The countryside through our readers’ eyes and lenses. Here are this month’s four winning entries in our photographic competition
A R1 000 cash prize
Taking the perfect image has its challenges and when it comes to macro work the challenges are magnified a hundred times over. But it’s equally rewarding when all the elements come together; good choice of subject matter, great composition, correct point of focus and perfect exposure. Clearly Roelf put some thought into getting this shot as he’s captured the busy little bee not only laden with pollen, but in full flight. Better still he managed to get his focus crisp, and maxed out the depth of field (the amount in focus), which is one of the greatest challenges of macro work. The fast shutter speed has frozen the action and gives us a glimpse into a split second of a busy bee’s life.
PHOTOGRAPHER Roelf Ackerman
CAMERA Canon EOS 7D, EF100mm f/2.8 macro lens
SETTINGS f8 at 1/500, ISO 200
A R750 cash prize
A simple, clean and well-composed shot. I particularly like that the swallows are not placed slap bang in the middle of the picture. Instead, they are nicely balanced off to the left (following the ‘rule of thirds’ which also gives the picture breathing space). The stick leads the viewer’s eye into the image and the lack of twigs and distracting clutter is a bonus. Mark pressed the shutter button at the perfect moment and captured the bird’s full wingspan. I find a motor drive to be a particularly useful tool when it comes to bird photography as you can take a burst of shots when fractions of a second matter, and choose the best composition later.
PHOTOGRAPHER Mark Preston-Whyte
CAMERA Canon EOS 7D, EF100-400mm lens at 340mm SETTINGS f5.6 at 1/4000, ISO 800
The judge this month is Shaen Adey, a regular contributor to COUNTRY LIFE. When she’s not roaming around with her camera and binoculars in the Namibian or Cape wildernesses, Shaen can be found hanging off mountains, scuba diving or cycling long stretches of open road. A professional photographer and photojournalist, Shaen has logged up countless hours capturing wildlife, extreme sports and lifestyle topics. And, lucky woman, she gets to call all the fun she has doing it, work.