Outcome of my photography salon (competition) entries – Month of March 2016

Yes, in this post I’ll show you that you do not need to go to exotic places to get salon-winning photos. You can capture those images in your back garden as some of the images posted in this blog post were captured in my back garden So, without any further unnecessary delays, lets look at the results:

The details of the salons are as follows:

 

Total number of salons entered: 9

7 international salons & 2 national salons entered

Overall outcome:

International: 60 acceptances from 130 photos entered = 46% acceptance rate (corrected version)

National: 21 acceptances from 48 photos entered = 44% acceptance rate

Medals: 2

COMs: 4

Now for the individual salons:

 

A. INTERNATIONAL SALONS

 

  1. RIDGEWOOD 2016 (USA)

Photos entered & results: 8 photos entered = 4 acceptances (50% acceptance rate)

Comments: There were two Nature section for this salon – Nature General and Wildlife. I’ve entered a few macro and landscape (without human elements) photos in the Nature general section and to my surprise Juice was the only image to have received an acceptance.

Juice 768 300k 72d sRGB W

Juice

Bloemfontein Botanical Gardens, South Africa

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  1. BOHEMIA 2016 (India)

Photos entered & results: 4 photos entered = 4 acceptances (100% acceptance rate)

Comments: Not an everyday phenomenon – a 100% acceptance rate in the Nature section of an international salon but I am satisfied with this kind of outcome (obviously!). Interesting to note that my series of images of the interaction between the weavers in my garden is not doing as good as expected. Possible the background is too dark – one would never know the reason for it but I do shoot into a dark bush. Luckily Weaver grap received an acceptance in this salon

Weaver grap 1024 W

Weaver grap

Bloemfontein, South Africa

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  1. SJV EXHIBITION 2016 (USA)

Photos entered & results: 8 photos entered = 3 acceptances (38% acceptance rate)

Comments: Once again – a salon in the USA with separate Nature General and Wildlife sections. All three acceptances were in the Wildlife section with a lioness image (Lioness watchful walk) taken in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park receiving one of the three acceptances. An image not filled with action but I just like the attitude of the lioness up and about hunting for food as the sun was setting behind the dunes near Kji Kji water hole.

 19 Lioness watchful walk W

Lioness watchful walk

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa

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  1. DVF PHOTOCUP 2016 (Germany)

This was a 3-salon circuit

Photos entered & results: 4 photos entered (12 entries) = 3 acceptances (25% acceptance rate)

Comments: Not a very successful circuit taking into account at it was with this circuit that I received my first ever medal in photography back in 2012 – my second year of entering photo salon competitions nationally and internationally. Nevertheless, Mongoose look taken in my backyard received an acceptance in one of the three salons. These Cape grey mongoose is a very skittish little animal not giving a photographer much time to capture it in the wild.

Mongoose look 1080 W

Mongoose look

Bloemfontein, South Africa

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  1. CONTRAST BOSNIA 2016 (Bosnia Herzegovina)

Photos entered & results: 8 photos entered = 2 acceptances (25% acceptance rate)

Comments: Once again – an acceptance rate around the acceptable norm for a salon. Only 1 acceptance in the Nature section namely Elephant baby light – a image taken in amazing sunlight as the sun was setting over the Chobe River. The image almost looks oversaturated but that was the actual colour – the golden hour!

Baby elephant light 1920 300k 72d sRGB W

Elephant baby light

Chobe national Park near Kasane, Botswana

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  1. PATHSHALA SALON 2016 (India)

Photos entered & results: 4 photos entered = 2 acceptances (50% acceptance rate)

Comments: It seems like the judges like the images of the interaction between the different species in my backyard rather than the interaction between the weavers itself. Barbet chasing weaver received one of the two acceptances in this salon.

Barbet chasing weaver 1400 300k 72d sRGB W

Barbet chasing weaver

Bloemfontein, South Africa

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  1. 1st exhibition mystic 2016 (Serbia)

Photos entered & results: 8 photos entered = 1 COM & 3 acceptances (50% acceptance rate)

Comments: Only one photo accepted in the Nature section but interesting to see a full house of all four photos being accepted in the Open colour section. Room red light was the photo to have received a COM award. One of my favourite travel photos because of the contrast in the different colours.

Room red light 1024 300k 72d sRGB W

Room red light

Kolmanskop, Namibia

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 B. NATIONAL SALONS

 

  1. 2ND LOWVELD NATIONAL SALON 2016 (South Africa)

Photos entered & results: 24 photos entered = 1 medal, 1 COM & 6 acceptances (33% acceptance rate)

Comments: The photo that received the medal was in the nature section namely Leopard smacked which was already posted and discussed in a previous post. Just to emphasise the degree difficulty to capture fast moving action in low light conditions with a struggle to get a fast enough shutter speed – noise, noise, noise – as this image was shot at ISO6400 (and f4) with Nikon D4 image in order to get a decent shot at 1/1000 of a second shutter speed.

Leopard smacked W

Leopard smacked

Londolozi reserve, Greater Kruger national park, South Africa

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  1. 3RD BOSVELD NATIONAL SALON 2016 (South Africa)

Photos entered & results: 24 photos entered = 1 medal, 2 COM & 6 acceptances (33% acceptance rate)

Comments: At least the judges in the Bosveld salon appreciated the interaction and the degree of difficulty to capture the interaction between the two weavers – this image was taken without using a pre-focus approach. It was all about following the quick moving weavers for a split of a second as the one male was trying to dominate the other male weaver and keeping the focus of the camera on the weavers. Weaver air fight received the medal in the Birds section.

Weavers air fight 1024 300k 72d sRGB W

Weaver air fight

Bloemfontein, South Africa

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Message to take home:

 

The question I am asking myself is: “Am I satisfied with the outcomes of national and intermational salon competitions?” And more that 95% the answer is YES. And one the secrets behind my self proclaimed success is: “To be prepared when it comes to Nature photography”. So how does a photographer become prepared?

Speak to any of famous/well-known wildlife photographers and you will get a similar type of answer as to reason why they are prepared and consistently producing stunning photographs. It is definitely not because they are just merely lucky, observant, or even more skilled than the average photographer. Now, with just more than 5 years experience in Wildlife photography, I came to the same conclusion. It is not just about being lucky or being observant. So why are they so successful?

You will find a very short answer to this question – THEY DO SO BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT BEING LAZY.

They do not get those WOW shots by staying at home or indoors. They do not get those WOW shots by reading book after book on photography. Yes, everybody should start somewhere and a book or a short course is a good idea/start. But no, they do go out and look for opportunities to practice their skills. So, my advise is simple: Don’t be lazy and go out – even if it is just to your own backyard like I did. And keep on practicing your skills! Eventually you’ll get it right.

Until next month, keep on shooting

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