Outcome of my photography salon (competition) entries – Month of May 2015

And yet another month of photography salons comes to an end and we are almost halfway through 2015. Not a very successful month when I look at the outcome of the 9 salons I’ve entered in May 2015. But like I’ve mentioned in last month post – each acceptance is one closer to my goal of achieving the EPSA and EPSSA mil honours awards.

The details of the salons are as follows:

 

Total number of salons entered:

9 (5 international salons & 4 national salons).

Overall outcome:

International: 21 acceptances from 56 photos entered = a low 38% acceptance rate (down from 71% last month)

National: 53 acceptances from 116 photos entered = 46% acceptance rate (down from 60% last month)

Medals: 2

COMs: 8

 

Now for the individual salons – because my low acceptance rates I’ve decided to show some of the images that did not receive an acceptance in a specific salon:

 

  1. International salons

 

  1. 50th Oklahoma exhibition 2015 (USA)

 

Photos entered: 4 photos entered in the Nature and Open sections = 8 entries

Acceptance: 5 acceptances (63% acceptance rate)

 

Comments: Goshawk shake was an interesting non-acceptance in this salon. This image has already received a COM award in a national salon in South Africa. Not sure the judges appreciated the sense of movement created when the goshawk was shaking is feathers to remove the raindrops from it.

Goshawk shake 1024 300k 72d sRGB W

Goshawk shake

Squirrel hide, Flatlander, Norway

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  1. PFM Salon 2015 (India)

 

Photos entered: 4 photos each entered in Nature section

Acceptance: 3 acceptance (75% acceptance rate)

Comments: Yet another interesting non-acceptance image in this salon – Sea eagle 600. I do like this image just because of the degree of difficulty to capture this image. So, this is now a typical “emotional” image. Difficult – shooting with a 600mmf4 lens, standing & hand held the camera and lens, following and keeping focus on the bird while the birds is sweeping down from the sky, shooting from a moving boat, low light conditions, do I need to say more. I was just very glad when I look at my image on the back of my camera and I saw I did not clip the wings and everything is in focus. Maybe the tips of the wings are just too close for comfort to the edge of the image – nothing I can do about it because I did not really crop the image (especially around the tip of the wings).

Sea eagle 600 1024 300k 72d sRGB W

Sea eagle 600

Flatlander, Norway

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  1. Ecological truth 2015 circuit (Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria)

 

This was a 4-salon circuit in 4 different countries

Photos entered: 4 photos entered in Nature and water sections = 32 entries

Acceptance: 7 acceptances (22%)

 

What a disaster of an outcome for me – 0nly an 22% acceptance rate! The Rock hasn’t received an acceptance in one of the salons. I like the image but maybe the rock is too strong an element in the foreground. Only two acceptances in 12 salon entries for this image. Now this is really an indication that it is not a good image – to the shelf with this image!

 The Rock 1024 500k 72d sRGB W

The Rock

Magoebaskloof, South Africa

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  1. 1st Crown Salon 2015 (India)

 

Photos entered: 4 photos entered in the Nature and Open sections = 8 entries

Acceptance: 5 acceptances (63% acceptance rate)

 

Comments: Yet another “tested” image of mine was not accepted in this salon namely Fire fighters. Must say, it is not easy to get acceptance in the Open category with PJ type of images. So I am not really worried about the non-acceptance – not that I do get worried! Already 6 acceptances in 9 national and international salons with this image.

Fire fighters 1 1024 300k 72d sRGB L frame W

Fire fighters

Bloemfontein fire brigade, South Africa

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  1. Pathshala salon 2015 (India)

 

Photos entered: 4 photos entered in Nature section

Acceptance: 1 acceptance (25% acceptance rate)

 

Comments: Wow, what a disappointing outcome for me! But hey, one needs to expect more than these type of results. Not all the judges like one’s style of photography. Cheetah lipstick is an “old” image of mine that needs just another acceptance before I can submit it to the PSA for Galaxy rating. But not to be! Well, maybe next time? I am sure it is not that a bad image – so I’ll give it another try.

