The last bit of catching up with my report on images submitted to our local camera club for judging and that is for the month of June. Being back at home, I do have opportunity to choose from a variety of images from my database. Not a very successful evening for me but then my images were not everybody’s cup of tea (see my Message to take home at the end of the post). And that is what I’ve decided to do from time to time when submitting images to the camera club for judging. The results of my 5 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).
Lion water watch – 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, f4, 1/250 second, exposure compensation = -0.67, Aperture priority, White Balance – sun, fill in flash used, 32 meters from animal.
During our visit to Londolozi a very old giraffe bull slipped and felt into a smallish waterhole. It was too weak to get up again and it drowned. After a while the two dominant male lions discovered it and started feeding on it. Here is one of the lions on the giraffe just before sunrise with side lighting provided by a spotlight from another vehicle as he was keeping a watchful eye on the surrounding.
Meerkat kneeling – scored 10/15 (Silver award)
Nikon D4 camera, Nikon 600mmf4 lens & 1.4 convertor, Wimberley head on a window mount, ISO 400, f5.6, 1/2000 second, exposure compensation = -2.0, Aperture priority, White Balance – sun, distance from meerkat = 21 meters.
This photo was taken near Rooiputs water hole early one morning. This meerkat had just enjoyed a bit of early morning sunlight to warm itself. In this image the meerkat went down to the ground to take off to do some foraging. Interesting image with some backlighting – see my comments in Message to take home regarding the 3 three important aspects when it comes to technical correctness of images.
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 (you are allowed to manipulate images for this category) can be submitted but preferably not Nature/wildlife images.
1500m watching – score 10/15 (Silver award)
Nikon D4 camera, Nikon 600mmf4 lens & 1.4 convertor, Wimberley head on a window mount, ISO 1250, f8, 1/2500 second, exposure compensation = -1.3, Aperture priority, White Balance – sun, distance from athletes = 63 meters.
This photo was taken near during the 1500m race of the South African Athletics Championships held earlier this year in Bloemfontein. The setting sun (behind the pavilion) made photography difficult at the finish line, so I decided to move to a position so that I can capture they as they were coming around the last turn. I just love the colour of the golden hour on the two athletes and look careful at the interaction between the two of them. Just something my fellow athletes will enjoy and appreciate.
C. Set subject – “Yellow”
The majority or major subject of the image must yellow – so it must be a Nikon.
Just to support the club, I decide to enter to two images in this category.
Yellow bee – scored 11/15
This image was taken of in the Mountain Zebra Park next to our chalet.
Sparrow attacking weaver– scored 10/15
This image was taken in my own backyard.
Message to take home
I think of my fellow photographers and camera club members will agree with my statement:
“Camera club photos is all about technical correctness of the image not the story telling element is usually playing second fiddle.”
Some judges do not even try to look at the story telling element of an image – they immediately try to find something to criticize, just because they are suppose to identify the errors in the photos. They sometimes totally forget to just enjoy the image projected on the screen
Yes, I am sure we all agree that Light, Sharpness, Composition, and Photo quality (post processing) are very important to master, but we must remember that these aspects do not always have to be perfect to create a great photograph. Just look at the literature/Internet and major photography competition winners and their images – some of those images have glaring deficiencies and yet they do have the WOW factor to win. You, as the photographer, must develop your own style and therefore determine how to take an interesting image. Wait and reconsider before you discard every photo that does not comply with the camera club requirement namely Light, Sharpness, Composition. Consider developing an underexposed or overexposed photograph into a high key or low key photo and it might look great. Often an unorthodox composition such as breaking the Rule of thirds will be just what was needed.
Yes, pixel peeping is important to train your photography eye and to look critically at your photos, but you can sometimes put too much emphasis on it and you are missing the story telling element/WOW factor.
Until next month camera club meeting – keep on shooting