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, 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)
Wintery days often dish out real treats for photographers brave enough to face the elements. It’s a time when beautiful light bursts through gaps in the clouds and rainbows often fill the sky. It’s all about painting with light and in this shot Evelyn has managed to capture the evocative mood of the Knysna Lagoon, which is enhanced by the muted colours. I love the position of the little yacht moored in the foreground, not quite on the thirds golden rule, but still drawing me into the picture. Having recently paddled out through The Heads I’m also well aware of its treacherous waters and love how the mist looks like a large wave rolling in. Well done Evelyn, you’ve captured an emotion not just a picture.
- Photographer: Evelyn Gibson
- Camera: Leica V-LUX, 28-400 lens at 91.1 mm lens
- Settings: f8 at 1/1600, ISO 400
Second prize (R750 cash prize)
A wonderfully simple, clean and colourful shot. Anyone who has tried to photograph a moth will know how difficult it is to get close enough to the insect before it flutters off, let alone manage to capture a sharp image. The striking colours in the strelitzia enhance the sliver of yellow on the wings of the moth, otherwise barely noticible. Leon has applied the KISS rule, (keep it simple, stupid) and limited all possible distractions by isolating the main subject from the background with his lighting and exposure. The butterfly is well composed a third of the way into the image with a comfortable balance between its position and the flower.
- Photographer: Leon Pelser
- Camera: Sony SLT-A55V, 100-300mm lens at 105mm
- Settings: f7.1 at 1/50, ISO 800
Third prize (R500 cash prize)
A stunning shot of a Pale Chanting Goshawk in flight, photographed in Addo Elephant National Park. Moving subjects are a real challenge and managing to capture a bird of prey in flight, with everything from its eyes to its wingtips in focus, is a fantastic achievement. Trevor chose a fast shutter speed to freeze the movement and has delivered sharp focus throughout the whole image. Well done.
- Photographer: Trevor Butler
- Camera: Canon 5D MK II, 100-400mm lens at 220mm
- Settings: f6.3 at 1/5000, ISO 800
Fourth prize (R250 cash prize)
Small creatures always capture hearts, even if they aren’t a species fit for the catwalk. I love the composition of these spotted hyenas in the Kruger National Park, from the adult high on the left sweeping down to the sleeping pup on the right. The stick tells part of the unseen story, a toy clearly dragged in by playful pups, one of which is now exhausted and has fallen asleep.
- Photographer: Nobby Clarke
- Camera: Canon EOS 7D, 100-400mm lens at 400mm
- Settings: f11 at 1/200, ISO 320
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.
How are your photography skills? Can you take pictures like these winning photographs for our Image Club competition? There is prize money to be won and exposure in the magazine. Who knows, your image may even make the cover of one of our upcoming magazine issues! To submit an entry of your own, fill in our entry form here.