The countryside through our readers’ eyes and lenses. Here are this month’s four winning entries in our photographic competition
Working with golden-hour side-lighting adds the winning elements of texture, saturated colours and interesting shadows and contours to this striking image of the dunes of Namibia. Through thoughtful composition, triangles – the strongest shape a photographer can work with – are stacked one upon the other, creating layers that invite the viewer into the depth and space of this arresting landscape. The photographer managed to capture that illusive, much coveted quality to an image – mood.
Photographer Josh Louw
Camera Canon EOS 50D, Canon 100-400mm at 285mm
Settings f6.3 at 1/1000, ISO 250
Focusing on the Big Five can become the wildlife photographer’s Achilles heel, if the beauty and impact of smaller game and the synergy that exists between animals and birds go unnoticed. Kudos to the photographer for capturing an impala and Red-billed Oxpecker in the Kruger National Park, in such an interesting way. The crop certainly provides impact and the textured sharpness of the subjects against a bokeh (an out of focus background that becomes blurred points of light) simplifies the composition. And then nature delivers that captivating element of colour in the bird’s signature beak and eye.
Photographer Stu Bowie
Camera Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, Canon 300mm lens at 300mm
Settings f/6.3 at 1/640, ISO 800
A pair is better than one, especially in wildlife and bird photography. And if the pair is as striking as these Grey Crowned Cranes in Lady Grey in the Eastern Cape, the photographer has a winning photo. Maximising on the elements of texture and colour, the photographer’s patience paid off, allowing him to capture some quiet interaction between the birds. Shallow depth of field works well as it places the subjects against a soft, neutral background. One small problem is the bright white feather on the left that contains no detail. This type of problem illustrates why photographers choose to capture RAW images in certain situations, as it allows you to recapture detail during post-processing.
Photographer Rodnick Biljon
Camera Canon EOS 7D, Tamron 150-600mm lens at 600mm
Settings f8 at 1/400, 1SO 320
The three horses in this scene on Noordhoek Beach, Cape Town, create that illusive centre of interest that landscape photographers sometimes miss in their solitary quest to capture nature. Perfectly placed on the bottom third line, they furthermore illustrate the scale of the scene, emphasising the majestic quality of the mountains and creating a sense of awe in the viewer. Nature demonstrates how she creates order and balance through triangular and rectangular shapes that the photographer captured beautifully. One word of post-processing advice is to crop out or remove the little mound to the left of the horses, as its brightness distracts the viewer’s eye.
Photographer Neil Preyer
Camera Canon EOS 5D MarkIII, Canon70-200mm
lens at 200mm
Settings f3.5 at 1/2000, ISO 200