The early days in photography – Bloemfontein Camera club (part 3)

My previous post ended with some advice and hopefully this post will continue to motivate people to join and be active photography/camera club members. You don’t need to worry about the crit (negative) your photos will received from the judges. Always put their crit in a positive light, taken it home and use in your next photo session. You won’t be disappointed. All the photos used in this post were submitted for evaluation and points at the Bloemfontein Camera Club.

(Nikon D7000 camera, Nikon 105mmf2.8 macro lens, 1/20, f5.6, ISO100, exposure = 0, WB = manual, Aperture mode, 0.4meters from flower, Cederberge, Aug 2011)

In our camera club anybody can come and join us for an evening (the first Tuesday evening of every month – just go and have a look at our website). In the beginning you might feel a bit lost but the members will quickly try and make small talk with you during the tea break. Just relax and enjoy the evening. As a visitor (my first two visits to the club) I certainly felt uncomfortable as a newbie to photography but that feeling quickly disappeared. You’ll meet fellow dedicated photographers and you’ll talk about photos, techniques, equipment, trips and “sommer oor die lewe”. There is always a short lecture/talk on a particular topic – even the gurus sometimes learn from the talks.

(Nikon D3S, Nikon 600mmf4 fixed lens, 1/1600, f5, ISO800, exposure = -1.00, WB = sun, Aperture mode, 6.3meters from elephant, Chobe River, Botswana, Oct 2011)

Nowadays my experience with our camera club is very positive and I am looking forward to the next meeting. Sometimes I still feel the judges are a bit tough on the photographers but hey, remember, life isn’t always easy going and fair. But just remember, they are part of the team to see that we as newbies develop into respective photographers.

(Nikon D3S, Nikon 600mmf4 fixed lens with Nikon 1.4 convertor, 1/2500,  f7.1, ISO500, exposure = -0.67, WB = sun, Aperture mode, 25meters from zebras, Mokala National Park, Nov 2011)

To be promoted from one star to two star member and from a two star to a three star member you need a certain number of points and gold awards. In January 2012 I only needed one point to be promoted to a three star status and I decided not to use my best photos. Just to show you how different people’s opinions are, this photo was voted best image in nature division for the two star members:

(Nikon D3S, Nikon 600mmf4 fixed lens with Nikon 1.4 convertor, 1/5000, f6.3, ISO640, exposure = -0.67, WB = sun, Aperture mode, 50meters from secretary bird, Kgalagadi T. Park, Dec 2011)

And then all of the sudden my “career in the camera club took another turn” luckily this time for the best. And thanks to Lou Coetzer (professional photographer and owner of the photographic boat near Kasene on the Chobe River). During my first trip on his boat in October 2012 I took some amazing photos and it gave the confidence in my own photographic skills. And Lou encouraged me to submit all my best photos to the camera club. It paid off and here are some of the results:

Best image, Nature division for 3 star members, March 2012:

(Nikon D700, Nikon 600mmf4 fixed lens, 1/3200, f8, ISO800, exposure = -0.33, WB = sun, Aperture mode, 63meters from vulture, Giants Castle, Oct 2011)

Best image, Nature division for 3 star members, April 2012:

(Nikon D3S, Nikon 600mmf4 fixed lens with Nikon 1.4 convertor, 1/4000, f8,  ISO800, exposure = -1.00, WB = sun, Aperture mode, 7.5meters from flower, Chobe River, Botswana, Oct 2011)

Best image, Nature division for 3 star members, May 2012:

(Nikon D3S, Nikon 17 x 35mmf2.5, HDR development, f11,  ISO200,  WB = sun, manual mode, Excelsior farm, Namibai, March 2012)

My message to all of you photographers out there – take every opportunity to improve your skills as a photographer even if it is only to come and look at your fellow photographers’ photos once a month on a Tuesday evening. One day, this lion cub will be hunter – but how will she become an excellent hunter? Not by staying home and hoping for opportunities to come along! No, she will go out there and look for opportunities to improve her hunting skills. Why don’t you do the same?

Go out and become the hunter of good photos.

(Nikon D3S, Nikon 600mmf4 fixed lens with Nikon 1.4 convertor, 1/800, f4,  ISO800, exposure = -1.33, WB = sun, Aperture mode, 10meters from lion cub, Kgalagadi T. Park, March 2012)

Come and enjoy the camera club “trip” with me. I’ll post my opinion and my photos regarding the camera club on this blog on a monthly basis.

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