Willem’s Weekly Bird Photography blog (#8)

Week 8: African Pygmy Goose (Dwerggans)(Nettapus auritus)

Once again, this week we are staying north because I’ve just returned from another photography trip on the Chobe River with CNP. For next month’s bird we are looking at the very fast African Pygmy Goose (for those who tried to photograph them taking off or in flight will know what I am talking about).

 

Pygmy goose with chicks 2

Pygmy goose (female) with chicks

Nikon D3S, Nikkor 600mmf4 fixed lens with Nikon 1.4 convertor = 850mm, ISO 640, f8, 1/2000, exposure = -0.67, WB = sunlight, Aperture mode, 25 meters from bird

Chobe River, Nature Reserve, Botswana, March 2013

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Pygmy goose taking off 1

Pygmy goose (Male) take off

Nikon D3S, Nikkor 600mmf4 fixed lens with Nikon 1.4 convertor = 850mm, ISO 1600, f9, 1/6400, exposure = -1.0, WB = sunlight, Aperture mode, 32 meters from bird

Chobe River, Nature Reserve, Botswana, November 2011

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 Pygmy goose take off 2

Pygmy goose (Male) take off 2

Nikon D3S, Nikkor 600mmf4 fixed lens with Nikon 1.4 convertor = 850mm, ISO 1600, f8, 1/5000, exposure = -0.67, WB = sunlight, Aperture mode, 15 meters from bird

Chobe River, Nature Reserve, Botswana, March 2014

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Pygmy goose take off 1

Pygmy goose (Male) take off 1

Nikon D3S, Nikkor 600mmf4 fixed lens, ISO 2500, f11, 1/2500, exposure = -1.0, WB = sunlight, Aperture mode, 15 meters from bird

Chobe River, Nature Reserve, Botswana, March 2014

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Interesting facts:

It is the smallest of Africa’s wildfowl, and one of the smallest in the world. It has the average weight of about 260-285 grams. The African Pygmy Goose is known to be nomadic. It can be found across a wide area of sub-Saharan Africa. It prefers inland wetlands with vegetation such as water lilies. It sometimes occupies open swamps, farm dens, river pools, and estuaries (Wikipedia).

The species usually nests in solitary pairs but is commonly found in small family groups outside of the breeding season. The species nests in natural hollows or the disused holes of barbets and woodpeckers in trees, preferably those standing in or close to water. It may also nest in other cavities such as holes in cliffs or termites mounds, in the disused nests of Hamerkop, or in ground sites such as papyrus stands or grass clumps. Elevated nests are usually up to 10 m (occasionally 20 m) above the ground. The species will also nest in artificially erected nest boxes (http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=415). Females compete for nest sites, resorting to fighting one another if necessary. Egg-laying season is September to April.

Ducklings have very sharp claws and are able to climb vertical wooden surfaces. They jump from the nest when the female calls them from below the nest. Only the female looks after the young although the male is in the vicinity to drive off intruding males. By 65-70 days the young have fully developed flight feathers (http://www.biodiversityexplorer.org/birds/anatidae/nettapus_auritus.htm)

The distribution map (http://www.biodiversityexplorer.org/birds/anatidae/nettapus_auritus.htm):

Pygmy goose map

 

Until next week – keep an eye on the birds and keep on shooting.

 

2 Comments

Bloemfontein Camera Club: April 2014

The fourth month of 2014 and hopefully the results of our monthly camera club meeting would not be an April fool joke to everybody. I decided to stay with my three image submitted in the Nature category and the usual 2 images in the set subject category which as “Alternative wildlife”.

Below is the outcome of my 5 images submitted for the month of April 2014– some interesting scores and decisions. Just what one can expected from an evening spend with the judges at a camera club. Just remind the readers (and myself) – I do not take scores and comments personally but rather try to learn from it. Just relax and enjoy the ride!

 

A. Nature category:

1.

