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, Dale Morris was tasked with the judging duties. Here are the top four prize winners with Dale’s thoughts.
First prize (R1 000 cash prize)
This is a nice and simple capture of a Cape Sugarbird near McGregor in the Western Cape, one that stands out due to the narrow depth of field that has been used. It’s sharp on the bird’s head and feet and also on the flower, while the rest of the frame is pleasantly diffused. The simple placement of the bird in the middle of the frame works well, and the colours are vibrant and cheerful, if not a little cluttered in the bottom right of the frame.
- Photographer: Hilda le Roux
- Camera: Canon EOS 5D III, 500mm lens
- Settings: f4 at 1/3000 sec, ISO 250
Second prize (R750 cash prize)
An unusual night-time image of white rhinos drinking, taken at sunset from an underground hide in Zimbabwe. Jenny set her white balance to tungsten to create a blue effect and the otherworldly, cold colours instantly captured my attention. The blue really works in this image. Jenny has been careful not to cut any of the reflections out of the frame, and the composition is also good.
- Photographer: Jenny Hishin
- Camera: Nikon D750, 70-200mm lens at 125mm
- Settings: f6.3 at 2sec, ISO 1600
Third prize (R500 cash prize)
A quiet early morning visit to the Vermont salt pan near Hermanus suddenly came alive when there was action between the Common Moorhens. It’s the mirror-like quality and sharpness of this image that got my attention and, together with the little splashes and the symmetry, make this a very pleasing photo indeed. A little bit more empty blue space on the bottom of the frame and perhaps just a little more space at the right for the bird to ‘run’ into would have improved it even more. But it’s still a great capture.
- Photographer: James Luckhoff
- Camera: Canon EOS 700D, Sigma 150-600 at 600mm
- Settings: f6.3 at 1/2000 sec, ISO 320
Fourth prize (R250 cash prize)
This was taken from a boat on the Chobe River where the elephant had just left the water and was about to have a dust bath. I love the fluid lines of the dust. Its almost as if the elephant is getting artistic. The low angle, and the sharpness on the elephant and dust trail, make this an eye catcher. The framing might have been improved by either having the elephant more to the left of the frame or perhaps dead center in a square crop.
- Photographer: David Owen
- Camera: Nikon D4, Nikkor 80-400mm lens at 320mm
- Settings: f6.3 at 1/1000 sec, ISO 500
About this month’s judge: Dale Morris is a regular contributor to COUNTRY LIFE. Born in the United Kingdom, Dale purchased a one-way ticket at the age of 18, and thus became an exceptionally well-travelled refugee. He finally put down roots but that hasn’t ended his regular photographic adventures into Southern Africa and beyond. Dale’s award-winning writing and wildlife and travel photography have been published worldwide. See his images on www.geckoeye.com
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.