The countryside through our readers’ eyes and lenses. Here are this month’s four winning entries in our photographic competition.
If you missed our April winners, you can find them here.
This month’s Image Club judge
Our judge this month is Dale Morris, a regular contributor to Country Life. Born in the United Kingdom, Dale purchased a one-way ticket out, 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 dalermorris.com
A R1 000 cash prize
This is a charming, nostalgic picture with some good editing to boot. The HDR effect has done wonders with the muted sunset light in conjunction with the billowing textures of smoke. Perhaps
a central composition would have given the photo a little more balance by not clipping the smoke plume on the left of the frame. But, all in all, this is a very pleasing image.
Photographer Nobby Clarke
Camera Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, 70mm lens
Settings f/4.5 at 1/1000 sec, ISO 1600
If you’re a foamer (a steam engine enthusiast), then read our story on the Stars of Sandstone Festival.
A R750 cash prize
A great deal of thought has gone into the composition, execution and editing of this photograph. The four rocks in the foreground add interest and lead the eye into the scene. The use of a long shutter speed has added a mystical texture to the sea and clouds, and the sunset colours contrast well with the dark shadows on the mountains and in the clouds.
Photographer Mark Baker
Camera Nikon D800E, 18mm lens
Settings f/11 at 13 sec, ISO 100
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A R500 cash prize
Macro photography is not an easy beast to master. It’s hard to match composition with accurate focus. Unfortunately, Brian’s depth of field just missed the spot, as the sharpest point in his image is behind the bee’s head, and should rather be on it. It is still a pleasing photo, full of colour and vibrancy. A tighter crop to remove the distracting dark patches in the bottom corners would perhaps have added a little more balance to the overall feel of the image.
Photographer Brian Suter
Camera Nikon D500, 105mm lens
Settings f/6.3 at 1/2000 sec, ISO 400
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A R250 cash prize
These birds fly at the speed of lightning, and to capture one in mid-flight is to be commended. Howard must have excellent reflexes to track a lourie with his camera (or else he cropped the original photo). If he had dialled in his settings at a super-fast shutter speed, he might have nailed an amazing and super-sharp shot. As it is, it’s a wee bit blurry. But a good effort nonetheless.
Photographer Howard Laycock
Camera Canon EOS 7D MKII with a 100-400mm IS II USM lens at 400mm
Settings f/5.6 at 1/2000 sec, ISO 320
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How to enter
Think you can do better? Have you got a couple travel pics of the countryside that you’d like to share with us? Then head over to our Image Club entry form and throw your hat in the ring. Who knows? You might just be our next winner.
Dale R Morris is a multi-award winning feature writer, photographer and specialist guide, with more than twenty years’ experience in the art of travel writing and visual story telling. He regularly guides tribal and wildlife focused photographic expeditions to the far flung corners of the world, including destinations such as Borneo, East Africa, South America, India, Madagascar and the Antarctic. To join Dale on one of his upcoming tours, visit Oryx Worldwide Photographic Expeditions.