Fish eagle with frog 1024 300k 72d sRGB W

Fish eagle with frog – scored 12/15 (gold award)

This image was taken during our previous trip with CNP on the Chobe River – a few weeks ago. It was very unique photo opportunity with an adult fish eagle taking out a frog from the water. Here is the fish eagle coming back to the dead tree with the small frog in its claw. One of those emotional photo one needs to be very careful (I just loved the experience seeing a fish eagle hunting a few meters from you). Do not let one’s emotions about the photo blurred your judgment on the image itself. Please look carefully and evaluate all aspects of an image before submitting it in a photo competition. In this image some negative aspect if one looks at it without the emotions – the head of the raptor is turned away slightly (no catch light in the eye) and the sun was already a bit high.

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2.

Wild dog puppy kill 1 crop 1 1920 300k 72d sRGB flip W

Wild dog puppy kill – scored 13/15 (gold award).

Just missing out on a COM award – possibly because it is not easy to see what the puppy is carrying. Also, a bit busy on the right hand side of the photo. However, you would not get an image of a wild dog puppy in better light like this. But once again – be careful with the emotions. Only you as photographer will know how difficult it was to get the shot. The judge would not know it all – only if he/she is experienced enough. And there is no way you can tell him/her that. Therefore, do not rely solely on the fact that it was extremely difficult to get the image. All the technical aspects must be in line too and correctly managed. Well, let’s see how the image did in national and international salons – image already entered into 6 salons with two medals, 1 COM and two other acceptance. Only one salon did not accept it. And hopefully there are more positive news later in year on this image.

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3.

Martial eagle nesting material 1920 300k 72d sRGB W

Martial eagle with nesting material 3– score 11/15 (gold award)

Another image in a series of a martial eagle carrying nesting material to its nest. Just made it into the gold award category with a score of 11/15. Come to think of it – the image was taken around 11h00 and that time of the day is not optimal for wildlife photography. But then, it is very rare to see a martial eagle gathering nesting material let alone getting the opportunity just after sunrise of just before sunset. But like I’ve mentioned before – you cannot tell that to the judges. If you do have a judge who is very sensitive about the technical aspects of an image (and there are many of them) and not really focusing on the story telling element, then this score is a true reflection of what score the image deserves. Do you agree? Luckily the rules for wildlife photos in a salon is that more emphasis should be placed on the story element than the technical aspects. But is everybody aware of it?

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C. Set subject – Alternative wildlife captured in camera (without manipulation in Photoshop/computer software):

The allowed two images, their scores and my comments:

1.

Wildebeest backlight 1

Wildebeest backlight – score 12/15 (gold award)

An image of the mane of a wildebeest with the late afternoon sun directly behind the wildebeest. No manipulation was done – I’ve only enhanced the colour of the mane. Not too bad a score – totally satisfied and in agreement with the judges.

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 2.

BB Jackal panning 1

BB jackal panning – scored 10/15 (silver award)

I was a bit disappointed with the score but I am sure the judges had their reasons for giving this image a silver award. All I can say – one of my better attempts at panning. For those you who have tried their hands at panning will know how difficult it is.

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Message to take home:

I’ve already discussed “emotional” photos in my post above – so I am not going to repeat myself. Just be careful and make sure about the technical aspects of your images before you start criticising the judges’ scores and crits. I would like to encourage you to experiment with your photography and forget about the judges. If you tend to focus on the judges and their crtis when you are out on a shooting, you won’t be able to develop as an individual photographer. Remember, don’t get stuck capturing the same type of photograph over and over again. Or even worst – try to be a copycat. Rather try sometime different. What about trying to capture a unique image by using a long exposure, a fast exposure, some detail shots, or try different perspectives?  You might come home with a variety of images from your photo shoot.

 

Until the next camera club meeting in May 2014, take out your camera with the aim of getting some “not the ordinary“ shots but keep on shooting!!!

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Outcome of my salon entries – Month of February 2014

The second month of 2014 and some interesting salon results. February was one of my better months with salon results especially in the international salons for example I was in overall 8th place in the German International DVF Photocup circuit. And luck is still with me – not one salon with a zero acceptance rate this month. But let’s look at the month of February 2014 and my salon results:

 

Total number of salons entered:

12 (3 national salon and 9 international salons).

