Kiekie (Photo) Safari: Bloemfontein Camera Club – Women’s monument and area, April 2014

A month or two ago our camera club (Bloemfontein Camera Club) organised the first Kiekie Safari for 2014 – to the “Vroue monument” (Women’s monument/War memorial) and surrounding area in Bloemfontein.


What is a Kiekie Safari? It is a photo opportunity/safari organised by our local camera club to a specific location preferably in or around Bloemfontein. The location and the date as well as the starting time are communicated to all the members of our club and any member was welcome to attend. This time the venue was the War Memorial and anybody interested had to report to the gate around 06H15 (just before sunrise) on that specific Saturday morning. A list of categories are provided to the photographers and each photographer is allowed to submit his/her best image in each category. In the past, photographers were allowed to take as many images as he/she likes, take the RAW images home, develop his/her best images with Photoshop/Lightroom or any other photo development software and after two weeks an informal gathering is held where images are projected on a screen. The best image in each category is selected as well as the best image of the day. It is all for fun. For this kiekie safari, the categories were (1 image per category was allowed):


1. Macro/close up image

2. Image of a statue

3. Image reflecting movement

4. Image emphasising lines

5. Image with a minimalistic approach

6. Images emphasising circles


For this Kiekie safari, the rules were changed. A photographer was allowed to capture his/her images from 06H15 to 09H30. After 09H30, the photographer must select his/her six images on his/her camera and present the images on the memory/camera card to the safari coordinator. He then uploaded the image unto a computer and at 10H00 everybody enjoyed breakfast at the local restaurant while the images were projected. Therefore, no one was allowed to develop their images on a computer – only some development processes were possible using in-camera processing. Very interesting because now the photographer must thinking critical before capturing a scene because one cannot make significant changes in the image for example changing the composition afterwards with the cropping factor in the computer processing software. And it was challenging!


Here are my six images of the day – remember, no post-processing was done on a computer. I only reduced the size of the image for this blog. Reason for the quality of the images

1. Macro/close:

Macro lines


2. Image of a statue

Man and his horse


3. Image reflecting movement

Run away train


4. Image emphasising lines

Chain shadow


5. Image with a minimalistic approach

Door handle


6. Image emphasising circles

Train wheel


Message to take home:

Thinking back to this kiekie safari – it was really challenging. But at the end of the day, one needs to know your camera. Cameras today have so many options, buttons, and dials it’s no wonder so many people shoot in Auto mode. In cases like this photo safari, shooting in Auto mode is not going to assist you. In fact, it will hamper your creativity. But can we blame people shooting in Auto mode? No, but learning to operate one’s camera can be a daunting task, and if Auto takes pictures that are generally good enough, why bother with all the menus and knobs? Sometimes people try to learn how to operate their cameras to take better pictures but is confusing that people give up in frustration because it’s so overwhelming. Advice I read somewhere in the media is: “Just pick one aspect of your camera at a time and learn it thoroughly. By concentrating on one aspect, you will likely avoid the frustration and burnout that often comes with trying to learn too many new concepts at once. With this approach the various elements such as exposure and photography will slowly start to come together. In photography it pays to be more like the tortoise: slowing down might not seem ideal at first, but it will help you produce brilliant results in the end”. Secondly, join a camera club and learn from your fellow photographers.


Until next time, keep on learning and keep on shooting!!!





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