And the verdict is out after Tuesday’s monthly Bloemfontein Camera Club meeting (and I have just received the email as confirmation) – a promotion to join the other 10 members of the 5 star membership of the club. A steady but a bit of a bumpy ride for me since my wife and I joined the club around March 2011. Nevertheless, it is always better to look forward to what the future has installed than what happened in the past. But one should learn from the past. Lets get back to last Tuesday (the first Tuesday evening of the month) and my photos.
I only needed 1 point to be promoted to the 5 star group before the June meeting, so I was not really concerned which photos to enter/use. I do believe in a balanced portfolio, so I once again entered two photos in the Nature division and one photo in the Pictorial section. The set subject was the Movement and I submitted the permissible 2 photos. Here are the three photos and the scores:
A. Nature section for 4 & 5 star members:
1. Ostrich dusty start 1 – scored 11/15 (Gold award, I did not really expect a gold award but I loved the actions in the late afternoon with a bit of backlighting. It was not easy to process the photo and get the detail of the ostrich feathers back.)
Taken during my trip to the Kgalagadi in Feb 2013 near Leeudril waterhole.
2. Curious young jackal – scored 11/15 (Gold award, once again I did not really expect a gold award because the backside of the jackal is not sharp but it was because of the grass and bushes around the jackal. However, I loved the sharpness of the face coming out of the blurred grass and bushes. )
Taken during my trip to the Kgalagadi in December 2012 near Marie se gat waterhole very early in the morning – the sun was not yet above the dunes, a pity.
B. Pictorial section for 4 & 5 star members:
My photo submitted in the Pictorial section:
Man on the beach: – scored 10/15 (Silver award – no comments other than to say I like the atmosphere/mood created in this photo)
A friend of ours volunteered to walk on our private beach during our photography safari and workshop with Hougaard Malan.
C. Set subject open to all our club members: Movement
My photos submitted in this section:
Keeping up with mum: – scored 10/15 (Silver award – no comments)
Taken during my trip to the Kgalagadi in December 2012 near Rooiputs waterhole on our way to Nossob.
Slow wave: – scored 10/15 (Silver award – once again no comments)
With Hougaard Malan on his photography safari to Hole in the Wall. He taught us to photograph and capture the movement of the waves on the sand – a first for me and I do feel good about it. Unfortunately we did not have the much needed clouds in the sky.
Message to take home:
I was thinking of the Curious young jackal and this message I read came to mind:
I realise many photographers spend time removing single stems of grass from their images or clone out unwanted objects such leaves and branches from the image just to ensure that the image is not too “busy”. Just remember, in wildlife competition, we are not allowed to remove anything with Photoshop from an image. Dust spots, yes. However, real life elements that was a part of the original scene, not allow to be removed or blurred. Therefor, wildlife photography is about shooting what you see and presenting that to your viewer. When looking at wildlife photos, remember the subjects/animals/birds were captured in their natural environment. Out of focus grass in front of the subject adds to the image as it creates a real representation of a natural moment and setting the scene for a great image. Just make sure, before you take the photo, that such elements are not to strong elements(very distracting) in your image. Just my opinion being on several wildlife photography safaris in these 2-3 years – luckily we can agree to disagree.
Until next month’s club meeting (and yes, I’ll be there and I will not regard the comments or scores of the judges as personal), keep on shoot!!!