It is the second last judging at our local camera club for 2015! In October Bloemfontein Camera Club does not have a judging evening but an AV evening. An AV evening consists of audiovisual (AV) presentation – images put together with music using special computer software. So, there were no images and scores to present in October.
I am following the advice given to me by one of our club’s senior photographers – just entering images to see how it projects on the screen. And I am so glad I did but more later in the post (Weavers fight club).
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).
Eagle with twig – scored 12/15 (Gold award)
The image was taken in during my last trip to Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in September 2015. I was fortunate to come across this Tawny Eagle sitting on the ground picking up twigs to build a nest. This image was taken as the eagle was taking off with one such twig in its beak. It was already late in the morning and the eagle took off almost in the wrong direction (with the sun coming from behind – no catchlight in the eye). The white feathers underneath the wings were almost clipped but I did manage to got some detail back in it. Nevertheless the image already received acceptances in two international salons.
Trunk taking in water – score 12/15 (Gold award)
The image was taken from the sunken elephant hide in Mashatu Nature reserve in Botswana earlier this year. I was trying to capture something different with the elephants all around the waterhole and being so close to us (about 6 meters). So I’ve tried to do some macro photography with a 600mm lens. Like I’ve mentioned earlier in this post – I just want to see how the image projects on the screen and I was not expecting fireworks from the judges. Totally satisfied with the score – it is just one of those images that you either will like or dislike. Alreay one international acceptance received with this image
Original projected on screen
Revisited during post processing
Weavers fight club – score 12/15 (Gold award)
Image taken in my backyard, Bloemfontein, South Africa
I was so shocked and ashamed when this image appeared on the screen. My post-processing was terrible and I did not realize it when looking at the image on my screen. Even one of the senior photographers told me that there is something wrong with my post processing. I told him how shocked I was when I saw the image on the screen – surely it did not deserve a gold award but thank you judges! Despite the bad post-processing this image already received two international acceptances. However, I’ve decided it is really necessary to revisit the processing of the image – see the second image above. Not very easy to capture these weavers because everything happens so fast (camera setting is manual mode, ISO2000, f7.1, 1/6400 sec, 8 meters from the birds) and the colour of their feathers is also very difficult to process. I also did not use my prime 600mm lens but decided to test my 200mm-400mm lens on these fast birds. Lets see how the newly processed image does on the salon arena – I just love the sparrow being a spectator to this fight club and I decided not to crop the sparrow out but leave it in the picture.
- Set subject – “Altered reality”
Like I’ve mentioned before, I am not really a fan when it comes to photo manipulation – therefore, I did not enter any images in this month’s set subject section. Maybe again next month when the set subject is low key photography.
Message to take home
Looking at my last image (Weavers fight club), the word/rule “Balance in photography” comes to mind. Balance in photography refers to how the photographer balance subjects in his/her image on the horizontal and vertical planes. That is yet another reasons why I did not crop the sparrow out of the image. The fighting weavers on the side and the onlooking sparrow in the other side – hopefully it creates some sort of balance in the image. By just simply putting the interesting subject of this image (the fighting weavers) slap bang in the centre of this image might work, but I think this time it would be better to have them on the left hand side of the image. I thought the sparrow would counter balance the fighting weavers on the opposing side. Just my opinion.
Until next month camera club meeting – keep on shooting