Cheetah lipstick

Cheetah lipstick

Mashatu nature reserve, Botswana

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  1. National Salons

 

  1. Midrand and Centurion Camera Club circuit 2015 (South Africa)

 

This was a 2-salon circuit

 

Photos entered: 4 photos each entered in the Nature, Open, Sport, Creative, PJ monochrome and Open monochrome section = 48 entries

 

Acceptance: 5 COMs & 14 acceptances (40%)

 

A new image I’ve decided to give a try – Howz that. Not a successful start with it with not an acceptance in either of the two salons. Maybe not enough action for a cricket image? The crop is too tight?

Howz that W

 

Howz that

Bloemfontein, South Africa

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  1. 3rd Edenvale salon 2015 (South Africa)

 

Photos entered: 4 photos each entered in the Nature, Animal portrait, Open colour, Travel/sport, and Open monochrome section = 24 entries

 

Acceptance: 1 medal, 1 COM & 12 acceptances (58%)

 

Another image that is not really doing well in salons is Spider web. This one I am not sure what is wrong but nevertheless – 6 acceptance in 17 salon entries. Also maybe an image for the shelf?

Spider web 1

Spider web

Mala Mala nature reserve, Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa

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  1. 2nd Paarl salon 2015 (South Africa)

 

Photos entered: 4 photos each entered in the People, Scapes Story telling, Open colour, and Abstract sections = 24 entries

 

Acceptance: 2 COMs & 8 acceptances (42%)

 

Another “you like it or not” image that did not receive an acceptance in the Open section – Sunburst in room. Only 1 acceptance (and for that matter a COM) in 4 salon entries. Makes you wonder about the image.

Sunburst in room 1024 300k 72d sRGB W

Sunburst in room

Kolmanskop, Namibia

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  1. West rand Photography club salon 2015 (South Africa)

 

Photos entered: 4 photos each entered in the Open monochrome, Altered reality Portrait, Open colour, and Scapes sections = 20 entries

 

Acceptance: 2 COMs & 8 acceptances (42%)

 

Another interesting non-acceptance for Sunlight reflection hole. So far the image has achieved full marks (accepted in all salons) in 4 international and 3 national salon. Now all of a sudden a non-acceptance. Interesting!

Sunrise reflection Hole

Sunlight reflection hole

Hole in the wall, Eastern Cape, South Africa

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Message to take home:

 

It is not a habit of mine to publish such a negative post but I think it is necessary. Also to show the reader how subjective photography competition are and that one should not get discourage but rather learn from it. There is a saying: “Shoot for yourself. Don’t try to get approval of others.” Surely it is so true, unless you need to please a client, of course. One needs to remember this quote even if you do enter photography competitions or salons. However, for many of us, photography is just a hobby and hopefully not an obsessive type of hobby. If photography is a hobby, why should you care what other people think of your pictures? If you like you image, it is considered as a success. That said, having a critique of your work in order to improve on it is one thing, and I think it is necessary in order for you to learn and to develop in photography. But, the need for gratification such as the number of ‘likes’ on social media is something you should try to learn to live without. Just something to think about.

 

Until next month, keep on shooting

 

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Natures Best Photography Africa 2015 competition – results

The winners of the Natures Best Photography Africa 2015 competition were announced on Tuesday evening during a gala event but unfortunately I was unable to attend (middle of the week). However, I saw the winners and the winning images were posted on the website of the competition. Nice to see two of my images amongst the winners on the website – many of these winners are professional and experienced wildlife photographers. Another image of mine received a honoured award. Total of three awards for me – very chuffed with myself to have won and saw my images amongst these prestigious names in wildlife photography.

 

The link to the winners: http://www.naturesbestphotographyafrica.com/2015-winners/

 

My two winners are:

First runner up – Mammals of Africa:

Almost 2 crop 1 1920 300k 72d sRGB Y W

Almost – taken at Cubitje Quap waterhole in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

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Second runner up – Birds of Africa:

Goshawk challenge 1400 300k 72d sRGB W

Goshawk challenge – taken at about 2km north of Samevloei waterhole in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

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Honoured Award – Mammals of Africa

Hippo aggression 2 by Willem Kruger1

Hippo aggression – taken on the Chobe River, near Kasane, Botswana

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Until next time – keep on shooting!!!

