It has been a long time since my last post but hopefully I would be more active on my blog this year. Lets continue where I left my blog last year and that is with the outcome of my photos submitted for judging at our local camera club.
Just again the website of our camera club for those who are interested (you do not have to live in Bloemfontein to be a member of our club – we do have members from all over South Africa:
Bloemfontein camera club:
Method of judging – there are 3 judges (usually senior members of the club) giving a score out of 5 for each image:
1 out of 5 = Not up to standard, 2 out of 5 = poor standard, 3 out of 5 = up to standard, 4 out of 5 = above standard, 5 out of 5 = excellent
The three scores are added together to give the image an overall score:
1-6 out of 15 = not good, not an acceptable standard = no promotion points is gained by member
7-8 out of 15 = bronze award, below standard but acceptable – 1 promotion point is gained
9-10 out of 15 = silver award, up to standard – 2 promotional points are gained
11-13 out of 15 = gold award, above standard – 3 promotional points are gained
14-15 out of 15 = Certificate merit award, excellent photo – 4 promotional points are gained
A. Nature category
Just a reminder – no manipulation of images using any type of 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).
Impala backlight – scored 13/15 (Gold award)
Nikon D3S camera, Nikon 200-400mmf4 lens @ 360mm, Gimpro window mount and head fix on the door of my vehicle. ISO 320, f5.6, 1/5000 second, exposure compensation = -1.67, Aperture priority, White Balance – sun. 70 meters from impala
The image was taken last year near Satara camp in the Kruger National Park. The previous day my wife saw the opportunity while we were driving back to camp late afternoon to capture the silliette of an impala against the setting sun while all the cars returning to camp creating a very nice dust cloud. Not very easy to capture the image and one’s timing should be perfect because there is only a window of about 10 minutes when the sun is at the right angle. And the returning cars and impalas should be there in good time. The next day we waited for about 30 minutes in the same spot next to the road and luckily the sun, cars and impalas played their part and I was able to capture this image above. Just something different from the ordinary wildlife photo. And it is possible to get a unique shot of an impala in the Kruger National Park – it just needs a bit of thinking and creativity.
Lion and cub backl – scored 12/15 (Gold award)
Nikon D4 camera, Nikon 600mmf4 lens, Gimpro window mount and head fix on the door of my vehicle. ISO 400, f8, 1/2000 second, exposure compensation = -2.33, Aperture priority, White Balance – sun. 25 meters from lions
On the very same road (S100) as the previous photo, we came across a lioness walking next to the road with her cub. Unfortunately on the wrong side of the road, but hey, one needs to take every opportunity coming your way. Time for some backlight shots and the image above is an example thereof.
Baboon half – scored 10/15 (Silver award)
Nikon D4 camera, Nikon 600mmf4 lens, Gimpro window mount and head fix to hide. ISO 800, f8, 1/2000 second, exposure compensation = -1.00, Aperture priority, Fill in flash, White Balance – sun. 15 meters from baboon
Another image taken during our trip with Albie Venter to Indlovu River lodge and this image was taken from one of the hides. Just an interesting perspective that the 600mm lens will give you with its very swallow depth of field creating a very nice blurry fore and background. Not really an image that will get a high score from the judges, so I did expect a low score but it was worth sharing the image with my fellow photographers.
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.
No image submitted because I submitted all three images allowed in the Nature category
C. Set subject category
This is an additional category for photographers to submit 2 specific images as stipulated in the guidelines for the evening. More emphasis is place on how the photos relate to the set subject than technical correctness of the image. However, these images do not contribute toward the promotion points accumulated by members in order to move through the various levels in the club.
No image submitted by me this time around.
Message to take home
I am sure you have seen a lot of excellent wildlife and nature photos on the Internet and in magazines. Some of those photos are just portrait images of wildlife while others are action type photos. All of them are, however, timed to perfection. Just like the very first image posted in this blog. Images like these and mentioned in the beginning are not just lucky shots or captured accidentally. These photos were captured because the photographer identified the opportunity beforehand and then waiting patiently for the right moment to capture the shot. It is just our human nature to want to drive around the park for example to see what is around the next corner. However, sometimes it is necessary to stop, wait and sit patiently waiting for the right moment. Next time you stop next to a photographer in a park, asking him/her what is the attraction/sighting and if you get a non-specific answer, you will understand why. It is all about patience and waiting for all the elements to come together.
Until next month camera club meeting – keep on shooting