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, Julia Lloyd was tasked with the judging duties. Here are the top four prize winners with Julia’s thoughts.
Florian never ceases to impress the judges and it’s not surprising considering the thought he puts into his photographs. He calls this image of a seagull at the mouth of Onrus River in Hermanus ‘Spirit Gull’, a title that shows the creativity that went into the photograph.
He could so easily have used a fast shutter speed and achieved another ‘same-old’ photograph of a ubiquitous gull coming in to land. Instead, his slow speed brilliantly captures the grace in that wing movement, which, combined with the clever transformation to black and white, turns this into art. The bird becomes a ballerina.
- Photographer: Florian Breuer
- Camera: Canon 40D, 70-200mm lens at 200mm
- Settings: f13 at 1/10 sec, ISO 100
Second Prize (R750 cash prize)
A beautiful example of the effect of using a long lens a pinsharp feather against a blurred background. The composition is stunning, although perhaps to flip the image horizontally would be easier on the eye, allowing the viewer to see the feather lower left, and then move out top right, into the unknown. But, that aside, this is magical stuff here, and I am wondering if this is not the finest photograph of an Egyptian Goose that I have seen. I have him
vividly in my mind’s eye, dropping a feather, before flitting off to find his mate in the mist. Perhaps this feather is his ‘crumb’, his clue, to let her know he was looking, if he doesn’t find her.
- Photographer: Ryan Ramsamy
- Camera: Canon 70D, 400mm lens
- Settings: f5.6 at 1/2000 sec, ISO 1600
Third Prize (R500 cash prize)
Was this pure luck to have captured this mid-air moment? I think not. I think Johan was entranced by the light at Mana Pools early one morning and sat in wait, watching this chap up the trunk. Johan was all set up, hoping for that leap down to ground as the sun peeped through the trees, in order to freeze a moment that he could perhaps title ‘Right. Sun’s up. Let’s get started.’ It’s a great composition, the light is magnificent, and the magic of Mana in that mysterious background is supremely captured. What does the day hold for our hero?
Fourth Prize (R250 cash prize)
Oh you are such a gorgeous parrot posing so beautifully for the camera. All fluffed up and gazing intently at Emmanuel, and with your claw placed just right. The lovely blues and greys are such a foil for the yellow, and that fab hairdo just jumps out of the dark background. A little less of the bottom of the pic and we’d have the perfect parrot pic.
- Photographer: Emmanuel Fernandes Viveiros
- Camera: Nikon D90, 70 – 300mm at 150mm
- Settings: f8 at 1/125sec, ISO 200
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.
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.