The countryside through our readers’ eyes and lenses. Here are this month’s four winning entries in our photographic competition.
Did you miss our Image Club winners for October? Don’t worry. You can find them all 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. To see more of Dale’s work and to join him on a photo expedition, visit Oryx Worldwide Photographic Expeditions.
A R1 000 voucher from Burblepix, which can be spent on photobooks, canvases and journals.
Although, at first glance, this appears to be an average picture of a white rhino (taken one morning in Zimbabwe), my eye keeps coming back to it and lingering. The dust gives drama, the framing element of vegetation and branches draws my eye to the prominent rhino that stands alert and confused in a nicely off-centre position in the frame. A closer look reveals the other, larger rhinos in the background. The photo has atmosphere and, although from a technical point it’s a fairly simple photo, it’s nonetheless appealing.
Photographer Harry Randell
Camera Canon EOS 70D, 85mm lens
Settings f/5.6 at 1/1000 sec, ISO 100
You also might like: Baby Rhino Orphans Find a New Home in Limpopo
A R750 voucher from Burblepix, which can be spent on photobooks, canvases and journals.
This image, taken in the late afternoon in Hluhluwe Game Reserve, could win hands down for cuteness factor alone, but there is much more to it than those endearing ‘cuddly kitten’ and ‘puppy-dog eyes’ photographs. The colours are beautiful, and the relatively low angle makes the zebra ‘pop’, as does the use of a shallow depth of field. There is space on the left of the frame for the zebra to ‘run’ into, and the oxpeckers (despite the top one being cropped at the wing) add an extra element of movement to what might otherwise be a rather static frame.
Photographer Jacqui Bull
Camera Canon 5D Mark IV, 70-200mm lens at 200mm
Settings f/3.5 at 1/800 sec, ISO 500
You also might like: Hluhluwe Birding
A R500 voucher from Burblepix, which can be spent on photobooks, canvases and journals.
Simplicity and serenity. That’s what this image of an African Spoonbill at Zibulo bird hide in Mpumalanga conjures up for me. Photographers call this kind of exposure ‘high key’ – the photograph is overexposed, either intentionally or accidentally, and the results are often clean, white skies and bleached-out colours. I might have preferred a little crank on the contrast to give the bird a slightly less washed-out look, and I might have framed the image to include more of the reflection (for symmetry’s sake). However, it’s a lovely photo. Well done.
Photographer Craig Gissing
Camera Nikon D500, Nikon 200-500mm lens at 330mm
Settings f/5.6 at 1/320 sec, ISO 1250
A R250 voucher from Burblepix, which can be spent on photobooks, canvases and journals.
I think it’s the unusual topic that makes this photo so eye-catching. What on earth are those yellow circles for? Are these crop circles taken to the next level? Do aliens now plant flowers and not merely flatten crops into patterns? If so, how nice. Actually, the circles of rapeseed (Canola) flowers you see here are Land Art, created to burst forth in the wheat fields outside Caledon by renowned landscape artist Strijdom van der Merwe. In this drone shot, the exposure has been managed well despite the presence of dark, cloud shadows and bright, sun patches. The dominance of the foreground circle contrasts nicely with the one further away to right of the frame, giving the image a certain level of depth. I feel like I am there, flying over those fields.
Photographer Peter Belcher
Camera DJI FC6310 (Phantom 4 Pro) drone with a 24mm lens
Settings f/5.6 at 1/1000 sec, ISO 100
How to enter
Do you fancy yourself a photographer? Have you got a couple travel pics of the country side 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.
Thank you to Burblepix for supplying us with prizes for our winners.
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.