 

Overall outcome:

International: 52 acceptances from 84 photos entered = 62% acceptance rate (increased from the 48% last month)

National: 49 acceptances from 92 photos entered = 53% acceptance rate (increased from the 50% in November 2013)

Medals: 4

COMs: 14

 

Now for the individual salons:

A. International salons:

 

1. 6th International Digital Photo Award “Man and Nature” 2014 (Austria):

Photos entered: 4 photos in the Nature section.

Acceptance: 2 acceptances (50% acceptance rate)

Comments: Brown hyena landscape received its first acceptance. I was not very positive about this image – I thought it was not really a salon type of image. Surprise, surprise!

 

Brown hyena landscape crop 1 1400 1MB 300d sRGB

Brown hyena landscape

Near Kamqua water hole, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

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2. 1st Tepantar International Salon 2014 (India):

Photos entered: 4 photos in the Nature section.

Acceptance: 4 acceptances (100% acceptance rate)

Comments: My first 100% acceptance rate for February 2014. Bone struggle received its first acceptance as well as its first COM award. A little bit of a busy background but I loved the interaction between the two spotted hyenas and the expression on their faces.

 

Bone struggle 1

Bone struggle

Kruger National Park, South Africa

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3. Coachella International Exhibition of Photography 2014 (USA):

Photos entered: 4 photos each in the Nature General & Nature Wildlife section = 8 entries.

Acceptance: 4 acceptances (50% acceptance rate)

Comments: Bone struggle as posted above received its second acceptance and COM in just its second salon. The judges must really like the interaction between the hyenas. On my back received its first acceptance in its first salon. I was a bit worried about the type of cropping used in this image but… Unfortunately the image did not receive an acceptance in its second salon entry – more critical judges looking for technical correct images rather than the story telling elements? Just me thinking out loud.

 

On my back 1024 300k 72d sRGB W

On my back

Laikipia, Kenya

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4. 101st Southampton International Exhibition 2014 (UK)

Photos entered: 4 photos each in the Nature & Open section = 8 entries.

Acceptance: 3 acceptances (38% acceptance rate)

Comments: None of my images entered in the Open section received an acceptance – all three acceptances were in the Nature section. Goshawk half circle received its first acceptance in its first salon entry – I am awaiting its second salon entry result.

 

Goshawk half circle

Goshawk half circle

Laikipia, Kenya

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5. 2nd Digifocus International Digital salon 2014 (India)

Photos entered: 4 photos in the Nature section.

Acceptance: 4 acceptances (100% acceptance rate)

Comments: My second 100% acceptance rate for February 2014. Hyena take away 1 received its first acceptance in its first salon entry. It also received an acceptance in the AFO National Digital salon in South Africa (last salon report in this post).

 

Hyena take away 1

Hyena take away 1

Kruger National Park, South Africa

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6. 1st DPW Grand Exhibition 2014 (Serbia)

Photos entered: 4 photos each in the Nature, Wildlife, Birds, People & Sport and Open sections = 24 entries.

Acceptance: 8 acceptances (33% acceptance rate)

Comments: I did not do well on the odd sections (remember my primary focus is on Nature/Wildlife section) – 1 acceptance each in People and Sport section. However, 3 acceptances each in the Wildlife and Bird sections make me feel much better. Zebra bite received its first acceptance in its first salon entry. The light was great when I took this image but once again, I was not satisfied with the cropping. But such is Nature – it not always possible to get the perfect shot.

 

Zebra bite

Zebra bite

Lake Nakuru, Kenya

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7. 1st Queensland International Digital Circuit 2014 (Australia)

This was a 4 salon circuit.

Photos entered: 4 photos each in the Nature section = 16 entries.

Acceptance: 1 Medal, 2 COM & 10 acceptances (82% acceptance rate)

Comments: My first international medal for February with Wild dog puppy kill 1 in one of the salons – see the image under the last salon report. It also received a COM in another salon in this circuit. Gull dropping fish was the other image to receive a COM award in one of the salons.

 

Gull dropping fish 1024 500k 300d sRGB

Gull dropping fish

Chobe River, Botswana

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8. 49th Oklahoma International Exhibition of photography 2014 (USA)

Photos entered: 4 photos in the Nature section.

