Archive for category Camera club evenings

Bloemfontein Camera Club meeting: Outcome of my images submitted – September 2016

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:

http://www.bkk.co.za/index.php/en/home

 

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).

1.

impala-backlight-1024-w

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.

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2.

lion-and-cub-backl-1024-w

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.

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3.

Baboon half 1080 W

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.

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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

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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.

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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

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Bloemfontein Camera Club meeting: Outcome of my images submitted – August 2016

Last night we had our monthly camera club meeting for September 2016 and I haven’t even posted the results of the month of August yet. So, here it is:

Bloemfontein camera club:

http://www.bkk.co.za/index.php/en/home

 

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).

1.

catch-in-last-light-1400-300k-72d-srg-flip-w

Catch in last light – scored 12/15 (Gold award)

Nikon D3S camera, Nikon 200-400mmf4 lens @300mm, handheld, ISO 800, f4, 1/6400 second, exposure compensation = -0.67, Aperture priority, White Balance – sun, 30 meters from eagle.

An image taken a few years during our trip to Norway. Not very easy capturing these eagles taken the fish from the water handheld and shooting from a small motorboat. Satisfied that I was able to get a decent shot.

 

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2.

lioness-wake-up-1080-w

 Lioness wake up – scored 10/15 (Silver award)

Nikon D4 camera, Nikon 600mmf4 lens, Gimpro head on power clamp fixed to the seat of the vehicle. ISO 800, f8, 1/2000 second, exposure compensation = -1.00, Aperture priority, Fill in flash, White Balance – sun. 19 meters from lions

The image was taken in the Greater Kruger National Park – Sabie Sands. We followed the two lioness and the cubs for a while until they came to rest on a small height. It was possible to get a nice shot at eye-level with the lioness not interested in entertaining her cub. Missing out on a better score from judges because technically it is not a perfect image (I can just hear the comments of the judges – overcast, bad light, no eye contact, no catch-light in the eye, etc., etc.). Luckily it doesn’t bother me – I like the story telling element, so did judges of one international and one national photo competition.

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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.

1.

blind-runner-1024-w

Blind runner – score 11/15 (Gold award)

Nikon D4 camera, Nikon 600mmf4 lens, Gimpro head on tripod, ISO 1250, f8, 1/4000 second, exposure compensation = -1.33, Aperture priority, White Balance – sun, 50 meters from athletes.

An image taken during the national athletics championship held in Bloemfontein earlier this year – an image of yet another world record holder from Bloemfontein namely Louzanne Coetzee. Taken late in the afternoon around one bend where the sun was shining on that specific spot and the rest of the track was in shadows.

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Message to take home

People do have different opinions regarding camera clubs. Some tend to stay with the camera clubs and submit their images every month. Other photographers do get frustrated and angry with the scores and critique from the judge and leave the club. No matter what your opinion regarding a camera club is, just remember the following:

It is important to seek critique on your work as well as to try and understand how people feel about your work. However, your main aim with photography should not be to take images for the purpose of getting many likes as possible. You aim should be to take images that you like, enjoy and that means something special to you. Yes, it is normal for you to try and take images that people will enjoy, but you should not go out into the field with that approach/your main aim. Do what you like to do and enjoy it yourself. It is just human nature that some people will not like your work, and more than often it will be the judges of a photography competition or the judges at your local camera club. Don’t get distracted or try and change your style just to satisfy the judges. Eventually such an approach will catch up with you and you will get discouraged with photography.

 

Until next month camera club meeting – keep on shooting

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Bloemfontein Camera Club meeting: Outcome of my images submitted – June 2016

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:

http://www.bkk.co.za/index.php/en/home

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).

1.

Lion water watch 1080 W

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.

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2.

Meerkat kneeling 1024 W

 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.

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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.

3.

1500m watching W

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.

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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.

1.

Yellow bee 1400 300k 72d sRGB W

Yellow bee – scored 11/15

This image was taken of in the Mountain Zebra Park next to our chalet.

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2.

Sparrow attacking weaver 1080 300k 72d sRGB W

Sparrow attacking weaver– scored 10/15

This image was taken in my own backyard.

