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:
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?
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
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.
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:
Tree squirrel drinking water – score 10/15 (silver award)
Not too bad a score – totally satisfied because it was not a great reflection
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.
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!!!