A R1 000 cash prize
Three often appears to be the magic number where photography is concerned. One zebra is nice, two zebras are okay, four zebras not so great. But three? Three works well, like this trio at Dunkeld Country Estate near Dullstroom. The off-centre composition of this shot is very pleasing and the subdued colours are appealing. A slight crop to the top of the frame would tighten and tidy the image up
a bit and bring the focus more intently onto the subject matter.
But nonetheless, it’s a good shot.
Photographer: Alta Pretorius
Camera Nikon: D5300, 18-105mm lens at 70mm
Settings: f5.6 at1/800 sec, ISO 200
A R750 cash prize
The lighting for this image of a Red-eyed Dove is almost spot on. I like
the highlights, which have been very well exposed. The central composition
crop keeps things nice and simple, and the use of a super-fast shutter
speed has captured sharpness in the feathers and frozen the action in crystal clarity. If I had one suggestion, it would be to slightly darken the background on the left of the frame to obscure the distracting imbalance
of flowers and leaves. This could be done digitally with a dodge/burn tool,
or by using a little additional underexposure during the shot.
Photographer: Burkhard Schlosser
Camera: Nikon D500, 70-200 mm lens at 170mm
Settings: f6.3 at 1/2500 sec, ISO 720
A R500 cash prize
Another very simple, yet expertly captured shot of a bird in flight, this time a Bateleur leaving the ground. It’s the elegant curve of the wings and the curl of the feathers that capture my eye, along with the shallow (but not too shallow) depth of field that makes the bird ‘pop’ out of the image. There is a little bit of catchlight in the eagle’s eye, which also helps to enhance the image. Sharpness has been achieved by the use of fast shutter speed. A tiny use of post-processing shadow could well have lifted a little additional detail in the bird’s blacker areas.
Photographer: Trevor Butler
Camera: Canon EOS 5D MK II, 100-400mm lens at 300mm
Settings: f6.3 at 1/5000 sec, ISO 500
A R250 cash prize
Simplicity and placement of the subject make this ‘bird on a stick’ shot an eye catcher. The application of a shallow depth of field and using a decent telephoto lens has made for a very even and pleasing, diffused background, lacking in clutter or distractions. It’s a great example of how a well-shot photograph can turn what might have been a drab subject (an LBJ) into a very appealing image. The eye contact from the bird is also pretty cute.
Photographer: Stu Bowie
Camera: Canon 1D Mark IV, 300mm lens
Settings: f8 at 1/2000 sec, ISO 400