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

We are coming close to the end of the 2013-2014 salon cycle in South African which started in July 2013 and will end in July 2014. Last year I was fortunate to finish 5th in the PSSA’s Impala trophy. Currently I am in 4th place. The Impala trophy is the rankings of all the photographers (members of PSSA) in South Africa according to the number of salon acceptances in most the national salons. The points accumulated by members throughout the year determine the ranking. These points will be gained on National and International salons recognised by PSSA and which is held within the borders of South Africa only.

The point system – points are awarded as follows:

Award  National Salon   International Salon
Acceptance 1 2
C. O. M. & other medals 2 3
Winner in the Category 3 4


To summarise – one needs to be an all-rounder to be high up in the rankings because photos accepted all the different categories e.g. open, nature, portraits, scapes, sport, ext. are used to determine the rankings


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


Total number of salons entered:

8 (3 national salon and 5 international salons).


Overall outcome:

International: 14 acceptances from 32 photos entered = 44% acceptance rate (decreased from the 56% last month)

National: 24 acceptances from 68 photos entered = 35% acceptance rate (decreased from the 5565% last month)

Medals: 1

COMs: 6


Now for the individual salons:


A.   International salons


  1. Hoylake International Photographic Exhibition 2014 (UK)


Photos entered: 4 photos in Nature section

Acceptance: 3 acceptances (75% acceptance rate)


Comments: This is the third year I’ve entered this salon and my best ever result. I received 2 COMs – Wild dog puppy kill 1 was one of those two images.


Wild dog puppy kill 1 crop 1 1920 300k 72d sRGB flip W

Wild dog puppy kill 2

Laikipia nature reserve, Kenya



  1. 1st Pathshala International Salon 2014 (India)


Photos entered: 4 photos in Nature section

Acceptance: 2 acceptances (50% acceptance rate)


Comments: Very interesting – Wild dog puppy kill 1 received a COM in the previous salon but did not get an acceptance in this salon. Also Leopard in the dark did not receive an acceptance. I’ve entered this image now in 6 salons without success – maybe because the judges cannot see what the image is all about. So, the image is going to the “dustbin”. Like my wife said – this image is a portfolio image and not a salon image


Leopard in the dark 1

Leopard in the dark

Mala Mala nature reserve, Greater Kruger national Park, South Africa



  1. 3rd Danube Exhibition 2014 (Serbia)


Photos entered: 4 photos entered in Water & Nature sections = 8 entries

Acceptance: 4 acceptances (50% acceptance rate)


Comments: A very unexpected acceptance in Elephant 3. I just love this unique image taken from the underground elephant hide in Mashatu. So looking forward to go back to Mashatu early next month.


Elephants 3 in a row 1024 500k 72p W

Elephant 3

Mashatu Nature Reserve, Botswana



  1. 3rd Le Catalan International Photographic Salon 2014 (France)


Photos entered: 4 photos entered in Open, Monochrome & Nature sections = 12 entries

Acceptance: 3 acceptances (25% acceptance rate)


Comments: A very low acceptance rate but still within the normal range. Judges in salons are looking to acceptance the top 10-30% on images submitted in a salon. 2 acceptances in the Nature division and 1 acceptance in the Open division. The acceptance in the Open division was Grass in mouth. I did chance the colour of the image slightly to give it more punch. Looks like it is working


Grass in mouth 1024 300k 72d sRGB W

Grass in mouth

Just outside Bloemfontein, South Africa




  1. 42nd PSNY International Salon of Photography 2014 (USA)


Photos entered: 4 photos entered in Nature section

Acceptance: 2 acceptances (50% acceptance rate)


Comments: Received 1 COM for Grey headed gull dropping fish. I’ve decided to visit/use a few of my older images ever so now and again. This time with good effect.


4 Grey headed gull dropping fish W

Grey headed gull dropping fish

Chobe Nature Reserve, Botswana



B.   National Salons


  1. Rustenburg National Digital Salon 2014 (South Africa)


Photos entered: 4 photos entered in Nature wildlife, Nature Birds, Nature Bird monochrome, Open, Sport & Macro sections = 24 entries

Acceptance: 2 COMs & 10 acceptances (50% acceptance rate)


Comments: It seems like the judges did not like my nature images – only 3 out of a possible 8 acceptances. Tawny eagle in flight is also one of “older” images taken in 2011 in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Just love the low angle shot and the full craw of the eagle.


Tawny eagle in fligth 1

Tawny eagle in flight

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa




  1. CCC Digital Salon of Photography Monochrome 2014 (South Africa)


Photos entered: 4 photos entered in Still life, Scapes, Human portraits, Archtecture, Transport & Theatre/Stagec sections = 20 entries

Acceptance: 2 acceptances (10% acceptance rate)


Comments: This was a monochrome salon with very interesting and unusual sections in this salon. The announcement of the results of this salon was delayed for a few weeks – could the unusual sections have something to do with it? I’ve talk to a few fellow photographers and they were equally unimpressed with the section. I just wonder how many photographers in South Africa have images taken in theatres/stages. I would love to see the totoal number of entries in this salon compare to the normal number of salon entires in a National salon. Nevertheless, my results was very disappointing – 10% acceptance rate and well below par for me. Almost a disaster with the lowest acceptance rate in a national salon ever for me. I do not really like Archtecture but luckily one ofthe two accpetances was 1902.


1902 BW 1080 300k 72d sRGB W


War memorial & Museum, South Africa




  1. Magalies Foto Fun Club 3rd Salon of Digital Monochrome Photography 2014 (South Africa)


Photos entered: 4 photos entered in Animal portrait, Scapes, Children, Archtecture, Nature & Open sections = 24 entries

Acceptance: 1 Judges Medal, 1 COM & 8 acceptances (42% acceptance rate)


Comments: Yet another monochrome salon with the more conventional (usual) sections. This time 1902 did not receive an acceptance – just to show you how opinions might differ. Aggressive 800m start was the successful image with he Judges’ choice medal.


Aggressive 800m start 768 500k 300d sRGB BW

Aggressive 800m start

Bloemfontein, South Africa


Message to take home:


Looking back at the outcome of my salon entries for June 2014, I do think it was not what I expected. Normally one tends to start analising ones images. Just be careful what people call ‘framing paralysis’. Framing paralysis is a phenomenon where photographers do take their camera with them and they will even slow down enough to see the photographic opportunities around them. However, before picking up their cameras, they already start to think what the judges at the club/during a salon will say. Just the mere thought of the comments/critique/salon standards will stop them lifting their camera up to frame the shot.


So, stop thinking about stuff like: “Will these kind of images look stupid?” or “What will people think about the images? Stop think about other people’s opinion but rather start thinking about the technical aspects so that you can get that wow image.


Until next month – keep on shooting those technical correct images without worrying about salons and judges



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