Outcome of my photography salon (competition) entries – Month of May 2014

Well, it is the month of May 2014 and I’ve reached my second goal in entering photography salons. The goal was to meet the PSSA requirements for an EPSSA honours award namely 500 acceptances in the Nature sections with no more than 3 acceptances per photo. Unfortunately the PSSA decided to change the requirements this year – at least 50% of the acceptances (250) must be in national salons. And so I received my last required acceptances in national salons this month. After this month’s results, I do have a total of 697 acceptances in the Nature divisions of national (266 acceptances) and international salons. So my application for the EPSSA honours award is in the post on its way to the PSSA.

Yet another milestone for me in photography salons (totally unexpected) – rated as #20 on Top Overseas Exhibitors in Nature Projected Image division of the Photographic Society of America (PSA) “Who’s Who in Photography” annual for 2013. More information on this link: http://www.psa-photo.org/index.php?whos-who

Once again – no zero acceptance salons for me for this month. Now for the actual details on the results for the month of May 2014:


Total number of salons entered:

9 (3 national salon and 6 international salons).

Overall outcome:

International: 31 acceptances from 55 photos entered = 56% acceptance rate (slight decreased from the 59% last month)

National: 59 acceptances from 108 photos entered = 55% acceptance rate (decreased from the 65% last month)

Medals: 0

COMs: 13


Now for the individual salons:

A. International salons:


1. 1st Good Light International Exhibition of Art Photography 2014 (Serbia):

Photos entered: 4 photos each (except Child) entered in the Good light, Decisive moment, Child, Nature, Open colour & Open monochrome sections = 23 photos.

Acceptance: 8 acceptances (35% acceptance rate)

Comments: Eye through door received its first COM international award in only its first salon entry. And last month the image only received a silver award during our local camera club judging. Just to show you how judges’ opinions could differ. Do not be discourage about one’s images by looking at the outcome of just one event. Keep on trying if you think your image is worth getting another change.


Eye through door 1024 300k 72d sRGB W

Eye through the door

Stud farm outside Bloemfontein, South Africa.



2. PFM International Salon 2014 (India):

Photos entered: 4 photos entered in the Nature section.

Acceptance: 3 acceptances (75% acceptance rate)

Comments: Well, just to show the opposite of the previous salon. Leopard in the dark was the only image that did not receive an acceptance in this salon. And last month the very same image received the perfect score (15 out of 15) during our local camera club meeting. It was also selected the overall winner in the senior category. Now, you can view both these images and decided for yourself.


Leopard in the dark 1

Leopard in the dark

Mala Mala nature reserve, Greater Kruger National park, South Africa



3. Massachusetts 2014 Nature Exhibition (USA):

Photos entered: 4 photos entered each in the Wildlife & Nature sections = 8 entries.

Acceptance: 6 acceptances (75% acceptance rate)

Comments: I’ve entered a few “new” images in this salon and I was very surprise to see Bee eater bath receiving an acceptance. The Bee eater in the image is not pin sharp but it was the best image I was able to capture of these Bee eater birds diving into the water (to drink water). One does not know where they will dive in and they are so quick. Just getting a glimpse of one through the camera was initially acceptable for me. Very, very difficult shot and if I see another similar image, I would realise the degree of difficulty to capture these birds drinking water and appreciate such image even more.


Bee eater bath 1 1400 300k 72d sRGB W

Bee eater bath

Chobe nature reserve, Botswana.



4. 1st Lucknow International Photo Expo 2014 (India)

Photos entered: 4 photos each in the Nature section.

Acceptance: 4 acceptances (100% acceptance rate)

Comments: Three puppies playing received its first COM award in its fourth salon entry. Not a wow image but I loved the interaction between the wild dog puppies. Not very often that one gets the wild dogs in the open. It was difficult image to develop in Photoshop due to the lack of good light on the dogs as well as the high ISO (5000)(aperture of f5) needed to get a decent shutter speed (1/2000) to freeze all the action. Hopefully I’ve done a decent job of it.


Three puppies playing 1024 300k 72d sRGB W

Three puppies playing

Laikipia reserve, Kenya



5. JCM circuit 2014: (India)

This was a 3 salon circuit held in India.

Photos entered: 4 photos entered in the Nature section = 12 entries.

