And so another year is almost 1 month “old” and hopefully 2016 will be full of wonderful photographic experience. I just cannot belief 2016 is only my 5th year being involved in this very exiting hobby – thanks to my wife! In 2010 I did not even know how to switch on a camera let alone using words like shutter speed, ISO, aperture and the word I feared the most at that stage “Photoshop”! Nevertheless, we joined the Bloemfontein Camera Club in 2011 and never looked back. There is so much to learn in such an environment despite the odd “unrealistic and undeserved” comments/critique from the judges – never to be taken seriously because one must remember that it is just an opinion of an individual. Lets look at the outcome of the five images I submitted for judging.
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).
Fox kiss please – scored 11/15 (Gold award)
Just made it into the gold award category. This image was taken during one of my trips to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in 2013. When I submitted the image on Sunday night before the club meeting (first Tuesday of every month) I did realise that the image is a bit flat but I wanted to how the image is projected on the screen. And one of comments of the judges was that maybe this mage was taken in not the ideal lighting condition or even in the middle of the day. It was not the case because the image was taken early one morning but I’ve just removed some of the yellow colour cast form the image otherwise the judges will complain about the colour of the image. This is just an example of the “unrealistic and undeserved” comments/critique from the judges as mentioned earlier in the post. However, I do not take it personally but I know the post-processing of the image was not up to standard.
Weaver feet locked – score 11/15 (Gold award)
This was really a big disappointment for me as the image projected on the screen was definitely not of the same standard as the image I saw on my screen. But so be it. Images projected via a data projector and projected via computer screen might not look the same. I just remember Prof Hennie Cronje during my very first photography course: “If you as the photographer likes your photo, then the photo is a success.”
B. Pictorial category
There are just the two categories in the camera club that the photographers can submit images for judging. In this category, anything type of images can be submitted except Nature and wildlife images. So, this month I’ve decided to submit a Photo Journalism (PJ) type of image for judging.
In smoke – score 12/15 (Gold award)
Image taken during a fire exercise by the Mangaung fire department last year..
Not very often that I do receive a gold award in the Pictorial category of the camera club – so I am very satisfied with the outcome.
C. Set subject – “Good, bad and ugly” – an image with three subjects will do
Just to support the club, I decide to enter to Wildlife images in this category.
Three cheetahs drinking – scored 09/15
This image was taken in during one my seven trip to the Kgalagadi in 2013.
No comments as the criteria were not very clear of what was expected from this category
Attacked both sides – scored 09/15
This image was taken in my backyard in Bloemfontein. Once again – no comments
Message to take home
It was very worrying to see that the club did not receive any images for judging from any of the 1 or 2 star members. In some instances I also don’t blame them because sometimes the judges can be very hard on them and not really looking at/adhere to the criteria on what is expected from these junior members. I can almost guarantee the young photographers – you will not agree with some of the judges on their scores or comments/critique. Just accept it and move on. But so what – just to re-peat myself from last month post – the score not not what the camera club is all about. Therefore, 1 and 2 star members should not be discouraged from submitting because it is necessary for photographers to connect with other photographers. What better opportunity (apart from being with fellow photographers on a photography safari or course with an EXPERIENCED photography guide) is there than an evening of photo judging. The three opportunities mentioned here are definitely invaluable and you will grow much faster as a photographer yourself. It is also about having fun with the assistance of your fellow trigger-happy shutterbugs.
Until next month camera club meeting – keep on shooting