Outcome of my photography salon (competition) entries – Month of January 2015

The first post for 2015 regarding my salon results. I did not do a post on my salon results for December 2014 because it was a very quite month with only 1 international salon. Also, the national salon circuit in South Africa is taking a break – so this month I’ll only have international salon results. A very interesting month with mix outcomes – 2 international salons with a 100% acceptance rate but unfortunately (after almost 1 year) I do have one salon with a zero % acceptance rate.


The details are as follows:


Total number of salons entered:

8 (8 international salons).

Overall outcome:

International: 26 acceptances from 44 photos entered = 59% acceptance rate (slight decreased from the 62% last month)

National: None

Medals: 1

COMs: 3


Now for the individual salons:


A. International salons


  1. Yorkshire International Salon 2014 (UK)


Photos entered: 4 photos entered in the Nature section

Acceptance: 3 acceptances (75% acceptance rate)


Comments: The image below was one of the three acceptances but is not a-so-recent/new photo. I’ve decided to re-visit the photo just because it is something different. Image was shot in not so perfect light conditions – almost in the middle of the day. Also, not a good composition because I had a convertor on my 600mm lens when the action occurred and the jackals ran straight towards me. Nothing one can do but just keep shooting and hope for the best. But to show you that the story telling element in Nature photography is as important as the technical aspects of the image.

BB Jackal surrendered 3

BB jackal surrendered 3

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa



  1. 3rd EMPA international digital salon 2015 (Serbia)


Photos entered: 4 photos entered in Nature section

Acceptance: 2 acceptance (50% acceptance rate)

Comments: Very interesting that I do struggle to get these kind of images accepted in salons – nationally and internationally. And it is not often that one gets the opportunity to be next to mating lions with a clean fore and background. Mating lions are not that common but I’ve seen a few great images in the literature. However, I am sure you do have your own opinion about the images below. Acceptable quality?

Lions after mating 1

Lions after mating

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa



  1. 5th Rockland Exhibition 2015 (USA)


Photos entered: 4 photos in Nature section

Acceptance: 4 acceptances (100%)


Like I’ve mentioned before – it is not easy to get acceptances in a UK salon. So I am so satisfied to get a 100% acceptance rate in this salon. Also and at last I did get an acceptance for Lion portrait. I was not very success with this image – only its third acceptance in 11 salon entries. Maybe I did use not the correct aperture (f4) when the photo was taken resulting in the fact that the entire face is not perfectly in focus. Next time I’ll think about it before pulling the trigger.

 Lion stare  1050 300k 72d sRGB Y&R W

Lion portrait

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa



  1. 47th Howrah Salon 2015 (India)


Photos entered: 4 photos entered in the Nature section

Acceptance: 1 COM & 1 acceptances (50% acceptance rate)


Comments: Darter with fish 08 is an image I used in 2013 in salons and I’ve received 2 international and 1 national acceptance in its 3 entries (100% acceptance). Just received its third international salon acceptance, so now the image is placed on the shelf re: international PSA recognised salons. I was not very sure about this image but it seems the judges like it. Lets see how it does in national salons from now on.

African darter with fish 08 1024 300k 72d sRGB K

Darter with fish 08

Chobe River, Botswana




  1. Bristol salon 2015 (UK)


Photos entered: 4 photos entered in Nature section

Acceptance: 4 acceptances (100% acceptance rate)


Comments: Yet another 100% acceptance rate in a UK based salon – not too bad! And I’ve used four totally new images in this salon. Lions tail is an image captured during a overcast day and it was very late in the afternoon. So the light was very poor and I had to increase my ISO to an almost unacceptable level just to get descent images. And it was really difficult to do my routine post-processing on this image. So, I had to work hard to make it looks acceptable. However, I am very satisfied with an acceptance in this salon with this image.

