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, regular Country Life contributor Shaen Adey was tasked with the judging duties. Here are the top four prize winners with Shaen’s thoughts.
First prize (R1 000 cash prize)
It’s always worth getting up early to catch that perfect shot. In this case not just the action at this waterhole in Etosha, but good light on a perfectly still morning. The position of the zebra and their reflection follows the rule of thirds, which is both powerful and pleasing to the eye. I love that the only zebra catching the sunlight is almost a third into the image although I’d have gone the whole hog and moved the composition a fraction to the left so that the leader of the pack stood out further.
- Photographer: Braeme Holland
- Camera: Canon 7D, EF300mm f4 lens
- Settings: f4 at 1/640, ISO 500
Second prize (R750 cash prize)
The low camera angle has changed a normal subject into something more interesting. Choosing not to extend the focus from the grass all the way to the windmill is intriguing, as this is where your eye is being drawn. But at the same time a sharp windmill would have flattened the shot.
- Photographer: Jenny Potter
- Camera: Sony Xperia C6903 cellphone
- Settings: f2 at 1/2000, ISO 64
Third prize (R500 cash prize)
Catching the perfect moment usually involves a combination of time, heaps of patience and being ready to press the shutter button in a split second. Understanding a creature’s behaviour patterns makes it easier to preempt the action but often it all just comes down to perfect timing, like the greeting of these two flamingos. A useful trick in situations where timing is everything, is take a short burst of shots and select the best one later. It’s extra homework but you won’t miss the moment. A wider aperture of, say, f2.8 would have kept the waves even more out of focus and made them less of a distraction.
- Photographer: Rod Humphris
- Camera: Canon EOS 1D-X, 600mm f4 lens
- Settings: f6.3 at 1/640, ISO 100
Fourth prize (R250 cash prize)
I love it when photographer thinks out of the box. Instead of capturing the giraffes’ silhouette, the photographer has focused on their reflections. I would have liked to have seen a little more of the bank in the picture so the giraffes have a solid base to stand on. Minor digital adjustments are allowed so I’d have tweaked the exposure a fraction to lighten and freshen up the picture a little.
- Photographer: Johan Hosten
- Camera: Canon EOS 6D, 150-600mm lens at 600mm
- Settings: f6.3 at 1/200, ISO 2500
About this month’s judge: Shaen Adey is a regular contributor to COUNTRY LIFE. When she’s not roaming around with her camera and binoculars in the Namibian or Cape wildernesses, Shaen can be found hanging off mountains, scuba diving or cycling long stretches of open road. A professional photographer and photojournalist, Shaen has logged up countless hours shooting wildlife, extreme sports and lifestyle topics. And, lucky woman, she gets to call all the fun she has doing it, work.
To submit an entry of your own, fill in our entry form here.