 

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Bloemfontein Camera Club meeting: Outcome of my images submitted – June 2015

It is almost time for our next camera club meeting and I haven’t post the outcome of my images submitted for our June 2015 camera club evening. Rather late than never! This month I was requested to be one of the three judges for the evening – so I was not allowed to score/judge my own images. It was up to the other two judges to do their thing.

Right, so lets see what the two other judges thought of my images – the results of my images submitted to Bloemfontein Camera Club for the month of June 2015:

 

  1. Nature category

 

Just a reminder – no manipulation using computer software is allowed in this category – so what you see was is what I’ve captured (and I do not like the manipulation part of Photoshop or photography for that matter).

 

1.

Lioness and cups 4 W

Lioness and cubs 4 – scored 13/15 (Gold award and winner of this section)

The image was taken at Leeudril waterhole, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa

I decided to re-visit some of my “older” images and try a new Photoshop development workflow on it. So I submitted this image just to see how it will be presented via the data projector. Disappointingly the image looked a little bit flat on the screen. So I went back afterwards and added a bit of contrast and colour to it. I’ve submitted this image now in one or two salons – only time (judges’ opinions) will tell.

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2.


The Hug b W

The Hug b – score 12/15 (Gold award)

Image taken in Tswalu Nature reserve, Northern Cape, South Africa

Once again – an “old” image of mine with mine with my newly adapted Photoshop workflow. This image looked must better on the screen, so I decided to stay with it as it is. Now for the salons and judges.

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  1. Pictorial category

 

Any type of images other that nature images can be submitted in this section and manipulation using computer software is allowed. Like I said before – I do try and minimize this manipulation of photos thing.

 

1.

Fire and water 1080 300k 72d sRGB L W

Fire and water – score 12/15 (Gold award)

Image taken during the fire brigade exercise in Bloemfontein

I just decided not to submit all three my images in the Nature category but also submit a few images in the Pictorial section. This time I’ve submitted a Photo Journalism (PJ) type of image. Also a reminder – no manipulation using computer software is allowed in the PJ category. So nothing was added/removed/changed in this image. I was really satisfied with the score for this image because it is not easy to capture images under these low light conditions (with the highlights in the flames that are very easily clipped/burn out)

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  1. Set subject – “Silhouette

This time I had an image of two that I can use in this set subject – so I’ve entered two images just for the fun of it.

1.

Quiver sunset star W

Quiver tree star – score 9/15 (Silver award)

Image taken during our recent Namibia trip at the Quiver tree forest at Keetmanshoop, Namibia

For those who know Hougaard Malan’s landscapes techniques – giving the setting sun the finger at Quiver tree forest. No further comments

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2.

On the dune W

On the dune – score 9/15 (Silver award)

Image taken during our recent Namibia trip on a dune on Excelsior farm, NamibRand reserve, Namibia

My wife playing the model on the dune just after sunrise. During a landscape photography safari, a few minutes after sunrise the photography session is usually over (Pak op, pak op!!!), Then it is time to play around and so I did. And the result – what they called an arti-farty image

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Message to take home

 

Just a short message on the outcomes of camera club meetings/judging:

“No one enjoys being told what’s ‘wrong’ with something that they’ve created, but it’s going to happen, whether you ask for it or not. Even the best photographers have their critics; so it’s not a matter of skill, it’s simply the way the world works.”

 

My advice: The outcome of the camera club judging should not be taken too seriously. Rather keep on doing what you are enjoying despite the scores/crits of the judges.

 

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Overall winner of the Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year for 2015

Just a follow up on a previous post of mine – the overall winner of the Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year for 2015 was announced. Unfortunately my image did not won the Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year for 2015. However, a great image selected as the winner. Still, I consider it an honour to have been been selected as one of the finalists.

