The countryside through our readers’ eyes and lenses. Here are this month’s four winning entries in our photographic competition.
If you missed our November winners, you can find them here.
This month’s Image Club judge
This month’s judge is Shaen Adey, a professional photographer and freelance journalist based in Cape Town. Shaen recently added a drone to her collection, which has been an exciting learning curve. She says she will always have a soft spot for wildlife and landscape images but that her lifestyle has pushed her towards extreme sports and aerial photography. It is similar to wildlife photography in many ways, she says, where precise timing, composition and excellent light all come together with a click of the button.
A R1 000 voucher from Burblepix, which can be spent on photobooks, canvases and journals.
My first reaction to this image of a Squacco Heron landing was ‘Wow, what a shot’. As in any winning picture, there are a few key elements that make it perfect. Firstly, the timing is absolutely perfect. A fraction of a second on either side would have missed the magnificent display of feathers splayed in action and feet grinding into the soil. The exposure is perfect with a good choice of fast shutter speed taking preference over the selection of the aperture to freeze the action. The choice of a larger aperture gives just enough depth of field so that all of the bird is focused and yet the background is soft and not a distraction. Lastly, the lighting is moody and soft, displaying the very reason serious photographers are out and about at dawn and sunset.
Photographer Jorge Correia
Camera Canon EOS-1D X, 500mm lens (4x converter) at 700mm
Settings f5.6 at 1/2000 sec, ISO 400
A R750 voucher from Burblepix, which can be spent on photobooks, canvases and journals.
I have to admit, I struggled to choose between first and second prize this month. Well done Eddie, this is a stunning image. Once again it’s all about timing and the only way I’ve ever managed to capture a picture like this was to take a burst of shots on motor drive and select the best picture later. I love the composition. It’s well balanced with the adult bird leading in from the right and the chicks sitting on the lower third of the picture. Mostly, it’s mind-boggling to see the precision adult birds use in flight while feeding impatient chicks.
Photographer Eddie Everson
Camera Canon EOS 50D, 50-500mm lens at 137mm
Settings f6 at 1/2000 sec, ISO 500
A R500 voucher from Burblepix, which can be spent on photobooks, canvases and journals.
Ok, this picture brought a smile to my face. Technically though, I think the depth of field could have been improved slightly. My first choice would be to have the un-brushed teeth and flaring nostrils crispy sharp and absolutely nothing else in focus. The alternative would be to extend the depth of field slightly so that the picture is sharp from the teeth to the eyes. Otherwise it’s a fantastic, fresh take on a zebra.
Photographer Diaz Ferreira
Camera Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 300mm lens
Settings f3.8 at 1/8000 sec, ISO 400
A R250 voucher from Burblepix, which can be spent on photobooks, canvases and journals.
I love this simple, uncluttered silhouette of a lone wildebeest meandering on the horizon. Capturing the scene in black and white with tones ranging from pitch black to light grey enhances the mood and power of the picture. Compositionally, the picture is well balanced and, in particular, I think the choice to shoot from a low angle transforms the power and interest of the image to the next level.
Photographer Alta Pretorius
Camera Nikon D5300, 18-300 mm at 250mm
Settings f7.1 at 1/400 sec, ISO 250
How to enter
Do you fancy yourself a photographer? Have you got a couple travel pics of the country side 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.
Thank you to Burblepix for supplying us with prizes for our winners.