No. 4. Canyon Climbers

Canyon Climbing Elephant
Canyon Climbing Elephant
Grabbing Some Greens
Grabbing Some Greens
Grabbing Some Greens 2
Grabbing Some Greens 2
Grabbing Some Greens 3
Grabbing Some Greens 3
Moving Rock on the Canyon Wall
Moving Rock on the Canyon Wall

While descending in a 10-seater Land Rover from the high plateau in South Africa’s Entabeni Safari Conservancy to the bushveldt where most of the animals live, we spotted this elephant climbing the steep canyon walls. These are all pictures of the same animal. I’ve included them in descending order to provide a sense of the elephant in relation to the steep canyon.

The bottom picture shot with an 18mm focal length is included to provide scale. The top picture was shot at a 250mm focal length and cropped to get in closer to the animal.  Turns out Elephants are great climbers. I guess that’s why Hannibal attempted to use them to cross the Alps during the Punic Wars in the Second and Thrid Centuries BCE. (Most of Hannibal’s elephants did not survive the hostile Alpine climate).

Jay M. Ressler

Jay Ressler Composite Photography and Encaustic Art He is an outstanding location photographer, with an eye that can capture the soul of a Havana back street as beautifully as the sip of a hungry hummingbird, often with compelling black and white images. But Jay Ressler is best known for artistic expression that lives in layers between opposites. “I like to explore boundaries,” he explains. “Boundaries between consciousness and the unconscious, between reality and imagination, between certainty and skepticism.” He does this by compositing his own photography in multiple layers to produce stunningly original, interleaved images. Using Photoshop, other image manipulation software and a variety of digital effects, he paints one photographic layer on top of another. He takes advantage of textures he's captured along with an array of processes for manipulating light, contrast, and color to tell the story. “Distorting and reinterpreting the literal 'machine moments' captured by the camera is as old as the art of photography,” he insists. Jay occasionally extends his multi-layered approach to encaustic mixed media creations. Based on ancient techniques, the process begins with cooking his own recipes of beeswax and damar resin and applying this medium between the layers of photographic images, along with various pigmented compounds and materials to add color, texture and expression. Either way, the results are riveting. The viewer is drawn into an unfolding, dreamlike scene that might be heart-warming, haunting, gritty, poignant or magical. Sometimes, within the various layers, all of the above. The award-winning photographer/artist has many dimensions himself. He studied advanced digital photography at Pittsburgh Filmmakers and advanced encaustic techniques with leading instructors in the field. He worked as an underground coal miner, steelworker, machinist, labor and civil rights activist, copywriter and commercial printer. He has a BS in Psychology from Albright College.

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