Here is the link to the 2015 Winners and finalists:

http://africageographic.com/africa-geographic-photographer-of-the-year-2015-winners/

My image selected as one of the finalists:

Almost 3 crop 1 1024 300k 72d sRGB W

 

Until next time – keep on shoot!!!

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Who’s Who in Photography: Photographic Society of America (PSA) 2014

Wow, I did not expect this – what a surprise! I am ranked #16 on the Photographic Society of America (PSA) Overseas Exhibitors for the year 2014. Great to receive some reward and recognition for all the hard work.

Just some background information on this Who’s Who list – quoted from the PSA website: During the formation of PSA, a Who’s Who in Photography listing was created – the only such list in the world. The first actual publication of the Who’s Who in Photography list was in the January 1942 issue of the PSA Journal. Top Exhibitor Boxes of Who’s Who featured those who accumulated the most acceptances in PSA-recognized international exhibitions each year. The Nature division: There were 129 recognized exhibitions and circuits consisting of 245 judgings, resulting in a total of 980 possible acceptances.

The cover page of the Who’s Who journal: PSA Who cover page 2014   The Top USA and Overseas exhibitors’ lists: PSA Nature list 2014   Until next time – keep on shooting

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Outcome of my photography salon (competition) entries – Month of April 2015

I had more time in the month of April 2015 to enter photography salons. However, I was still selective when it comes to entering international salons with so many available to enter. My main aim with entering international salons is to get 3 acceptances per image in order to move up through the different Galaxy rating of the Photographic Society of America (PSA). Earlier this month I’ve received the message from the PSA Nature organizer that I’ve achieved the 3 Galaxy rating (achieving a total 513 acceptances with 171 photos in the Nature division). So now my next aim is a total of 700 acceptances in order to qualify for the EPSA (recognition of photography achievement (ROPA)) award. But lets get back the salon outcomes.

 

 

The details of the salons are as follows:

 

Total number of salons entered:

5 (5 international salons & 1 national salons).

Overall outcome:

International: 48 acceptances from 68 photos entered = 71% acceptance rate

National: 13 acceptances from 20 photos entered = 60% acceptance rate

Medals: 2

COMs: 5

 

Now for the individual salons:

 

A. International salons

 

  1. Cheltenham 2015 (UK)

 

Photos entered: 4 photos entered in the Nature section

Acceptance: 4 acceptances (100% acceptance rate)

 

Comments: Just want to remind the readers what I’ve posted in an earlier post of mine – the fact that it is not that easy to get acceptances in UK based photography salons. So I am more than satisfied with the outcome of this salon. BEE EATER WITH BUTTERFLY is doing well for itself – one of the acceptances in this salon – with it second acceptance in just its second entry. I was not so sure about this photo because I had to use a high ISO to get a decent shutter speed resulting in a somewhat noisy image. I’ve tried my best to remove the noise without losing details in the bird.

Bee eater with butterfly 1400 300k 72d sRGB W

BEE EATER WITH BUTTERFLY

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa

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  1. Sydney Habour Salon 2015 (Austalia)

 

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

Acceptance: 2 acceptance (25% acceptance rate)

Comments: A very low acceptance rate for this salon but one cannot win it all. So, somewhere along the line one can expect a serious dip in the acceptance rate. RED was one of the two acceptances – only its second acceptance in 5 salon entries. Seems like this photo is not a favourite with the judges. However, just one more acceptance and I can put this photo to rest.

Red 1400 300k 72d sRGB W

RED

Bloemfontein Botanical Garden, South Africa

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  1. 55th Midland Salon 2015 (UK)

 

Photos entered: 4 photos entered in Nature section

Acceptance: 1 COM & 3 acceptances (75%)

 

A very interesting COM award for DOVE TAKING OFF WATER. Image taken in Kgalagadi with lot of patience waiting for the Cape turtle doves to take off from within the water pool in the middle of the road. It is the third acceptance for this image (5 entries) – so this image is now “used up” and it is going to the shelve.

