Right, let’s do some catch up with my images submitted to our local camera club and lets look at the outcome. I was in the Greater Kruger National Park at the time of submission and I did not take any images with me for submission. So, I had to quickly develop a few images from our time in the park and luckily our camp had some excellent Internet facilities. The results of my 3 images submitted to the Bloemfontein Camera club for judging in the Nature section are as follow:
Bloemfontein camera 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).
Leopard aggression – scored 12/15 (Gold award)
Nikon D4 camera, Nikon 600mmf4 lens, Gimpro head fixed with power clamp on the railing of a safari vehicle, ISO 4000, f11, 1/640 second, exposure compensation = -0.67, Aperture priority, White Balance – sun, fill in flash used, 7,5 meters from animal.
This photo of the so-called Mashaba female leopard was taken in the Londolozi Nature Reserve. She was feeding on an impala kill for about a day and she had her almost 1 year cub with her. Two or more leopards do not usually feed on one kill but this mother was still tolerating the youngster near the kill. In this image she just finished feeding on the kill in the last sunlight of the day and was showing some aggression towards her cub. The sun was from the left and therefore no catchlight in the eye.
Dwarf mongoose three – scored 11/15 (Gold award)
Nikon D4 camera, Nikon 600mmf4 lens, Gimpro head on a Gimpro window mount, ISO 1600, f8, 1/4000 second, exposure compensation = -0.67, Aperture priority, White Balance – sun. 7 meters from mongoose
The image was taken in the Kruger National Park near Skukuza camp. We came across a den of these dwarf mongooses – we counted about 11 of them in a termite mount next to the road. We stayed for almost 1 hour with them watching and enjoying the interaction between them. Once again, not the correct light condition but I just liked the interaction between the three mongooses.
Lioness love – score 11/15 (Gold award)
Nikon D4 camera, Nikon 600mmf4 lens, Gimpro head fixed with power clamp on the railing of a safari vehicle, ISO 1250, f8, 1/4000 second, exposure compensation = -0.67, Aperture priority, White Balance – sun, fill in flash used, 21 meters from animal.
This photo of the so-called Tshala females was taken in the Londolozi Nature Reserve. The lioness has just returned from a hunting expedition and the cubs were left in the thick bushes on the bank on the Sabi River. This image showed the loving interaction between the lioness and the cub in the last bit of sunlight of the day. Interesting to see that one one the judges did not like the image – probably because of the background. Some judges think that everything must be perfect – which is not always the case with Nature photography.
Message to take home
I am sure everybody has asked (or it is still an unanswered question) this question before – what is the purpose of submitting your images to an official camera/photo club? I am not going to give you the perfect answer that question but I am going to tell you what you should not try to do:
And that is to comparing yourself with other photographers during a camera/photo club evening.
This approach will certainly kill the photographer within you. Therefore, stop absorbing other people’s work. When you sit in a local camera club, give yourself a break from the playing comparison game by comparing your photos with the rest of the club or even comparing your score with the rest of the club members. With such an approach no one wins. I am sure at the end of the day(night) you will end up in a fetal position in defeat as you decide (and maybe realise) you are totally talentless, or you are left with that sickening feeling when you look at your fellow photographers’ images and decide that your images are not as good as theirs. Just remember, you are not going to improve your level of photography by playing the comparison game during a camera club evening.
(i) Rather use the opportunity to learn something from your fellow photographers during the course of the night.
(ii) Look at how your images are projected on the screen. It is possible that there might be a difference on how your images look on your computer and how they look on a projected screen. And many photo competitions are judged by using a projector.
To conclude – camera club evenings: Look and learn rather than look and compare.
Until next month camera club meeting – keep on shooting