Lions tail 1080b 300k 72d sRGB W

Lions tail

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa



  1. 4th Port Talbot salon 2015 (Wales)


Photos entered: 4 photos entered in Nature section

Acceptance: 3 acceptances (75% acceptance rate)


Comments: Another image I was not sure about – Two elephants in water. However, it received its third acceptance in the three international entries (100% acceptance rate for the image). I am sure it is the light and the interaction that makes this image an acceptable image. I cannot use this image anymore in international (PSA recognised) salons because after a 5 star rating, one is only allowed 3 acceptances per image. However, I think I’ll give it a try in our national salons.

Two elephants in water 1400 300k 72d sRGB W

Two elephants in water

Chobe River, Botswana



  1. Green eye 2015 (Hungary)


Photos entered: 4 photos entered in Nature section

Acceptance: 0 acceptances (0% acceptance rate)


Comments: The disappointment of the month or even better – of the year. Not sure what the judges were looking for but even Family of five did not receive an acceptance. Maybe the post processing of this images is not up to standard – need to be re-visited. No further comments – you be the judge

Family of five 1024 300k 72d sRGB YW

Family of five

Tswalu game reserve, South Africa



  1. 3rd Greek circuit 2015 (Greece)


This was a 4-salon circuit

Photos entered: 4 photos entered in Nature section = 16 entries

Acceptance: 1 medal, 2 COM & 5 acceptances (50% acceptance rate)


Comments: Much better results as the previous salon. Just to show you how wrong a photographer can be about his/her own work. Here is an example – another image I had by doubts was Mom with cub tails. However, I’ve just decided to enter the image in this circuit to see what the judges think about it. Surprise, surprise – the image received the PSA gold medal, 2 COM as well as 1 acceptance in the 4 salons. The image was captured during the same conditions as Lions tail display above in this post – so it was hard to get a decent image.

Mum with cub tail

Mom with cub tails

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa



Message to take home:


I’ve just realized that I’ve posted 7 images in this post and all of them (except for one image) were taken in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and on the Chobe River. So it is not just in real estate but also in photography that one can look at the following criteria for a good home and photo: Location, location and location.


Until next month, keep on shooting


  1. #1 by photographytricksandtipsJosef Steyn on February 21, 2015 - 9:32 am

    Baie geluk Willem. Ek dink jy doen uitstekend. Nou wil ek bietjie hulp vra. Ek sou graag per e-pos wil skryf maar hierdie medium mag dalk ook werk. Ek (Josef Steyn) en Hennie Cronje het onlangs on boek oor digitale fotografie voltooi en is besig om dit onder so veel mense as moontlik se aandag te bring. As jy meer inligting benodig kyk op http://bitly.com/17ecITw en/of skryf vir my by superfoto7@gmail.com Kan jy ook moontlik kontakinligting van die Bloemfontein Klub (en ook ander klubs verskaf?) Ek wil nie baie van jou tyd in beslag neem nie. Enige hulp sal egter opreg waardeer word.

    • #2 by whk139 on February 23, 2015 - 11:04 am

      Thanks Josef – ek het jou boodskap vir ons kamera klub se president aangestuur. Intussen kan op ons kamera klub (Bloemfontein Kamera Klub) se website gaan kyk vir verdere inligitng: http://www.bkk.co.za

  2. #3 by ziggibson on February 23, 2015 - 8:57 am

    Brilliant Pictures Willem – loved the Jackals – interesting how some of the ones I like most the judges don’t rate as highly as others – I guess judges look for other things apart from aesthetic enjoyment, which folk like me without photography experience ‘look for’. Well done! (-: Zig

    • #4 by whk139 on February 23, 2015 - 11:09 am

      Thanks Zig, yes – it is not easy doing the international competition (salon) thing. Strong competition in the international arena when it comes to Nature photography and one needs to identify and pull out the best photos in one’s library. But then the judges do look for something special in photos – the “WOW” factor and that is very difficult to determine. However, one does get some sort of experience with time but one will/can NEVER be quite sure.

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