Dove take off water 1400 300k 72d sRGB W 

DOVE TAKING OFF WATER

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa

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  1. 4th Hoylake Salon 2015 (UK)

 

Photos entered: 4 photos entered in the Nature section

Acceptance: 1 medal & 2 acceptances (75% acceptance rate)

 

Comments: Another 75% acceptance rate in a UK based salon – very satisfying. Winning a medal is even more satisfactory. LAST LIGHT won this medal for me. Once again – patience paid off, as we had to follow this clan of meerkats for more than 1 km on foot (running and not walking) carrying all our heavy photography equipment before they settled down in a specific area and started with their foraging exercises. What an experience!!!

Last light 1080 300k 72d sRGB W

LAST LIGHT

Tswalu nature reserve, Northern Cape, South Africa

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  1. Digitalna Foto Arhiva Circuit 2015 (Croatia)

 

This was a 4-salon circuit – 4 salons in 4 different countries (Croatia, Montenegro, Ireland, and Serbia)

Photos entered: 4 photos each entered in Nature, Birds and Wildlife sections = 48 entries

Acceptance: 36 acceptances (75% acceptance rate)

 

Comments: An extraordinary high acceptance rate for an international circuit for me. I’ve entered 4 new landscape photos taken during a recent Namibia photography safari with Hougaard Malan in the Nature section. I’ve received 15 out of a possible 16 acceptances – very rewarding because I am not really a landscape photographer. GHOSTLY MILKY WAY was the only photo that received 3 acceptances – missing out on one acceptance.

Ghostly milky way

GHOSTLY MILKY WAY

NamibRand nature reserve, Namibia

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 B. National Salons

 

  1. 4th VPS Landscape salon 2015 (South Africa)

 

Photos entered: 4 photos each entered 5 of the six section – Nature landscape, Nature landscape with human elements Landscapes (separate colour and monochrome sections) = 20 entries

 

Acceptance: 1 medal, 4 COM & 7 acceptances (60%)

 

A very interesting salon with only landscape photos that can be entered – not manipulated, with human elements and manipulated photos. Once again, our recent Namibia & Wild Coast photography safari saved me because I’ve used a lot of the photos taken during these trips in this salon. However, it was a photo taken during an earlier trip in Magoebaskloof (TREE ABOVE) who won the medal for me. It is its second medal and 6 acceptances in 6 salon entries for this photo. And a 60% acceptance rate in an all landscape salon is more than enough for me.

Tree above 1024 72k 300d sRGB W

TREE ABOVE

Magoebaskloof, South Africa

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Message to take home:

 

Thinking about the VPS Landscape salon and me being a wildlife photographer using mainly long telephoto lenses – consider the following piece of advise I’ve read somewhere on the web:

“Often, when photographing a landscape, there is a particular element of the scene that has caught your eye and made you want to capture the image.  With a telephoto lens, it is possible to isolate that key element and bring it to the fore of the composition, You will find that the change of focal length may be refreshing as even local landscapes can be transformed to something unfamiliar when seen through a telephoto lens”

 

Until next month, keep on shooting

 

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Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year 2015 – finalist

Wow, what a surprise when I open the email with the following message from the African Geographic magazine:

“I am thrilled to report that your jackal and grouse image has been selected as one of our finalist in the Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year Competition!!!

 

The image:

Almost 3 crop 1 1024 300k 72d sRGB W

 

It was amazing to be one of only 15 finalists in this prestigious photography competition – almost 10 000 entries were received for this year’s competition.

Unfortunately my image was not selected as a category winner (posted today) but nevertheless, it was a honour just get an image selected as a finalist. Here is a link to the image

http://magazine.africageographic.com/weekly/issue-46/photographer-year-finalists/2015-photographer-year-finalists-image-4/

 

And the link to the category winners – stunning photos and a worthy Wildlife/Scenic category winner by Chris Renshaw:

http://magazine.africageographic.com/weekly/issue-47/photographer-year-category-winners/winner-wildlifescenic/

 

Can wait to see who will win the overall price – to be announced on May 29, 2015!

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