Acceptance: 4 acceptances (100% acceptance rate)

Comments: My third 100% acceptance rate for February 2014 with 1 COM. I decided for this salon to re-visit a few of my “older” (images with already 3 acceptances in place) images and re-entered them. Grey-headed gull with fish was the image to receive the COM.

 

Grey headed gull with fish 2

Grey-headed gull with fish

Chobe River, Botswana

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9. German International DVF Photocup 2014 (England)

This was a 3 salon circuit.

Photos entered: 4 photos each in the Nature section = 12 entries.

Acceptance: 1 Medal, 2 COM & 7 acceptances (83% acceptance rate)

Comments: I do have a soft spot for this circuit because I’ve won my first ever medal in a salon in this circuit back in February 2012 (3 months after my first ever salon entry). I’ve decided to enter two “older” and two new images in this circuit with fairly good results. My second international medal for February with The Vulture and the Jackal 2 which also received one of the 2 COM awards. I was also rated as the 8th best individual entry overall in this salon.

 

The Vultue and the Jackal 2 1400 300k 72d sRGB W

The Vulture and the Jackal 2

Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa

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B. National Salons

 

1. 1st CPS Small Clubs Triangular Circuit 2014 (South Africa)

This was a 3 salon circuit with international judges in one of the three salons.

Photos entered: 4 photos each in the Nature, Monochrome, Landscapes and Open sections = 48 entries.

Acceptance: 2 medals, 5 COMS and 21 acceptances = 28 acceptances (58% acceptance rate)

Comments: The two medals I’ve won were for Lioness and cubs drinking water 4 (also received 2 COMs awards in the two other salons) and Single tree in grass.

 

Lioness and cups drinking water 4 1050 300k 72d sRGB yellow W

Lioness and cubs drinking water 4

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa

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 Single tree in grass field 1024 500k 72d sRGB W

Single tree in grass.

NamibRand nature reserve, Namibia

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2. 1st Lowveld National Monochrolmages Salon 2014 (South Africa)

This was a salon for monochrome images only

Photos entered: 4 photos each in the Nature, Scapes, Photojournalism & Sport, Pictorial open, Human Portraits = 20 entries.

Acceptance: 8 acceptances and 1 COM = 9 acceptances (45% acceptance rate)

Comments: Like I’ve mentioned before – I am not a monochrome image fan. Maybe because I do struggle to get the right balance between the amount of black en white in each photo. Not an easy task to develop such images perfectly. Therefore I am satisfied with my 1 COM award for Aggressive 800m start.

 

Aggressive 800m start 768 500k 300d sRGB BW

Aggressive 800m start

Bloemfontein, South Africa

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3. AFO 60th Anniversary National Digital Salon 2014 (South Africa)

Photos entered: 4 photos each in the Nature, Birds, Sport, Pictorial open, Human Portraits, Open and Monochrome sections = 24 entries.

Acceptance: 1 Medal, 1 COM and 10 acceptances = 12 acceptances (50% acceptance rate)

Comments: Wild dog puppy kill 1 received its second medal in a salon in its third salon entry. Interesting to note is it the fact that this image did not even receive an acceptance in its first salon entered. So I was a bit hesitant to enter this image in another salon because of its initial failure. It was a very difficult shot to get because of the low light conditions (just after sunrise) and thick bushes resulting in the fact that quick reactions were needed. Also, the post-processing was equally difficult especially because I had to shoot at a very high ISO level in order to get the necessary shutter speed (to freeze the movements of the puppy).

 

Wild dog puppy kill 1 crop 1 1920 300k 72d sRGB flip W

Wild dog puppy kill 1

Laikipia, Kenya

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Message to take home:

Looking at the last image posted – that of the wild dog puppy with the head and skin left of a Dik-dik antelope – I’ve just realised how lucky I was to get the shot. The two key aspects that are closely related to get great wildlife photos like the wild dog puppy are: (a) Be prepared to get that shot. I’ve decided long before the puppy made its move that I do need a relatively high shutter speed. I’ve also realised that it was a low-light situation. So I was prepared by adjusting my ISO according and well before the puppy showed itself. If you see the action happening and it is not through the camera, you are too late. There is no time to adjust the settings on the camera while the action is happening. Secondly (b) Anticipation – know your subject (its behaviour). We saw the puppies through the thick bushes playing with the kill and we know they will come through a specific area to join the rest of the group. So I prepared myself (and my camera) while we were waiting for the puppies to show themselves.

