The countryside through our readers’ eyes and lenses. Here are this month’s four winning entries in our photographic competition.
If you missed last month’s Image Club winners, click here.
This month’s Image Club judge
Our judge this month is Dale Morris, a regular contributor to Country Life. Born in the United Kingdom, Dale purchased a one-way ticket out, at the age of 18, and thus became an exceptionally well-travelled refugee. He finally put down roots but that hasn’t ended his regular photographic adventures into Southern Africa and beyond. Dale’s award-winning writing, and wildlife and travel photography have been published worldwide. See his images on dalermorris.com.
A R1 000 cash prize
Geo took this photograph from a bird hide at Indlovu River Lodge in Hoedspruit in the early morning. If only the image capture had been made with this raptor’s wings spread, it would have been a magnificent image. As it is, it’s still a great photo. There are a number of aspects in this image that make it a winner. First, the bird is making direct eye contact with us. Secondly, the shallow depth of field makes for an uncluttered background. And lastly, although the bird is static, the image speaks of action, of a bird alighting to take a drink from his favourite watering hole.
Photographer Geo Jooste
Camera Canon 1Dx, 300mm lens
Settings f/3.5 at 1/5000 sec, ISO 200
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A R750 cash prize
The reflected cold lighting in this image of the Waenhuiskrans Cave in the fishing village by the same name (also known as Arniston), makes me think of glacial ice caves. Alta has used a slow shutter speed to blur the lapping waves, which adds an extra depth of mystery to this shot. This image makes me want to discover this secret-looking place for myself.
Photographer Alta Pretorius
Camera Nikon D5300, 18-105mm lens
Settings f/4.5, ISO 100
A R500 cash prize
I like the way Jenni has focused on the semi-abstract with this photo taken in Addo Elephant National Park. Instead of going for a standard portrait of what was, no doubt, a handsome lion, she opted for an image about form and shape. At once recognisable as a lion, it is also quite unusual and therefore eye-catching. A pity she didn’t use a larger depth of field, as not all the important elements are as sharp as they could be.
Photographer Jeni Smithies
Camera Nikon D5600, 600mm lens
Settings f/6.3 at 1/500 sec, ISO 1000
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A R250 cash prize
Jenny enjoyed the fruits of a well-planned photo shoot by the looks of things. Either using a tripod, or a sturdy stone, she positioned her camera in order to get a slow shutter speed to show movement in the water and to give the water a soft, silky, ethereal quality. I like the way the waterfall in Harold Porter National Botanical Garden extends its reach through the ghostly flow of surface water. If I have one gripe, it’s the distracting chunk of foam in the bottom right corner. A squarish crop would remove this disrupting element.
Photographer Jenny Powis
Camera Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 16mm lens
Settings f/16, ISO 100
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.