An evening with Lis Bukalders - "Tails of the Bush", 13th February 2023

A review by Janine Scola - An evening with Lis Bukalders - "Tails of the Bush"
What a treat of an evening we experienced – a wildlife safari and we didn’t need to move from our chairs!

As a child, Lisa first enjoyed watching and playing with the wildlife in her garden, and this grew with her reading several wildlife books which set her imagination and desire to travel in later life. And so started her many journeys to Africa and the much larger wildlife she hoped to encounter. Lisa has her own inimitable style of wildlife photography, not trained in this genre, but thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to capture an image as it presents itself.

Her opening sequence of images showed us that not all animals are helpful in facing the right way, some plainly ignore you, whilst others are apt to wander off, and her candid shots of an eclectic mix of ‘rear ends’ proved just that!

Many of her journeys have seen her and husband travel under their ‘own steam’ with a trusty 4x4, camping in wonderful wilderness locations, with the sounds of the wildlife around them – sometimes coming at close quarters – and of course, waking up to the big skies that is Africa. We were entertained by several AVs showing magical images from Botswana, Namibia, Kenya and South Africa, preceded by maps showing of the routes taken, along with anecdotes.

Lisa readily admitted that when you photograph the wildlife that comes your way, it is a ‘record shot’, but for her there is an emotion and character to be seen, displaying the spirit or personality
of that individual. This was exampled with her images of meerkats, lions and of course, elephants particularly the very young ones. Who can resist watching the latter when they arrive at the waterhole – water, mud everywhere – with these huge animals thoroughly enjoying themselves from the matriarch to the baby!

But, as we know, Lisa has her own creative style to portray the characters of these animals. She showed us her technique of ‘smudging’ (in Photoshop) the area surrounding the face of her chosen subject. The focus then becomes very much on the face and eyes of the individual, bringing out the personality in a softer way – not always necessarily welcomed by Judges (shame on you!).

Whilst ‘big five’ are the main feature of Lisa’s trips, we were introduced to stunning images of birds who also play their part in these vast grasslands, showing their vibrant colours and assortment of beaks!

On her adventure in Namibia we were shown spectacular images of the desert landscape in the south of the country, through her journey in Etosha National Park with the vast salt pans and the wildlife that exists in these incredible differing environments.

To finish the evening, Lisa played her final AV depicting images of the time she and her husband joined a small community of Kalahari Bushmen, together with the rock paintings of their ancestors of many years past, showing the animals we still see today – all accompanied by the evocative music that is Africa.

A wonderful evening, stunning images and an entertaining presentation – what more could we ask!

~ Janine Scola