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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

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Bloemfontein Camera Club meeting: Outcome of my images submitted – March 2016

Already the third month of the year and the first Tuesday of the month means it was again time for another Bloemfontein Camera Club meeting. This month I was one of the judges, so I was not allowed to score my own images or those of my wife. So, it was up to the other two judges to score my 5 images 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).

1.

Lepoard close portrait 1080 300k 72d sRGB W

Leopard close portrait – scored 12/15 (Gold award)

Nikon D4 camera, 600mmf4 lens, f8, ISO1600, 1/2000 of sec, -0.67 exposure comp, WB = Daylight, Aperture mode, about 8meters from leopard.

This image was taken during a previous photography safari trip to the Greater Kruger National Park with Byron Serrao last year. We followed this leopard for a while and at one stage he decided to rest behind a anthill (unfortunately because there was no sunlight). He looked up to us and with that he provided me with the opportunity to get a close-up portrait of him. It was one most magnificent male leopard I’ve ever seen – I think he is called the Puva male.

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2.

Mongoose look 1080 W

Mongoose look – score 10/15 (Silver award)

Nikon D4 camera, 600mmf4 lens, f8, ISO1600, 1/3200 of sec, -0.67 exposure comp, WB = Daylight, Aperture mode, around 10meters from mongoose.

Like I’ve mentioned in my previous post – always be ready to capture the moment with your camera. One afternoon I had a visit from a Cape grey mongoose in my backyard. I was photograpghing the birds and all of a sudden all the birds disappeared. I did not understand what was happening but after a few minutes it became clear – the mongoose was approaching. I was ready and now I do have a lot of images of the mongoose. However, I do like this image – not the usual image of a full-length mongoose on the tree trunk (I do have a lot of those) but I thought to show the club members something different. Seems like this kind of image is not what the judges of the evening were looking for. Too bad for them – I still like the alert eye of the mongoose as it climbs over the tree trunk.  The judges’ scores and their opinions are not going to change my opinion of this image. Just remember – I was not allowed to manipulate the image, therefore the background (I was shooting into a dark bush as background) was not Photoshopped.

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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.

1.

Church in fire 1024 300k 72d sRGB W

Church in fire – score 12/15 (Gold award)

Nikon D800 camera, 17-35mmf2.8 lens @, f17, ISO100, 1/5 of sec, 0 exposure comp, Manual mode, WB = Daylight

Image taken of a small church used a “plaas skooltjie” near Elliot. We are staying at the local hotel (just before the Elliot pass) next to the main road a few kilometers from this church. That morning we could not see what kind of clouds were around (before sunrise – very dark) but we decided to try our luck. And we were very lucky with some amazing clouds building up and with sunrise it created magnificent photo opportunities. This image was not manipulated in Photoshop – it is true reflection of the situation – it was absolutely amazing. This image is dedicated to all those people who do not believe to start very early in the morning (and I know a few of them – you will know who your are). See what you are missing!!!

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C. Set subject – “Bush/landscape with NO human elements in it”

Just to support the club, I decide to enter to two images in this category.

1.

Tree at sunrise 1080 300k 72d sRGB W

Tree at sunrise – scored 12/15

Nikon D800 camera, 17-35mmf2.8 lens @, f17, ISO100, 1/20 of sec, 0 exposure comp, Manual mode, WB = Daylight

This image was taken of a well-known tree (Cecil John Tree) in Mashatu nature reserve, Botswana during a wildlife photography safari (can you believe it – doing landscape photography during a wildlife safari!) with Albie Venter. Unfortunately one cannot order the weather and there were no clouds around at sunrise. But we did the best we could with what was available.

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2.

Tree in Nossob River 3

Tree in Nossob River – scored 10/15

This image was taken during on our many trips to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in 2013. I remembered that there was not much going on re: wildlife, so we decided to keep ourselves occupied with some landscape photography. Not too bad an image taken from my vehicle with limited maneuvering space. Already received a few salon acceptances with this image.

