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Image Club – March 2014

Image Club – March 2014

The countryside through our readers’ eyes and lenses. Here are this month’s four winning entries in our photographic competition for March 2014

Julia2This month’s judge is Julia Lloyd, a professional photographer and freelance photojournalist for COUNTRY LIFE before she joined the magazine as sub-editor. 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.

[*You can enter your own photographs here: https://www.countrylife.co.za//image-club-entry-form/]

First Prize
A R2 000 cash prize
Full marks here for initiative and patience. In the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Werner watched the antics of a mongoose that hung around the camp. When the mongoose left, Werner followed his tracks for some way and then waited for the chap’s return. What a reward. Full marks also for bothering to get down to ground level and make that head-on eye contact that adds to the excitement. To crown this great shot, the focus is concentrated on the face of the hunter, everything else is slightly blurred – a narrow depth of field is to be expected when using f5 on a 600mm lens. It heightens the little creature’s intent focus on his prey. Photographer Werner Reyneke

Camera Nikon D700, 600mm lens
Settings f5 at 1/640, ISO 200


Second Prize
A R1 500 cash prize
Great colours, texture and action in pin-sharp detail make for a cracker of a shot of a Woodlland Kingfisher feeding his chick. Talk about being in the right place at the right time, although who knows how long the photographer waited for this classic moment. And how right is the moment? There’s something so grand yet so gentle about dad, as he regally holds those wings aloft, while lovingly helping his snapper to some mouse. Great line up the left made by the wings, and superb top left-bottom right diagonal from wing-tip across the head. A tad less on the left would’ve made the crop perfect. Photographer Kobus Saayman

Camera Canon 1D MIII
Settings f5.6 at 1/1600, ISO 640

Third Prize
A R1 000 cash prize
This looks like the opening scene from a movie called Bambi’s Incredible Journey. Or Bambi Abandoned. Johan is an exceptional landscape and nature photographer (and an Image Club regular), and never fails to capture the emotion in what he sees, even if it’s a rock or a tree. Here the little bokkie looks even tinier, and oh so alone, against the huge, ghostly acacias of Mana Pools. They go on and on into the distance, and create a sense of foreboding. What is out there? Will she be safe? The drama is emphasised by the extraordinary early morning back light that falls on the dust. At first glance it looks as though a great fire rages in the distance, drawing closer. Photographer Johan Hosten 

Camera Canon 50D, 100-400mm lens
Settings f6.3 at 1/160, ISO 320


Fourth Prize
A R500 cash prize
Another winner taken in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, this time a herd of springbok kicking up the dust. Great points of focus stand out in blur that is achieved by panning the camera with the moving herd, on a fairly slow speed. This focus/blur effect, combined with the long, narrow crop (it’s a two-image stitch), creates the feeling of a splendid stampede. Of a herd in a serious hurry. And what are they running from? Converting the image to monochrome and adding a bit of sepia creates a work of art. Photographer Daryl Visser

Camera Canon 50D, 100-400 lens
Settings f14 at 1/60, ISO 400


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