Acceptance: 1 COM & 6 acceptances (58% acceptance rate)

Comments: The interaction between the vultures and the Black back jackal at Giants Castle seems to be a favourite amongst international judges. One must remember that, in wildlife photography, the ultimate goal of any photographer is to capture the interaction between different species. As in the image The vulture and the jackal 3 below which received a COM (FIAP ribbon) award in one of the three salons. This image already received 3 international medals in the past.


The Vulture and the Jackal 3 1400 300k 72d sRGB W

The vulture and the jackal 3

Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa



6. 1st Aspirations International Photography Exhibition 2014 (India)

Photos entered: 4 photos each in the Nature section.

Acceptance: 3 acceptances (75% acceptance rate)

Comments: A very interesting acceptance was the Leopard yawn image. My first every decent leopard sighting in the Kgalagadi but the background was not the best one could wish for. So I had to do the best I can. I waited for a very nice yawn and luckily the leopard hasn’t disappointed me.


Leopard yawn 1 1050 300k 72d sRGB W

Leopard yawn

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa



B. National Salons


1. 1st HKK National Circuit Salon 2014 (South Africa)

This was a 3 salon circuit.

Photos entered: 4 photos entered each in the Pan scapes, Portrait, PJ, Wildlife and Open colour sections = 60 entries.

Acceptance: 4 COMs & 28 acceptances = 32 acceptances (53% acceptance rate)

Comments: Meerkat looking for love received COM awards in two of the three salons and an acceptance in the third salon.


Meerkat looking for love 1080b 300k 72d sRGB W

Meerkat looking for love

Tswalu Private Nature Reserve, Northern Cape, South Africa



2. West Rand National Salon 2014 (South Africa)

Photos entered: 4 photos entered each in the Pictorial, Landscapes, Mono portraits, Abstract, Animals and Mono Technology sections = 24 entries.

Acceptance: 4 COMs & 9 acceptances = 13 acceptances (54% acceptance rate)

Comments: BB Jackals fighting 1 was one of the four images to receive a COM award in this salon. This image is doing well so far in salons with a 100% acceptance rate in 5 national and international salons. I was a bit too close the jackals with a 1.4 convertor on my 600mm lens as well. I did not expect the fighting to occur between the two jackals – now I know better. However, I’ve managed to get both jackals in the frame while they were fighting near Kji Kji water hole in the Kgalagadi. Luckily I was using an aperture of f8 and I was 32 meters from the jackals.


Jackals fighting 1 1024 500k 72k sRGB yellow W

BB Jackals fighting 1

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa



3. 1st PPC Colour National Salon 2014 (South Africa)

Photos entered: 4 photos entered each in the People, Scapes, Story telling, Abstract, Sport and Open colour sections = 24 entries.

Acceptance: 2 COMs & 12 acceptances = 14 acceptances (58% acceptance rate)

Comments: Not very often that I do get a COM award in the People/Portrait section because I am not a fan of studio photography but this time around I got lucky. Side ways colour was one my first ever studio images captured during my Beginners course with Prof Gert Lamprecht. At that stage of my photography “life”, I was just struggling to get the focus point of the camera on the face of the model. Luckily for Prof Gert’s advice, I’ve managed to capture this interesting image in his home-made studio. Initially, because of my lack of Photoshop skills, I’ve converted this image into a monochrome images and it did very well nationally and internationally. A month or two ago I decided to give it a try in colour and to my surprise it is doing very well. It already received three acceptances in four national and international salons. This was my first COM award with this image.


Side ways colour 1024 300k 72d W

Side ways colour

Bloemfontein, South Africa



Message to take home:

I am not a very creative person but at some stage in one’s photography career you need to be very creative. Otherwise you’ll get frustrated and you won’t develop as a photographer. Some piece of advice I’ve read somewhere on the Internet regarding creativity helped me a lot:

“Taking pictures isn’t the only time you have to use your creative eye. You can use it by looking at other people’s pictures to see what you could have done differently, or what factors you will take from their pictures to add to your photography. As you go through your daily routine, you can imagine that you are constantly looking through a viewfinder or LCD screen, and as your eye develops, you will have more and more ideas for creative shots everywhere you go”.

I think very good advice and I tend to use it nowadays. Especially when travelling. Look around and let your imagination run wild.

Until the next month, be creative by looking around but keep on shooting!!!


  1. #1 by LieselArt on June 23, 2014 - 7:58 pm

    Well done. Hou so aan

    • #2 by whk139 on June 24, 2014 - 2:34 am

      Thanks vir die comment, Liesel!

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