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Message to take home

While I was driving home after the camera club meeting I was thinking once again re: the purpose of a camera club. I do have my own opinion about it but here is not enough space in this post to discuss it. However, two things do stand out for me about camera clubs – (i) everybody is entitled to his/her own opinion and we are individuals with different opinions and (ii) do not take the scores and critique of the judges too seriously – it will kill your passion for photography. Continue to develop your own style of photography but do remember this piece of advice I read somewhere on the Internet:

 “I always thought good photos were like good jokes. If you have to explain it, it just isn’t that good”

We had very interesting talk during the camera club by Willem van den Berg (freelance photo journalist now working mainly for WEG magazine) and the photos he presented on the screen during his talk were like good (no, rather excellent) jokes. There was no need to explain – emotions captured in every image!!!

 

Until next month camera club meeting – keep on shooting

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Bloemfontein Camera Club meeting: Outcome of my images submitted for judging – February 2016

Last Tuesday was the first Tuesday of the month and it was once again time for another Bloemfontein Camera Club meeting. Without wasting some space and time with stories, 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).

1.

Duiker backlight 1080 W

Duiker backlight – scored 12/15 (Gold award)

Nikon D4 camera, 600mmf4 lens, f4, ISO800, 1/2000 of sec, -2.0 exposure comp, WB = Daylight, Aperture mode, around 40meters from Duiker.

This image was taken in during our last trip to the Mokala National Park during the first week of January 2016 (before the rain). We stayed for the fist time in the Tree house and what a treat! It was very dry in the park and there is a waterhole just in front of the tree house. During the late afternoon it provided some backlight and side light opportunities like this image of a duiker.

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2.

Cheetah yawning 1200 300k 72d sRGB W

Cheetah yawning – score 11/15 (Gold award)

Nikon D4 camera, 600mmf4 lens, f8, ISO1600, 1/3200 of sec, -0.67 exposure comp, WB = Daylight, Aperture mode, around 10meters from cheetah.

Just made it into the Gold award category. This image was taken during one of my two trips to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in 2015 – taken on the last morning during a drive to Gunong waterhole before I headed back to Bloemfontein. When the image appeared on the screen, I did realise that it was cropped to close to the upper side. Nevertheless, ….

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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 landscape image containing human elements for judging.

3.

Dwarsvlei BW land 1024 300k 72d sRGB W

Dwarsvlei BW land – score 9/15 (Silver award)

Nikon D800 camera, 24-70mmf2.8 lens @, f11, ISO100, 1/160 of sec, -0.67 exposure comp, Manual mode, WB = Daylight, around 10meters from cheetah

Image taken during our drive down to Mossel Bay for the New year’s weekend in 2015. Form the Southern Free State we saw the clouds building up and when we arrived at Middleburg, the clouds were almost perfect for this shot. No time for a tripod (was packed away in the car) – handheld shot. I played around with the image changing it into a monochrome image with a difference. Lets see how it does in the salons.

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C. Set subject – “Paris is burning (fire)” – an image with fire as a subject

Just to support the club, I decide to enter to two images in this category.

1.

Firemen 1

Firemen 1 – scored 11/15

This image was taken in during a fire exercise by our local fire fighting department.

I though the image was appropriate for the topic but apparently not all three judges did think so. Well, they are entitled to their opinions.

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2.

Old wagen 1200 300k 72d sRGB W

Old wagen – scored 09/15

This image was taken in in the local fire department’s museum – I can live with the score of the judges. Just thought to submit something different this time around.

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Message to take home

Just a short message for this post:

 You, as the photographer, are the one that decide what should be captured in the frame and what should be excluded not. However, one must remember that the photographer cannot always control every single item in the frame and therefore what is capture for an the image. BUT the photographer has control over his/her position in relation to the subject being photographed. Therefore, it is possible to position yourself in order to put the subject in the best possible composition and “remove” some of the unwanted clutter before pulling the trigger (“press the shutter”). Do not just stay stationary during a shoot – keep moving around to find the best possible angle for the shot.

 

Until next month camera club meeting – keep on shooting

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Bloemfontein Camera Club meeting: Outcome of my images submitted – January 2016

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).

1.

Fox kiss please 1080 300k 72d sRGB W

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.

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2.

