The countryside through our readers’ eyes and lenses. Here are this month’s four winning entries in our photographic competition.
If you missed our December winners, you can find them here.
This month’s judge is Julia Lloyd, a 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.
A R1 000 cash prize
What a striking shot, one that Juan calls The Protecting Hand. When his ducks recently had ducklings, Juan was horrified to discover that daddy ducks are hugely dominant, and aren’t the best fathers. This particular father was in the throes of drowning his baby when the gardener luckily came to the rescue. It’s a beautiful shot, with wonderful contrasts, and a blurred background that allows the subject matter to pop. Lucky little chap to have such safe, strong hands around him, although from his eye contact with the photographer he still looks in a state of shock. Understandably. Pity the duckling’s face isn’t a little sharper, but the hand is beautiful.
Photographer Juan Dean
Camera Canon EOS 750D, 50mm lens
Settings f2 at 1/100 sec, ISO100
A R750 cash prize
Zebras seem to be a favourite subject for photographers, judging by the amount of zebra images entered into Image Club, and how nice to get something completely different. Alta was in the Rietvlei Nature Reserve near Pretoria late one afternoon, watching two young zebras having a scrap. She was all set up and focused on them, when a third zebra ran through the foreground of her frame. If anything shouts the word ‘stripes’ it’s this most unusual composition.
Photographer Alta Pretorius
Camera Nikon D5300, 18-300mm lens at 260mm
Settings f7.1 at 1/1000 sec, ISO 100
A R500 cash prize
Wow. Golden Kgalagadi, indeed. Mark stopped at the Auob river bed early one morning, where the waterhole hadn’t been working for days, and a group of gemsbok strolled over to lick salt off a rock. Mark was photographing them in the early light as they kicked up the dust, when one moved into the shade. To have that dark shape contrasting with the golden, light-flecked background just makes this shot.
Photographer Mark Olivier
Camera Canon 70D Lens model, 150-600mm lens
Settings f9 at 1/200 sec, ISO 100
A R250 cash prize
A perfect portrait of a Natal Midlands dwarf chameleon (currently listed as Vulnerable due to loss of suitable habitat from farming and habitat fragmentation). Tyrone has framed and focused immaculately, and the way the colour scheme of background and chameleon match is superb. The little chap must have been resting within that background just before agreeing to climb aboard that finger. There’s quite a bit of space above his head but those flashes of white are perfectly placed. He looks like the King of the World.
Photographer Tyrone Ping
Camera Canon 7D, 50mm lens
Settings f8 at 1/640 sec, ISO 400
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.