April 2017 Winners

Carlien Oberholzer – Vic falls at sunset

I took my other half to the Vic Falls as a birthday present and of-course took the opportunity to take a few snaps too :). On arrival at the Mosi-oa-Tunya national park we realized that we weren’t going to be able to shoot at sunset as the park closes to visitors about an hour prior. Big sad face I managed to twist the arm of one of the park officials who had enough to do in the office and was allowed to stay an extra hour. So now having the mighty Falls to myself I was amped and ready waiting for the sun to start fading. Roughly estimating where the light would fall as I knew where the sun would set, I chose my location and set the camera up framed by the foliage on the path. I cranked my aperture all the way to F22, had to because there was still just too much light and I only had a neutral density filter of 3 stops. As soon as I saw those golden orange pinks in the sky and reflecting in the water I adjusted my settings accordingly and fired my shot at 10 seconds to get that smooth flow of the water. Further basic adjustments were made in Lightroom and Photoshop.

Camera – my old trusty Nikon D5200
Focal length – 38mm
Aperture: F25
Exposure: 10 seconds
Used a 3 stop ND Filter

Winner and best junior
Tanya Nadauld – Natures Child

Natures Child – Nature is within us all.

Canon 7d Mark 2

Canon EF 100mm f2.8 Macro

1/320th @ f3.5 ISO 200

Edited in Photoshop

Malcolm Sutton – Home just before sunset

I wanted some photographs of seashore birds and identified a flock of about 40 Kelp Gulls over-nighting at the mouth of the Mpenjati Estuary. To get the kind of images I envisaged I needed a mainly clear late afternoon sky and the wind from a westerly direction (North West would have been ideal but South West, which was far more likely, was okay). This would give me the ocean as background when the sun was at my back, and the birds taking off and landing into the wind, would be facing slightly towards me. The weather forecast and actual conditions mid-afternoon on the 31st March 2017 looked promising, so I set myself up. As happens, things didn’t go as planned, and some cloud on the horizon masked the late sun. However, by increasing the ISO (1600) I was still able to set a fast shutter speed (1/3200 s) and reduce the aperture somewhat (f/10), so as to keep some sense of the ocean. An advantage of the cloud was that the soft light enabled greater definition of the birds’ feathers and without any shadows. For this image I combined three photographs illustrating the landing process.

Rhona Sellschop – Graceful launch

Taken from a hide at Zimanaga in very low late afternoon light, I was using a Nikon D800 with an 80-400mm lens on 400mm.  I chose the daring speed of 1250th of a second in the hopes that I could capture the more static head and beak of the bird in a frozen position while showing the speed at which the wings operate.  The wide aperture of 5.6 was the best available with ISO  at 1000 because of the poor light.

Henry Oppel – Red Bishop take off
Winner and Best Senior
Kathy Kay – Ship leaving

I did not have a tripod with me, so used a branch of a tree to steady my camera. I set my camera to manual with the shutter speed at 1/10 second. Any slower would have resulted in blurring of the ship. ISO at 160 and fstop set to 18.

Camera was a Nikon D3S and lens Nikon 24 to 70.