The countryside through our readers’ eyes and lenses.
Here are this month’s four winning entries in our photographic competition.
Take a look at our January winners here.
This Month’s Image Club Judge
This month’s judge is freelance photojournalist Julia Lloyd. For Julia, photography is all about great light. Yes, sort out the composition, focus, emotion, action, you name it, but it’s superb light that will make an excellent photograph unforgettable. And if great light isn’t there for the taking (or making), then let’s have a picture that tells a story.
A R1 000 cash prize
How about borrowing the main cover line ‘Love in a Time of Drought’ for the title of this moving image in beautiful light of a mother elephant leading her youngster home, after quenching their thirst at the Olifantsrus waterhole in Etosha National Park? Ahead lies the long, dusty way home, back across the dry land. But what makes this photograph extra special is the little one lifting up his trunk to touch his mom, perhaps even to look for reassurance that more water will come.
Photographer Rob Slotow
Camera Nikon D3300, 70-300mm lens, at 300mm
Settings f/10 at 1/1000s, ISO 800
A R750 cash prize
What a dramatic photograph. If there’s any animal that can portray the exhaustion of a long, hot day and a long, hot path to a waterhole it is surely the wildebeest. This small herd were following the Nossob riverbed in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park at sunset, their ungainly bodies perfectly set off against the backlight. And the one at the rear, so perfectly silhouetted, sums up what they all must be feeling after their baking journey to water. The light is so spectacular I suspect the brilliant English artist William Turner, a master of painting light, would’ve rushed back to camp to paint this scene while it was in his mind’s eye, had he been privileged to be there.
Photographer Geo Jooste
Camera Canon 7DMKII, 100-400mm lens at 135mm
Settings f/5.6 at 1/1600s, ISO 250
A R500 cash prize
A stunning image of a herd of elephants arriving at the river at Shingwedzi Rest Camp in Kruger National Park at sunset. It’s one that could become iconic of the scarcity (and value) of water as our country’s drought tightens its grip. Look at the stark contrasts, the bleak earth, the dust highlighting the elephants as they approach the water, a brilliant ‘pot of gold’. It’s an excellent crop, and the elephants and the water’s edge create lovely lines that reflect each other.
Photographer Japie Bornman
Camera Canon 7DMKII, 100-400mm lens at 200mm
Settings f/11 at 1/180s, ISO 800
A R250 cash prize
Now here’s a bucket-load of the cute factor, ready to win over our hearts, but it’s not just the ‘Aaaw’ reaction that gets a prize for this image, taken in Karongwe Game Reserve, Limpopo. It’s a great crop, and a good, low angle (might have been even better if Willem had got down even lower), and a good decision to use fill-in flash to show those adorable banded mongoose faces in the diminishing light of sundown. Apparently mongooses will pack together like this for security. Lucky creatures to find all this water.
Photographer Willem Kruger
Camera Nikon D5, 600mm lens
Settings f/8 at 1/60s, ISO 2000
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.