Just think about it when you are waiting for your next wildlife shoot – are you properly prepared for the action and do you know what to expect from your subject?

Until the next month, be prepared and know what to expect before keep on shooting!!!

 

2 Comments

Bloemfontein Camera Club: March 2014

Last week was the first Tuesday of the month, so it was time for another round with the judges of Bloemfontein Camera Club. And as usual, some excellent photos were projected in the three categories (Nature, Pictorial and Set subject). An encouraging sign is the number of visitors we had attending the meeting. Just remember – visitors are more than welcome to attend the club’s meeting (even coming more than once) but unfortunately they are not allowed to submit photos for judging.

This month I’ve decided to stay with my three image submitted in the Nature category and the usual 2 images in the set subject category which was “Reflection”. Here is the outcome – once again, please feel free to leave a comment – I do not take scores and comments personally but rather try to learn from it):

 

A. Nature category:

 

1.

Lazy leopard

Lazy leopard – scored 12/15 (gold award)

I was not very positive/sure about this image as I told Albie Venter – our guide in Kenya after I’ve processed the image. I thought it was not a typical camera club photo because the background is very busy – the fact that it is blurred helped but I know the judges by now. If the background is too busy, one would not get a good score. So I am happy with the score. Let’s see how the image does in international salons – to me a more objective view of evaluating an image because it is not just a once off evaluation. And I can tell you the image already received an acceptance in a salon in the UK. An emotional image for me – maybe?

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2.

Gull dropping fish 1024 500k 300d sRGB

Gull dropping fish – scored 13/15 (gold award).

Just missing out on a COM award – possibly because of the cropping of the image. Just another image I’ve developed from a series of images taken of the grey headed gulls trying to eat this fish on the Chobe River, Botswana. Awaiting the results of two international salons in which I’ve entered this image

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3.

Lioness with cubs drinking water 5 1024b 300k 72d sRGB

Lioness and cubs drinking water 5 – score 13/15 (gold award)

Another image just missing out on a COM award but on a positive note: the image was selected as the winner in the Nature category for the 4 & 5 star group. Also there was not one COM awarded during the entire evening. I just could not believe it because I thought there were a few images of my fellow photographers that surely deserved a COM. But the judges had other opinions. This image is once again part of a series of images I took of the lioness and her two cubs drinking water at Leeudril water hole in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park early one Sunday morning just before leaving the park to drive home.

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C. Set subject – Reflection:

A popular theme as the club received over 50 images in this category for the evening. Here are my two images:

1.

Ground squirrel drinking water

Tree squirrel drinking water – score 10/15 (silver award)

Not too bad a score – totally satisfied because it was not a great reflection

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2.

Lion reflection 1024 500k 300d sRGB Mani

Lion reflection – scored 10/15 (silver award)

Not too bad a score but I did expect 1 point better. However, still not a perfect reflection – so I’ll settle for a score of 11/15.

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Message to take home:

Looking at my first image (Lazy leopard), I want to emphasize the importance of the background of your image. The following piece of advice is not always possible in wildlife photography but consider the following “When a background doesn’t work, your best bet is to move somewhere else, find a different angle, or create your own. You don’t have to accept a distracting background just because it’s the only one there. Some backgrounds have so much detail that it overpowers the shot and draws attention away from your subject. The key is to find a background with a few smaller points of interest.” What I like in my Lazy leopard image, are the lines of the fever tree branches leading to the leopard with the leaves forming a natural background. How Nature intended it to be and not very often that one gets a shot like this.

 

Until the next camera club meeting in April 2014, keep your eye on the background of your image but keep on shooting!!!

