The First week of 2013.

Posted: 07/01/2013 in Weekly Post.

So I have decided to get back in to my digital SLR photography after a hiatus of about 2 years just using a point and shoot camera.

The hiatus came about due to a belief that the SLR was too bulky to take on my travels following a trip to Mongolia and along the Trans-Siberian railway. I did the whole trip from Hong Kong to my parent’s house in north Wales about 3 years ago, taking about a month. The problem was that on the trip I was carrying stuff I needed for work, all the clothes for the journey and gifts to take home as well. Then on top of that I had the Camera. The camera added a lot of weight and was kind of annoying to carry around, yes I got a lot of good shots but the extra bag was a real problem.

So when I returned to Mongolia the following year for an extended stay I decided to invest in a fairly decent point and shoot camera. The camera worked well and more importantly was small, and therefore did not take up any room in my one rucksack. But in my mind I had a nagging doubt that I was missing out on some great shots that I could get with the SLR.

Fast forward a year and I was going to go on a trip with work. (I am a teacher at an International School in Hong Kong.  This is the reason for the month-long train journey and other great summer holidays. I know lazy teacher who does not work for half of the year.) The trip was a week without walls in South Africa (10 day to be precise.) We were going to be working in the Kalahari Desert in a school doing some teaching and building a vegetable garden, plus we were going to go on safari at Pilanesberg national park. I knew that this was an opportunity not to be missed with the SLR. So I dug it back out and checked it out and realised that I was glad to be holding this bigger and chunkier camera again. More importantly everything still worked with no sign of mould, (Mould is a problem in Hong Kong due to the high humidity and cool winters) thank god I packed it all away with desiccation stuff.

Anyway so off I went to South Africa and boy was I happy, I had an amazing time on the trip (Adventure week at school has always been a real perk of the job), The people are incredibly friendly, and the wildlife was stunning. There is nothing as amazing as being within ten metres of a pride of lions that are marching down a trail towards you, or the site of a young angry bull elephant in Musth.

Anyway fast forward to now. I have decided that I want to share some of the photos that I have taken over the course of a week or photos that I have decided to dig back out and work on. I will probably share about 3 or 4 a week with a little information about what they are and my story behind them. A lot of them will be from Hong Kong but there will be others from elsewhere in the world, from my various adventures and holidays.

I am going to start off this week with some of the photos that I have taken in South Africa.


This is Girdion. He was one of the boys that met us on the first day that we arrived in Battlemount in the Kalahari Desert. He was a natural model who kept saying take a picture of me. He also helped in the development of the new kitchen garden area, until we found out that he was skipping class to be there!


This is my work colleague being “mobbed” by kids at the end of the day. She was taking a photo and I thought it would be good to get one from the opposite angle.


This is one of my favourite shots from the Kalahari visit, I just love this girls smile. and the way she is peeking out from behind her classmate.


The angry bull elephant on the morning safari. you can see that he is in Musth because of the glands on the side of his head. I missed a really good shot of this elephant because our School group guide stood up just as I was taking it. He was up on his hind legs at the time and was not a happy camper, apparently it is rare for them to do that in the wild. I got a lot of pictures of this elephant but I only got the tail end of the rise up as he was coming back down. Oh well he was still impressive.


Lioness from the night safari. When I took this picture she was about 8-10 metres from me. Our safari guide had spotted them in the distance and said “I know where they are going”. So we raced off at break neck speed to where they were going to be. It was perfect we watched them come out of the bush and passed behind our vehicle. They knew we were there the whole time, but they completely ignored us until this point when she looked across at us.


These are 3 baby White-Brested Nuthatches I believe (please correct me if I am wrong. Thanks to Stephen Ransome for pointing out that I was wrong, apparently they are Young Pearl Breasted Swallows. (Hirundo dimidiata)) they were sat on a branch waiting for mother to return with food. I met a guy here who was rocking two canon 1D cameras with the 500mm lenses and extenders, he had some amazing photos of these being fed. Unfortunately I could not stay long enough to do the same. I just loved the way they were constantly scanning the sky for threats.


A shot of a beautiful coloured bird through a bush. I believe it is a Southern Masked Weaver, We saw a similar bird to this in the Kalahari that was actually weaving a nest in a tree near the place we were staying at.

I know I said I would only put up 3 to 4 pictures, but I could not help myself. It was hard enough to leave out rhinos from a distance and the Giraffe up close. Plus the many photos of the students in the desert.

Anyway more to come and I hope you like the images.

  1. Reblogged this on Mike Hardisty Photography and commented:
    Talk about keeping it in the family. My eldest son, living in Hong Kong, is also keen on photography but he gets to travel to far more exotic places than I do. Check his work out. It looks like I’ve got competition….

  2. Hello Mike. I am taking it that this is one of your blogs!!! Posted by you on Facebook but nothing in the blog to indicate WHO wrote it!!!! Anyway, if I’m speaking out of turn, please let me know. Great photos but I’m sure your Nuthatches are Swallows. Young Pearl Breasted(Hirundo dimidiata) (I think). The Weavers certainly are correct. African Masked Weaver (Ploceus velatus) .

    • Stephen,

      Thanks for the information on the swallows, I will update the post.

      Mike Hardisty is my father, and he linked to my post I believe on his blog.


      Jamie Hardisty .

  3. Angeline M says:

    Wonderful photos!

  4. frizztext says:

    fine close ups!

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