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.
First prize (R1 000 cash prize)
A picture that tells such a story, and one that took Francois two years to capture, waiting as he did, whenever he could, at Roodeplaat Dam on the outskirts of Pretoria. It’s an excellent portrait of a pair of swallows, the subjects pin-sharp against a clean, blurred background. But what really sets this image apart is that story. There’s dear old dad, clutching the morsel, feet aloft, wings aflap, giving his son the eye as if to say, “For goodness sake, can you not just lean a little closer!” Tiring stuff.
- Photographer: Francois Loubser
- Camera: Canon EOS 7D, 120-300 lens at 220mm
- Settings: f7.1 at 1/2500sec, ISO 1250
Second prize (R750 cash prize)
A fine day for washing, that’s for sure. And how pleased must the washerwoman (or man) be? The wind is up, the sun is out and the splash of colour on the line is billowing just as laundry should.
But what an unusual image of the seascape at Arniston, where Stu had taken a stroll through the fishermen’s village. Clever idea to convert the photograph to black and white except for the clothes. Those gorgeous colours just pop out of the picture.
- Photographer: Stu Bowie
- Camera: Canon EOS 50D, Canon 24-105mm at 70mm
- Settings: f16 at 1/125, ISO 100
Third prize (R500 cash prize)
A great portrait of a handsome Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill, but more because of the composition than the light. Rather, the light on the hornbill, not the light on the background. If there was just a highlight on his face, a sparkle in his eye. The beaks in the background are superbly placed and beautifully blurred so as not to interfere with our hero. They make the shot something really special.
- Photographer: Judy Woodgate
- Camera: Canon EOS-1DX, Canon 500mm lens
- Settings: f9 at 1/250 sec, ISO 125
Fourth prize (R250 cash prize)
Oh you beauty. Such a powerful shot of a black rhino in the Eastern Cape (for obvious reasons the photographer asks that the specific destination isn’t published). A poster for Save the Rhino, perhaps?
The tight crop gives it even more power, and how exquisite is that highlight up the curve of the horn? But just look at how the magnificent beast is eyeballing the photographer. Don’t mess with me, he could be saying. Or, what are you humans up to?
- Photographer: Jenny van Niekerk
- Camera: Panasonic DMC-TZ10
- Settings: f4.9 at 1/160 sec, ISO 125
About this month’s judge: Julia Lloyd was 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
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.