Weaver feet locked 2400 300k 72d sRGB W

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.”

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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.

3.

In smoke 1024 300k 72d sRGB W

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.

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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.

1.

Three cheetahs drinking 1400 300k 72d sRGB W

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

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2.

Attack both side W

Attacked both sides – scored 09/15

This image was taken in my backyard in Bloemfontein. Once again – no comments

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 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

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Bloemfontein Camera Club meeting: Outcome of my images submitted – December 2015

The first Tuesday of December and it was the last judging at our local camera club for 2015! Unfortunately I was unable to attend the evening because I was in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park for that week. Apparently the judges were more generous with the points allocated to the evening’s images but nevertheless, 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).

1.

Leopard on rocks 1080 300k 72d sRGB W

Leopard on the rocks – scored 13/15 (Gold award)

This image was taken in during my very fist trip to Mashatu Nature Reserve with Isak Pretorius and C4 Images and Safaris in 2012. The leopard had just finished eating an impala underneath a bush and walked right up to us before lying down to start cleaning himself in the last light of the day.

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2.

Meerkat sitting hug 1080 300k 72d sRGB W

Meerkat sitting hug – score 11/15 (Gold award)

Yet another image taken of a group of meerkats just before sunset during a trip with Margaret Oliver and my wife to Tswalu nature reserve. It was very interesting to see the almost human-like behaviour of these meerkats. Once again – just to proof my argument you will read below under the third image – a score for this image just made it into the gold award category (11/15) while this image already received 1 medal and two acceptances in salons in Greece and the Emirates this year.

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3.

Baboon baby 1080 300k 72d sRGB W

Baboon baby – score 10/15 (Silver award)

Image taken in from Lou Coetzer’s special designed photography boat on the Chobe River near Kasane, Botswana.

And I thought the judges were generous with their scores! It seems like two of the judges did not like this image – I would love to know they thought was wrong with this image. However, too bad for them because I like the image (light and caring action = story telling element) and this image already received two international salon acceptances in France. Just to show you people – do not get upset with the judges’ scores and comments of your local camera club. It is just their opinions. Rather concentrate to learn something from every camera evening – it is not worth taking the judges’ opinion seriously. Some of their scores and opinions may even be very biased!

So, just relax and enjoy the evening watching your fellow photographers’ photos while creating your opinion on every image. With such an approach, the camera club evening will definitely add more value to you as photographer!I know there are photographers who do not want to come to the camera club anymore because they do not want to be humiliated. Please do not be humiliated by the judges of the evening. Just come and enjoy the images of your fellow photographers!

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C. Set subject –Low key photography”

Just to support the club, I decide to enter to Wildlife images in this category.

1.

Lioness and cub walking 1 1050 800k 72d sRGB flipped light WLioness and cub walking– scored 13/15

This image was taken in during one my seven trip to the Kgalagadi in 2013. On the last day of one of my trip, this lioness and her cub were walking towards Leeudril waterhole against the rising sun. This image also won the gold medal in the International Images for Screen competition of the Royal Photographic Society in the UK in 2014

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2.

Leopard in the dark 1Leopard in the dark– scored 14/15 and was chosen as the winner for the evening in this set subject section

This image was taken in during a photo safari with Greg du Toit to Mala Mala Nature reserve. This male leopard was walking down the road one evening while patrolling his territory. So, we decided to park our vehicle a few hundred meters in front in a low area while waiting for the leopard to appear with the following vehicle and spotlight used as back lighting

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Message to take home

 

I received a very interesting email from my wife while she was in the USA. I think it is very appropriate after my discussion earlier in this post and I want to share it with you. You decide for yourself:

“Years ago, I entered a photograph in two competitions. At the local camera club, the judge told me the photo had no artistic merit and I should consider giving up photography. At the Sydney International Salon, it won first prize. Two different judges, two different opinions! Which one is right?”

Once again and just to conclude this discussion: Your local camera club is not the Alpha and Omega in photography and do not take the points and comments of the judges personally. It will definitely derail and possibly destroy your photography journey. There is much more to photography than just listening to the judges of a camera club.

 

Until next month camera club meeting – keep on shooting

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