YOUR PHOTO

It’s good to ex­per­i­ment with your pho­tos be­cause that’s how you im­prove your chances of snap­ping an un­usual, striking image. Just like these three read­ers.

Go! Camp & Drive - - Contents -

From a dif­fer­ent an­gle

He al­ways car­ries his cam­era bag with him, says Petri Steyn of Krugers­dorp.

“I was on my way from Pre­to­ria to Krugers­dorp when a thun­der­storm passed in front of me. The sun broke through the clouds and re­flected off the wet road. There were road­works in the left lane where I pulled over to cap­ture the beau­ti­ful scene. I squat­ted next to the rear tyre and snapped four frames. Some were with and some with­out a car in the right lane. I pre­fer the low an­gle be­cause it’s un­usual. I also like to play around with the third lines to help with the com­po­si­tion.”

Petri’s photo is a per­fect ex­am­ple of a beau­ti­ful photo that you have to think about to fig­ure out why it’s so striking. It’s slightly ab­stract but you do recog­nise the sun. The rest of the el­e­ments on the photo are not in­stantly recog­nis­able – the photo, there­fore, leans more towards the artis­tic side. Be­cause you in­stinc­tively no­tice the light­est part on a photo first, your eye im­me­di­ately knows where to look. This photo has a def­i­nite fo­cal point. Be­neath that is the next shape you’ll recog­nise – the out­lines of a car driv­ing past. Then your gaze moves and you see the rest of the de­tail in the photo. The car’s rim and body far left doesn’t even take up quar­ter of the photo but it’s so clear it forms the anchor for the space in the rest of the photo. Then the wet roads draws your fo­cus – you can al­most feel it. The sun shines from the back and you can see the tex­ture of the road clearly. Your eye jumps back to the pass­ing car and you can’t help but ap­pre­ci­ate the photo again. This is out­stand­ing.

Canon EOS 600D; Canon EF-S18-55 mm-f3,5-5,6 lens on 18 mm; 1/250 of a sec­ond; f14; ISO 400

Like cats in the Kala­hari

It doesn’t mat­ter what’s in front of Har­ald Spi­wak of Pre­to­ria’s lens. His fin­ger is al­ways on the but­ton.

“This was one morn­ing early in the Kala­hari when we stopped for a quick cof­fee and rusk while the sun was com­ing up. It was cool and my friend Rudi Kriede­mann joked that we should turn our bodies towards the sun for some heat – al­most like meerkats. It was the per­fect op­por­tu­nity for a photo. When I look at it now it has a com­i­cal ele­ment and it’s a re­minder of all the places we’ve vis­ited with our friends over the past two decades.”

“What’s hap­pen­ing here?” is your first re­ac­tion when you see the photo. And it’s ex­actly why you have a sec­ond look at it. It draws your at­ten­tion and you glance at it again. You wonder why the peo­ple are stand­ing so still in the veld – like is­lands, with no in­ter­ac­tion be­tween them. And then you see the pattern: Ev­ery­one is stand­ing with their back to you, look­ing in the same di­rec­tion, and ev­ery­one’s hands bent down­wards, which makes you think of meerkats, as Har­ald ex­plains. The photo re­mains strange, but be­fore you know it you’re look­ing at it again.

Nikon D200; Sigma 18-200 mm f3,5-6,3 lens on 18 mm; 1/2 500 of a sec­ond; f3,5; ISO 100

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