The countryside through our readers’ eyes and lenses. Here are this month’s four winning entries in our photographic competition.
If you missed our February winners, you can find them here.
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 cash prize
Cuteness overload – small creatures always work, as does this image of a days-old Helmeted Guineafowl in Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. David’s angle of view is brilliant, down on the
ground, literally eyeballing the curious chick. His limited depth of field enhances the eye contact further as the rest of the image is soft and without distraction. Space often has a place, but in this case going in close and filling the frame works really well.
Photographer David G Richardson
Camera Canon EOS 60D, 70-300mm lens at 300mm
Settings f6.3 at 1/1600 sec, ISO 800
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A R750 cash prize
This beautiful moody picture is about more than being in the right place at the right time, it’s about being 100 per cent ready with your camera as Japie was in the Pilanesberg National Park. By using a fast shutter speed he has frozen the Go-Away-Bird (Grey Lourie) in full splay as it comes in to land. The backlighting really makes the shot, as it filters through the feathers. I would have liked to see the image cropped slightly, not much, just a tad to reduce the bush and enhance the key feature – the stunning bird in flight.
Photographer Japie Bornman
Camera Canon EOS 7D Mark II 100-400mm lens at 400mm
Settings f5.6 at 1/1500 sec, ISO 400
A R500 cash prize
Rules are for breaking and here’s a classic case, where the impala is slap bang in the middle of the picture, rather than sitting comfortably on the thirds line. The vegetation in the picture tells more of a story, and the image is no longer just a portrait, it’s about an impala in its environment, Kuleni Private Game Reserve near Hluhluwe. What’s important, though, is that the bush is out of focus and therefore not a distraction. I think the image could have been improved by moving a fraction to the right so that the beautiful, big eye on the left is clear.
Photographer Ralph Schroder
Camera Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 600mm lens
Settings f/6.3 at 1/320 sec, ISO 800
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A R250 cash prize
A wonderful silhouette of a magic moment. The timing is perfect – Philip has not just captured the hand waving, he’s got the vehicle as it summits the crest of the hill, when a gap appears between the ground and vehicle. Without this the safari vehicle would merge into the horizon as a solid blob. The picture is almost black and white and yet it’s not, and the soft touch of blue in the sky adds a little depth to the picture, albeit subtle. At the end of the day these vehicles epitomise romance, adventure and travel, and I’d love to be on board, bumbling up that dirt road right now.
Photographer Philip Botha
Camera Nikon D5300, 300mm lens
Settings f5.6 at 1/2000 sec, ISO 1000
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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.