that waves starts to feel the bottom of the ocean (sand or coral)…it slows,

causing the face of the wave to build in height. The top of the wave will be going slightly faster than the bottom of the wave and will start to spill over..think “crashing wave”. The area of air that is trapped inside that spilling wave is the tunnel/barrel/tube of the wave. If you are inside of that tube, it looks like a big cylinder with water churning up from just in front of the wave…up the face of the wave…to the top of the wave that is spilling over. When it all collapses, you will see the white water that is a mix or ocean water, air and sand…and possibly broken up wave photographers or surfers. That white water rolls all the way up to the shore.

So here is how it works…we use a full size DSLR camera with a wide lens (like a 15mm fisheye or a 20mm wide lens). That camera and lens is secured in a water proof water housing that has a trigger mechanism for taking the photos. The front end of the housing has a port or dome that allows the lens to have an unobstructed and undistorted view of the scene to be shot. The housing…which together with the camera and lens might be worth about $7000…is on a leash that attaches to our arm…a blessing if the camera gets loose from our hands…except that it can also act as a weapon bringing that housing back at our head in the chaos underwater. Head injuries are fairly typical things for those of us who do wave photography. We try to shoot at 1/1600th of a second or faster at fairly low ISO and with cameras that shoot between 3 to 20 frames per second…most of our shots are with cameras shooting 8-10 frames per second.

So, with camera housing in hand, we swim or walk out to where the waves are breaking and get ready for the action. If it is shallow enough to stand…that is good and bad. Good in that you are not getting worn out swimming with one arm for hours on end. Bad in that waves breaking in shallow water can bounce us off the bottom and ruin our day.

Here comes the tricky part…timing is everything in wave photography. The current may be pulling us in/out or sideways. There may be backwash coming at us from the beach that might surprise us at just the wrong time. The wave itself might break exactly where the last one broke or ten feet further out or in. We have to pay attention to the surfers/bellyboarders/body surfers and assorted swimmers in the area around us…no fun ending up with a surfboard embedded in your forehead. Lastly, big waves suck out the water in front of them as they roll toward the beach. So, we may be swimming one moment and unconcerned about how we might get under the approaching wave…and then the water sucks out and leaves us standing in maybe six inches of water with a ten foot wave looming right in front of us. The technical term used when that happens is “Oh shit!”

If all goes well, the wave approaches with a great big barrel forming as it breaks, we hold our ground and fire our cameras down the barrel of the wave and then simply duck under it or dive through the face of the wave in hopes it will pass over us. Most times it is like a ballet and it all works out well. When it does not work out well, people get very seriously hurt. One of my good friends from London got his back so smashed so he needed surgery. A buddy of mine broke his shoulder today while we were out there. CJ and I have both had hospital visits over the years…broken bones or wounds in need of stitches. My dentist has made a good living on the damage done to my teeth when I was unable to get out of the way of a loose surfboard. Oh..and we love to do much of our photography as the sun is coming up…a favorite time for sharks to come check you out…and we have had our issues with those guys from time to time.

Reading back through this, I make it sound like anyone would have to be nuts to do wave photography. We are. We are also amazingly happy doing it…it is about as much fun as you can have with very few of your clothes on. In another blog I will show you photos from behind the waves, below them and in front of them as they roll toward the photographer. I think you will love them…and I will do an “explainer” as to what you are looking at and how the features in the waves form. In this one, I will show you a sequence of CJ standing his ground to get his shot on a sizable wave from today and a shot or two of mine from today shooting right down the barrel. Any questions…just ask. And there is a good selection of wave photos here on the website in a gallery that we have cleverly named “Waves”. Aloha.

