And so we came to the end of yet another year in photography – 2014 – my fourth year since I’ve taken up this very interesting hobby. This last camera club meeting for 2014 was not as disappointing as the previous month’s meeting and hopefully we will have an interesting year of photography ahead of us.
But lets get back to the results of the evening’s meeting. This time around I’ve decided to stay with my various subject and that is Nature. So, I’ve entered all 3 images that we are allowed to submit in the Nature category. The set subject for December was “Minimalistic”. Just to support the club, I’ve decided to go for the challenge and I’ve submitted two images. And here are the results of all five images of mine:
- Nature category
Tree at sunrise – scored 13/15 (Gold award)
Taken during our photography safari with Albie Venter in the Mashatu Game reserve earlier this year.
I just love the early morning light on the tree. Because I do love shapes, lines and so on in my photos, the triangle formed by the grass in front of the tree caught my eye and it was a big attraction for me to try and the shot. Unfortunately there were no clouds in the sky that morning and we only stayed in the Lekgotla buch camp for one night. So, I’ve decided to capture the moment even though the conditions were not perfect. And it worked for me. However, I thought the judges will penalise the image because of the lack of clouds – luckily they did not.
Owl look – score 12/15 (Gold award)
Taken during a previous trip to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in November 2013.
On previous occasions I saw this hole in the tree at Graig Lockhart water hole but there was nothing going on in or around it – so I did not take notice off it. However, friends of us (Lamps and Alma) visited the park earlier and told us about the pearl spotted owlet staying in this tree. So later on we visited the water hole and the tree again. And we got this very nice surprise. I’ve already entered this image in a national salon earlier this year but it did not receive an acceptance. I’ve entered this image in two other international salon circuit – would be interesting to see the outcome of those circuits. Will the camera club judges’ scores be a reflection of the judges’ opinion in the international salons? Only time will tell.
Lions Tail – score 12/15 (Gold award)
Taken during my last trip to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in November 2014.
On our first day in the park we were told about this price of lions with 7 cubs staying around the 13th bore hole for the past 5 days. We could not find them but on the second day (unfortunately it was a heavily overcast day), as we were driving back to camp, the pride of lions were back and they came to drink water at the water hole. It was already very late and the light was terrible (as one judge mentioned in his crit). However, just loved the interaction between the two cubs. I did not really expect a gold award because of the light but I do accept the honour.
- Set subject – “Minimalistic”
Tree squirrel head – scored 12/15
Taken during my first ever photography safari to Mashatu game reserve in Botswana in 2012.
Interesting outcome – not sure the image fits the description of minimalistic but thank you for the score – I’ll take it and leave. Just take note – no manipulation in Photoshop on this image – just the beauty of a 600mm lens (depth of field of this lens created the blurred effect)
Stop engine – score 10/15
Taken during a Kiekie safari organized by the camera club earlier this year.
More of the macro type of photo of a (oil) dipstick of an old Jaguar motor – totally happy with the outcome and score. I just love the contrast in colour in this photo
Message to take home
When I’ve reviewed my first image submitted for this month’s camera club, I am thinking of some of the advice given to us by Hougaard Malan. Also looking at him in action on a photography safari – you’ll come to see how important this piece of advice is:
The first step when you arrive at a scene (before taken a landscape photo or for that matter any type of photo) is to put down your camera and equipment, take a deap breath and step back from the scene. The camera in some instances can act very much like a security blanket. One usually feels save behind the camera but it could also be barrier or even a shield between us and our subject/scene. You migth not be able to see the bigger picture from behind the camera. If you do put down your camera and step back/step around it, you might be able to get a totally different perspective on the scene in front of you. The idea here is simply to relax yourself, free your mind from all the pressure you put on yourself just to get that ideal shot and enjoy the moment. Therefore, you will remove yourself from the need to just think and adjust your camera setting settings and rather focus on the scene. With such an approach, you would be able to identify the smaller things that could result in the WOW image (like that piece of grass infront of the quiver tree in my first image. If I was too focus on the light, the tree, the horizon, the rules of third, and so on, I might have missed that triangle. So, next time just relax and enjou the moment before you focus on the shot. That will get you in the right relaxed mood and surely you”ll enjoy the shoot and images.
Until next month and next year’s first camera club meeting – keep on shooting