Budding photographers focus for prize

David Richardson from City Bowl was the September prize-winner and has five photographs on display.

Hairs in a protea, whiskers of a mouse and winter sunshine against strelitzia gold are a few of the photographic treats that stood out at the 2016 Kirstenbosch Photographic Competition.

Last week, finalists waited with bated breath and a touch of envy to hear who would receive a Canon EOS 5D Mkiii, worth R35 000, donated by Canon and Orms. The prize went to André Diener of Tokai for “Tortoise”, depicting the moment the tortoise opened its mouth to eat.

Second place winner was Davide van der Want of Observatory with “Winter Sunshine in the Garden”.

The judges said the scene was perfectly framed, showing an instantly recognisable but unusual view of Kirstenbosch.

Third place winner Mike King of Tokai captured a mouse swinging from a restio reed. His entry was called “Pruning Time”.

Mr King told the Bulletin he was lying in the dirt when he captured the shot, the second of three. He said his first was out of focus, the second a winner and the third was over-exposed.

Competition organiser Claude Felbert of Diep River said there had been more than 2 500 entries and that the competition’s popularity had grown steadily since the Botanical Society’s Kirstenbosch branch started it three years ago.

Entrants could use any type of camera, including smart phones and had to photograph fauna, flora and/or landscapes in Kirstenbosch from July 2015 to March 2016.

Monthly prizes were awarded and a selection of the top images were published in the Weekend Argus each month, and the top eight monthly entries were displayed at the Kirstenbosch Visitor’s Centre.

Ian Landsberg, chief photographer with Independent Media, which publishes the Weekend Argus and the Bulletin, and part of the judging team, said they were looking for the image that talked, telling a story.

He cautioned that while it was technically possible to take a nice picture of a flower with a cellphone, a great image still needed compositional skills.

He encouraged budding photographers to post pictures on social media and enter competitions.

For details about the next competition, which will be announced early in 2017, or to join the Kirstenbosch branch of the Botanical Society, visit http://botsoc-kirstenbosch.org.za/competition.