The countryside through our readers’ eyes and lenses. Here are this month’s four winning entries in our photographic competition.
If you missed our January winners, you can find them here.
This Month’s Image Club Judge
Our judge this month is Dale Morris, a regular contributor to Country Life. Born in the United Kingdom, Dale purchased a one-way ticket out, at the age of 18, and thus became an exceptionally well-travelled refugee. He finally put down roots but that hasn’t ended his regular photographic adventures into Southern Africa and beyond. Dale’s award-winning writing, and wildlife and travel photography have been published worldwide. See his images on dalermorris.com
A R1 000 cash prize
What a wonderfully colourful photograph this is, taken in a garden in Rawsonville, Western Cape. The kaleidoscope of garish hues combined with a good off-centre composition and an excellent use of depth of field (which isn’t easy to achieve on a macro photo) make this picture an out and out winner. It’s cheerful and sweet. We all love ladybirds, we all love flowers. And here, Amos has
captured the most eye-catching and appealing aspects of both. Well done. This photo made me smile.
Photographer Amos Lambrechts
Camera Canon 1Dx, 100mm Canon macro lens
Settings f13 at 1/1000 sec, ISO 6400
A R750 cash prize
It’s a cropped-down photo of a leopard in a tree. We have seen this a thousand times, but what makes this one particularly appealing is the subdued light with no harsh contrasts. This photo was taken in Kruger on an overcast day, or just after the sun had gone down. It’s the sort of light that makes a leopard glow. And this leopard is indeed glowing. The cropped composition is great (off-centre subject) and the somewhat alert and alarmed look in this young animal’s eyes gives the photo a little extra engagement.
Photographer Brett Stanley
Camera Nikon D500, 200-500mm lens at 480mm
Settings f6.3 at 1/10 sec, ISO 5000
A R500 cash prize
A flamingo at a bird park in Rembrandt lighting. I like the way the photographer has exposed for the flamingo and allowed the rest of the surrounding detail to fall away into darkness so that the eye stays firmly on the subject. Whether this was done in camera, or darkened later with software, is neither here nor there. It’s an arresting image and worthy of recognition.
Photographer Alta Pretorius
Camera Nikon D5300, 70-300mm
Settings f6.3 at 1/400 sec, ISO 400
A R250 cash prize
This is an amazing scene in Paternoster. The concept is great – a flying gannet that is supposed to stand out from the crowd behind. Unfortunately, the execution isn’t 100 per cent as the focal
animal is not as sharp as it could be, and the use of a largish depth of field means that it gets lost somewhat in the crowd. A higher shutter speed would have helped freeze the action a little better,
and a shallower depth of field (or accurate focusing) would have made the bird in flight stand out even more. However, it’s a very tricky shot, and points are awarded for good effort.
Photographer David Thomas
Camera Nikon D70, 70-200mm lens at
Settings f7.1 at 1/800 sec, ISO 200
How to enter
Think you can do better? Have you got a couple travel pics of the countryside that you’d like to share with us? Then head over to our Image Club entry form and throw your hat in the ring. Who knows? You might just be our next winner.
Dale R Morris is a multi-award winning feature writer, photographer and specialist guide, with more than twenty years’ experience in the art of travel writing and visual story telling. He regularly guides tribal and wildlife focused photographic expeditions to the far flung corners of the world, including destinations such as Borneo, East Africa, South America, India, Madagascar and the Antarctic. To join Dale on one of his upcoming tours, visit Oryx Worldwide Photographic Expeditions.