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Willem’s Weekly Bird Photography blog (#7)

Week 7: Lilac-breasted Roller (Gewone troupant)(Coracias caudatus)

We are staying north for next month’s bird but they can be found elsewhere in northern part of South Africa – the Lilac-breasted Roller:

 

Roller breakfast

Roller breakfast

Nikon D3S, Nikkor 600mmf4 fixed lens, ISO 1000, f7.1, 1/2000, exposure = -0.33, WB = sunlight, Aperture mode, 15 meters from bird

Chobe River, Nature Reserve, Botswana, November 2011

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Roller breakfast 2 1024 500k 300d sRGB KRoller breakfast 2

Nikon D3S, Nikkor 600mmf4 fixed lens, ISO 1250, f7.1, 1/3200, exposure = -0.33, WB = sunlight, Aperture mode, 15 meters from bird

Chobe River, Nature Reserve, Botswana, November 2011

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Interesting facts:

It is widely distributed in sub-Sahara Africa, preferring open woodland and savanna; it is largely absent from treeless places. Usually found alone or in pairs, it perches conspicuously at the tops of trees, poles or other high vantage points from where it can spot insects, lizards, scorpions, snails, small birds and rodents moving about at ground level. Nesting takes place in a natural hole in a tree where a clutch of 2–4 eggs is laid, and incubated by both parents, who are extremely aggressive in defence of their nest, taking on raptors and other birds. During the breeding season the male will rise to great heights, descending in swoops and dives, while uttering harsh, discordant cries. The sexes are alike in coloration. Juveniles do not have the long tail feathers that adults do. It is the national bird of Botswana and the group gets its name from the aerial acrobatics some of these birds perform during courtship or territorial flights.  (Wikipedia) All rollers, including the lilac breasted rollers, are highly territorial. They are also thought to be monogamous. (http://www.sabisabi.com/wildfacts/lilac-breasted-roller)

The distribution map:

Roller distribution map

 

Until next week – keep an eye on the birds and keep on shooting.

 

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Outcome of my salon entries – Month of January 2014

A new year for salon entries for me – 2014. The start of my third year entering national and international photography salons. So let’s see how I did during the first month of my third year of salon entries. Unfortunately I had some bad luck this month with two international salon coming up with a zero acceptance rate but more about that later in the blog. The overall results.

Total number of salons entered:

8 (0 national salon and 8 international salons).

Overall outcome:

International: 30 acceptances from 62 photos entered = 48% acceptance rate (increased from the 38% last month despite two salon with zero acceptance)

Medals: 2

COMs: 1

 

Now for the individual salons:

A. International salons:

 

1. Maitland International Salon of Photography 2014 (Australia):

Photos entered: 4 photos in the Nature section

Acceptance: 2 acceptances (50% acceptance rate)

Comments: Bateleur drinking water received its first acceptance.

Bateleur drinking water 1 1024 300k 72d sRGB YR W

Bateleur drinking water

Cubitje Quap water hole, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

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2. 31st Ridgewoord International Exhibition 2014 (USA):

Photos entered: 4 photos each in the Nature General and Wildlife sections = 8 entries.

Acceptance: 3 acceptances (38% acceptance rate)

Comments: Lion portrait 1 received its first acceptance but missed out on another two salons later this month. Seems like this image is not everybody’s cup of tea.

 

Lion stare  1050 300k 72d sRGB Y&R W

Lion portrait

Near Kamqua waterhole, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

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3. Port Talbot International Digital Salon 2014 (UK):

Photos entered: 4 photos each in the Nature & Open sections = 8 entries.

Acceptance: 5 acceptances and 1 medal (75% acceptance rate)

Comments: The Vulture and the Jackal 3 was the image that received the medal for the month of January 2014 – the Port Talbot Medal.

 

The Vulture and the Jackal 3 1400 300k 72d sRGB W

The Vulture and the Jackal 3

Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa

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4. 1st BOS Salon of Projected Images 2014 (India)

Photos entered: 4 photos each in the Open, Nature & Travel section = 12 entries.

Acceptance: 2 acceptances (17% acceptance rate)

Comments: Almost 3 saved the day for me and achieved its first acceptance but it was not accepted in a salon entered earlier the month.

 

Almost 3 crop 1 1024 300k 72d sRGB W

Almost 3

Cubitje Quap water hole, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

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5. Bristol Salon of Photography 2014 (UK)

Photos entered: 4 photos in the Wildlife section

Acceptance: 0 acceptances (0% acceptance rate)

Comments: This was one of my failures this month. All four images entered were “fresh from the camera” but it did not work. Not even Hyena take away 2 was accepted. Maybe the busy background or lack of golden light?