Things We’ve Learned from CJ That Have Made Our Photos Better

I did not start off as a photographer and neither did my wife, Linda. CJ Kale and Nick Selway taught us pretty much everything we now know. So…CJ, Linda and I have been talking lately about capturing some of the good ideas and sharing them with you. We will not claim this as original, nor identify the originator of the idea…but the ones we plan to share will be ones that CJ (and often Nick) have impressed on us over and over. And they are simple. Here is the first one…

“Let’s give this sunset another ten minutes.” This is usually said by CJ as Linda and I have taken the camera off of the tripod and started to pack up for our trip back to the car. The sun is down. Sunset should have peaked by now. It is getting dark. Three times our of four…CJ ends up wasting our time and making our trip across the jagged rocks just a little more difficult. One time out of four…we hit gold.

I’m not certain this works everywhere in the world…but it sure works in Hawaii. Once the sun is down, one of two things will happen…it will get super dark real quick or…the sky will light up in colors and brightness that are hard to explain. It is part of CJ’s recurring theme of…give yourself every chance to be successful. Ten little minutes…might just give you your best sunset shot ever.

Here is a recent shot demonstrating the general idea.

Aloha.

Bun Rabbit…my old friend

Linda and I came home late one night here on the Big Island. In our driveway, hoping around, a great big rabbit. I don’t drink and my wife had only had a single glass of wine…but there it was…a fairly giant rabbit. Linda got out of the car, walked right over to it and gave it a bit of a back rub. I parked the car and came back to get in on the fun…and the big guy let me pet him as well. That was about five years ago…

Turns out, Bun Rabbit (aka Benjamin Rabbit, Mr. Rabbit and several other names…all given him by neighbors) liked out neighborhood and would stick around from then on. He must have been someones pet at one time…we tried locating his owner with out any luck. So, he became a free range pet that everyone in the neighborhood could enjoy. He had been neutered…was pretty old for a rabbit and there were no other rabbits around. He was a threat to no one nor any other species. He did plow through neighbors gardens…but we all put up with it. All visitors got to play with him. All local dogs got to chase him…with absolutely no success. He delighted kids and adults. Bun Rabbit was a star.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (the DLNR) would hear about Bun from time to time and send a guy over from Hilo to trap him (because he was a non-native and invasive species). That never went well for the trapper. Bun was a survivor and quite a bit smarter than the guy from the DLNR. They finally gave up after we called them and told them he was old and neutered and a threat to no one or no thing.

Happily for us, Bun liked our place. I would like to think it was because we were such good friends to him. Truth is…we have no dogs. So…he often lived on our property. Sometimes he lived below the kitchen window, other times behind a big rock near the driveway….in recent years he wanted to be even closer…on our lanai or next to it…or my favorite place, right outside our office door hidden away in the bushes…where we could see him and he could see us. He would sleep there all day and go hang out with his hoodlum bird friends in the evenings and early morning hours. Often times I would peak into the bushes to see if he had come home from his night time feeding adventures…and there he would be with two or three of his erkle francolin (a good sized bird) buddies sleeping up against his body.

Sunrise and sunset were our times together. He would come hoping in from goodness knows where and just silently show up right next to me. Other times, he would see me from a neighbors yard and come hoping across the yard and leap our rock fence in one nifty movement…stopping right by my feet. Sometimes it would be Linda who was with him…more often it was me. He was always happy to see either one of us. We put food out for him…which he always ate on top of whatever else he had eaten that night. He rarely wanted any water…had his own source on the leaves and rocks. After he ate, we would give him a back rub and then wonder out to the point on our property nearest the ocean. In the daytime, it held little interest for him. In the evening he would often sit out there with me watching the sunset…and as soon as the sun disappeared…so did he. The photo on this blog is from one of those many nights.

Bun was the healthiest animal I have ever encountered. He kept himself in great shape…always well groomed…never got too fat nor too skinny. He got sick exactly once. One vet here told us he was a goner for sure and not to bother to bring him in. Another said there might be one medicine that could work. With the help of our good neighbor, Harley, we gathered him up and took him in…and force fed him medicine for about ten days. I’ll be darned…it worked and he returned to his formally happy life. That was two years ago…borrowed time for sure.

