Choosing our monthly winners of the Image Club competition is as exciting as it is challenging. Fortunately we can delegate the task to one of our contributing photographers. Their deftness at analysing images is always educational and fun.
This month, Anita de Villiers was tasked with the judging duties. Here are the top four prize winners with Anita’s thoughts.
First prize (R1 000 cash prize)
Photography in the digital age is shifting paradigms, big time. In a world oversaturated with visual material, photographers are learning to trust their instincts and to bring their own vision to the moment of tripping the shutter. Leon’s photograph taken at the small station in the Mpumalanga town of Bethal reminds me of Annie Leibovitz’s staged portraits that invite the viewer into a world of fantasy. He conceptualised and planned the image and the shoot so well.
The overall blue creates a brooding mood and the male figure in the pool of light seems to have stepped out of a 40s’ move. It might well be Humphrey Bogart waiting for the train to Casablanca. So many scenarios of intrigue and passion triggered by this single photograph.
- Photographer: Leon Pelser
- Camera: Sony A55V, Tamron 24mm lens
- Settings: f4 at 1/80, ISO 800
Second prize (R750 cash prize)
It has been said that the decision to go black and white is a creative choice, a step away from the real world around us. Images designed with elements such as shape, form, space and texture translate especially well into the medium of black and white. Werner has successfully cropped this image, taken at the Cape gannet colony in Lambert’s Bay, to capitalise on the blank canvas of sky and create the negative space on which these Cape gannets are etched. The blank space and the shallow depth of field also assist in creating volume in the bird shapes, i.e. form. Then, of course, he managed to capture that illusive, decisive moment. Well done, Werner.
- Photographer: Werner Reyneke
- Camera: Nikon D700, Tamron150-600mm lens at 450mm
- Settings: f11 at 1/640 sec, ISO 200
Third prize (R500 cash prize)
But Jean’s well thought-out concept, technical excellence and savvy in communicating visually, place this image of a scrap-metal figure, on a koppie overlooking the Tankwa Karoo Tented camp, way above just being alternative.
Towering against an indigo star-studded sky that draws the viewer into the infinite expanse of space, is an outer-world robotic figure.
The energy and dominance that exudes from the figure is underpinned by Jean’s choice to shoot from a low angel and in a diagonal frame.
The viewer enters the world of science fiction and a story develops…
- Photographer: Jean Rossouw
- Camera: Canon Eos 5D Mk3, EF 8-15mm lens at 15mm
- Settings: f5.6 at 25 seconds, ISO 4000
Fourth prize (R250 cash prize)
It is mood that sets apart Wayne’s photograph of a bird roost on a diamond boat at Port Nolluth. To capture this scene in the low light that was available, he had to juggle between shutter speed and ISO setting, but he got it right. Not too much digital noise in the dark areas and just the right amount of motion blur to capture the misty effect of the waves. The composition is good with the boat more to the right, leaving space in front of it. One suggestion is to have composed and/or cropped the image so that the horizon is not right in the middle of it, if it was at all possible.
- Photographer: Wayne Usher
- Camera: Sony DSC-H7
- Settings: f4.5 at 1/200 sec, ISO 100
Other entries making our favourites list this month
About this month’s judge: Anita de Villiers, a professional photographer and freelance photojournalist. Anita has a diploma in photography, teaches photography and runs wildlife and fine art photography workshops. Anita views technical excellence and the ‘rules’ of composition as the first steps in exploring this dynamic medium, and believes the uniqueness of a photographer’s image is what communicates visually. Bend the rules, play with light, capture the emotion of a decisive moment to venture into the world of expressive imaging. www.anitadevilliers.co.za
How are your photography skills? Can you take pictures like these winning photographs for our Image Club competition? There is prize money to be won and exposure in the magazine. Who knows, your image may even make the cover of one of our upcoming magazine issues! To submit an entry of your own, fill in our entry form here.