 Hyena take away 2

Hyena take away 2

Kruger National Park, South Africa

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6. PSM International Digital Salon 2013 (India)

Photos entered: 4 photos in the Nature section.

Acceptance: 4 acceptances (100% acceptance rate)

Comments: A 100% improvement on the previous salon. The Vulture and the Jackal 6 received the second medal for the month – a bronze medal

 

The vulture and the jackal 6 1400 300k 72d sRGB W

The Vulture and the Jackal 6

Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa

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7. MOF International Photography Exhibition 2013 (Turkey)

Photos entered: 4 photos each in the General Open Colour, General Open Monochrome, Nature & Creative section = 16 entries.

Acceptance: 0 acceptances (0% acceptance rate)

Comments: My second failure this month. Interesting to note that last year I also had a zero acceptance rate in this salon. It makes on to think hard about this salon and what type of photos the judges prefer. I am not really concerned about the other sections but the Nature section is important to me. So I’ll post all 4 my images entered in the Nature section and you can be the judge. I would love to have received comments from the judges on my images but… (one can just speculate why none were accepted)

 

Playful young hyena 1

Playful young hyena

Kruger National Park, South Africa

1st entry in a photography salon

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 Ground hornbill take off 2

Hornbill take off 2

Kruger National Park, South Africa

1st entry in a photography salon

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 Wild dog puppy kill 1 crop 1 1920 300k 72d sRGB flip W

Wild dog puppy kill 1

Laikipai, Kenya

1st entry in a photography salon

 

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 Lapped faced vulture take off 1 crop 2 1024 300k 72d sRGB W

Lappet faced vulture take off 1

Bedinkt waterhole, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

6th entry in a photography salon – already received 4 international acceptances

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8. 2nd Greek Photographic Circuit 2014 (Greece)

This was a 4 salon circuit.

Photos entered: 4 photos in the Nature section = 16 entries

Acceptance: 12 acceptances and 1 COM (81% acceptance rate)

Comments: The Vulture and the Jackal 4 was the image that received the COM for the month and was the only image that was accepted in all 4 the salons.

 The vulture and the jackal 4 1920 300k 72d sRGB W

The Vulture and the Jackal 4

Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa

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Message to take home:

I’ve mentioned above that I do concentrate on wildlife photography and that is why I want to share this short message with you. Two important issues are important in wildlife photography: (a) Anticipation and be prepared to get that shot. If you see it happening and it is not through the camera, you are too late. And (b) know your subject (its behaviour) – it will assist you to be prepared and getting the shot will be much easier.

Until the next month keep on shooting!!!

 

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Willem’s Weekly Bird Photography blog (#6)

Willem’s Weekly Bird Photography blog (#6)

Week 6: Little sparrowhawk (Klein sperwer)( Accipiter minullus)

We are moving a bit more north for this month’s bird – the Little Sparrowhawk:

 

Little sparrowhawk

Little Sparrowhawk

Nikon D3S, Nikkor 600mmf4 fixed lens, ISO320, f5.6, 1/500, exposure = -0.67, WB = sunlight, Aperture mode, on beanbag from elephant hide

Mashatu Nature Reserve, Botswana, July 2012

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Interesting facts:

It is the world’s smallest Accipiter and is possibly the smallest member of the diverse Accipitridae family (Wikipedia). The little Sparrowhawk is the smallest of the family of Sparrowhawk and goshawks, weighing between 74 to 105 grams (2.6 to 3.7 ounces). Sparrowhawks have thin, fine legs, long toes and needle-sharp talons. Short, broad wings and a long tail give them great maneuverability flying through woods. They prey on small birds and insects that they catch midair, while flying through the trees at high speed. The indigestible parts of their prey become small parcels called pellets, which they regurgitate on the ground near their eating places (http://switchzoo.com/profiles/littlesparrowhawk.htm). This species has an extremely large range and they can be easily confused with the larger African Goshawk.

The distribution map:

Little sparrowhawk map

 

Until next week – keep an eye on the birds and keep on shooting.

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