Time ran out this morning. He did not look very energetic last night. For some reason I got up at 4am to check on him. He was on his last legs. I’m no vet…but he looked like he was dying of natural causes…age related. Linda came out and we quietly petted him until he fell asleep. He passed shortly after the sun came up. I am guessing he was about eight years old…old for a rabbit. A neighbor reminded me he had a pretty terrific life and lived a long time here in paradise. Still hurts.

Services were private…he didn’t want to make a fuss.

In case you couldn’t tell…I love that guy. Bun Rabbit…thanks for hoping in to our lives and for sticking around as long as you could. Aloha and a hui hou.

One Cheetah vs a whole family of Elephants…See Who Wins

Linda and I rolled up on an astonishing scene in the Serengeti. Unfortunately, we were not the only ones who rolled up on it…several other safari vehicles beat us there. Our view of the event was from well off to the right and our cameras had to point directly into a pure white/gray sky. Not exactly perfect for picture making…but amazing to watch.

A cheetah we had photographed earlier went on a hunt. We watched the cheetah glide through the tall grass in search of a meal. When a meal was found, the cheetah took after it at full speed and appeared to have gotten its prey. By then, we were a long ways off and had to reposition the vehicle to get a view of cheetah and whatever it had caught. This caused us to circle around over quite a distance…took us several minutes. When we did get back in decent position, several other safari vehicles had beaten us to the site and kept us from getting close. I cranked out the 600 mm lens and started shooting.

The cheetah did indeed have a kill. The grass was high and I could clearly see the cheetah but not the kill. However, to the left was an entire family of elephants…big bull elephant in the lead, some moms and a few kids…maybe 10-15 huge animals in all. The elephants were on a direct path that would take them over the cheetah and the kill. The cheetah would have none of it. He/she stood up tall and refused to move. The elephants saw this as a threat and began to stomp the ground, throw around their trucks and trumpet warnings to the cheetah. The stand off lasted a few minutes…this small (by comparison) cheetah and this giant force of pissed off elephants. Lots of dust in the air…lots of sound. Finally, the lead bull elephant seemed to raise up on his back legs (I think…could not see it clearly), came down to stomp the ground and trumpeted loudly. At that, the cheetah turned and walked away. The lead elephant chased him and the cheetah started running. The elephant stopped within maybe 50 yards and the cheetah turned around to see that the chase was over and things could return to normal.

Did the cheetah return to the kill? Don’t know…but I assume it did. Here is what I do know…I know that cheetahs are one brave species…they will not give up their kill willingly and will stand their ground til almost the last moment. Reminded me of my spear fishing friends here on the Big Island. I’ve seen them spear a fish…have a shark come up like a lightning bolt to take that fish away…and my brave friends WILL NOT give up that fish. They fight the shark for it and I head directly for the boat and get the heck out of the way. Cheetahs are the spear fishermen of the Serengeti.

A word about the following photos…they are the worst quality photos I have ever posted. With the white/gray background, our angle and the distance involved…these were never going to be any good. However, they do document an event that Linda and I want to always remember, so I am posting them here. They are all exactly as shot…very little editing because…why waste the time…they are crappy shots. All have been cropped to bring the subject closer and eliminate as much of that horrible sky as possible. The third one in the series…the cheetah right in the face of the elephants IS ALTERED by me and I want to make that clear. The photo before it shows the accurate distance between cheetah and elephants. In the next photo the cheetah was a bit closer…but only a bit. I cut out some (maybe ten feet…kind of hard to measure) of the middle ground to give a clearer view of the shot. We do not do that in any of the shots we sell…they are what they are…but I have no hopes of every selling this photos so I wanted it to at least show the scene in a bit more detail. Not trying to deceive anyone.

Lots of brave animals in the Serengeti. I love that they stand up for themselves and take on big challenges. I also love that they have the good sense to eventually retreat if absolutely necessary. Neither Linda nor I wanted to see a cheetah stomped to death by an elephant that morning and happy it turned out as it did.