It is almost the end of 2015 and just a month of two left of camera club judging for the year. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the September 2015 month camera club meeting. But lets look at the outcome of my 5 images submitted for judging this month.
A. Nature category
Just a reminder – no manipulation using computer software is allowed in this category – so what you see was what I’ve captured (and I do not like the manipulation part of Photoshop or photography for that matter).
Hyena carrying cub – scored 9/15 (Silver award)
The image was taken in during our last trip to Mashatu nature reserve with C4 Images and Safaris a month or so ago. While on an afternoon game drive we received a message that the spotted hyenas are on the move and that it was possible that they are moving their cubs to a new den. So we drove at speed to the new den, just to find the female carrying the cub (we thought the cub is only a few days old) the last few hundred meters to the new den (from the previous about 1 km away). What an experience! Not everyday that one can witness this kind of behavior in the wild – definitely something special. Not really a camera club image but really a special sighting I wanted to share.
Old lion portait – score 11/15 (Gold award)
Image taken in Kgalagadi Transfrontier park, South Africa
Once again – an “old” image of mine with my newly adapted Photoshop workflow. Just made it into the gold award category – maybe there is not enough “action” for a wildlife photo in this image. However, I just love the story telling element of the image even though there is no action – just a plain portrait of an old lion after a meal. Sometimes simplicity in an image can be effective. Lets see how this image do in national and international salon competitions – I’ve already submitted the image in a photography salon circuit in Germany.
Leopard smacked – score 14/15 (COM award and winner of the Nature category for Galaxy and Golden Honors as well as the overall winner for the evening in the senior division)
Image taken in the Greater Kruger national park – Londolozi, South Africa
The surprise of the evening – also a very emotional photo for me. Our guide (Byron Serrao) made special arrangements with the neighboring reserve to visit a waterhole on their reserve where two leopards were mating for the last few days. We found the two leopards mating in a bushy area. We stayed with them for a few hours and after sunset, they decided to go and drink water at the water hole. Next to water the mating continue and I was able to capture the moment without all the disturbing bushes around. Interesting to see in this image hoe the male leopard is getting off the female very quickly to avoid the usual smack from the female. Very, very difficult circumstances to capture a high quality image – maybe because I am not use to low light wildlife photography with some action. But hey, I am glad I’ve got the shot even with an ISO of 6400 (noise!!!) and shutter speed of only 1/1000 second (Nikon D4, 600mm lens, f4, manual mode).
- Set subject – “Hot stuff”
I’ve decided to enter two of my photos captured during our local brigade exercise in this month set subject category
Two fire sill (scored 13/15 – gold award) – just an interesting reflection of two firemen practicing to put out a fire.
The fire (scored 13/15 – gold award) – water coming from a hose held by firemen (out of sight) and the fire coming out a container
Message to take home
Three of the images submitted this month were low light images and a photographer needs to make drastic changes to the camera setting in order to capture such images. Do not make the rookie mistake I made on several occasions by shooting the next day in day light with the very same camera setting. Take a look at your camera settings at the beginning of the day and before very shoot. Also do it frequently throughout a day of shooting because the light might change within minutes. Shooting in low lighting conditions like the three images of mine (above) needs a high ISO. This is one of the most common settings to forget to reset: The high ISO from the night before. Do forget the rest: your exposure compensation, your white balance setting, and checking your autofocus switch. Just a reminder to keep an eye on your camera setting and preferably change the setting to your default camera setting after a shoot.
Until next month camera club meeting – keep on shooting