The coun­try­side through our read­ers’ eyes and lenses. Here are this month’s four win­ning en­tries in our pho­to­graphic com­pe­ti­tion

South African Country Life - - Image Club -

First Prize

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

Sec­ond Prize

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.

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