Since about September 2011 I was a two star member of Bloemfontein Camera Club and what a journey! Like I said – my first few Tuesday evenings were very stressful. Just waiting for your photo to appear on the big screne, The first few photos are shown on the screen. Few silver award, sometimes a bronce or two and then a few gold awards. And you think: “O boy – why are the judges so critical tonight? Wait until my photo appear!” as they do not really give any positive comments tonigth. You wait in anticipation for your photo to appear as the photos are shown randomly. And then your first photo appears. Everybody is quiet. First you don’t even recognise your photo – just because it is on the big screen and it looks differently. Then you realise – but it is my photo. Second thought – “Isn’t the colour of the photo not too much saturated? Too bright? Are all the necessary areas sharp and in focus?” “Too late for that!” is your final thought. Then all of the sudden the coordinator call out “Willem Kruger, Kom huis toe, 13, Gold”. Everybody is clapping their hands – for you or is it for the photo? One will never know.
And then follow the comments of the judge. “I do like this photo, sharp and in focus, the interaction is there. Well done waiting patiently to capture such a moment. Not very often that one gets such an opportunity.” “No negative comments?” is the question going through your mind. Surely there must be something wrong with the photo. You wait for more comments but the coordinator already moved to the next photo. And that is it. You do feel very proud of yourself and you enjoy the moment. Just to get a bronce award for your next photo. But that is life – just enjoy it (both ways).
Well, after submitted this specific photo to our camera club, I’ve used/entered it in 8 salons (national and international) and received 6 acceptances. Surely the judges were right about this one. And here is the photo:
This is one of the first photos I took with my Nikon 600mmf4 fixed lens. I was just playing around one afternoon after work in my backyard with the lens trying to figure out how it works. While I was focusing on the male sparrow on the branch about 9 meters away from me, I saw the female out of the corner of my eye coming to join the male. I just started to shoot to see if I can get some clear and sharp shots. But I never thought at any stage she would “attack” him. Only afterwards I saw the interaction on the photo – it happened so quickly it was impossible to see the interaction with the naked eye. Well, I’ve got the shot and I just love it – the reason for the name “Ek het gesê, Kom huis toe!” (I said, come home). I am sure somebody can relate to this photo – very typical isn’t is?
Summary of this post – just an example of my feelings and experiences in my early days in the Bloemfontein Camera Club. Nowadays it is totally different. My piece of advice in this post is: “Please come and join a photography/camera club. You’ll learn a lot – not only about photography but also about yourself. Do not worry about the quality of your photos or the comments of the judges – just come and get the necessary experience of exposing yourself via your photos to the public”. More about my progress in the camera club in the next post.