A selection of the best readers’ photographs submitted to the Getaway Gallery photo competition for February 2016.
Getaway Gallery is a prestigious showcase of the best photographs our readers have to offer. This year we bring you our biggest competition yet, with travel and equipment prizes to the value of over R160000.
And take a look at our January 2016 gallery where you’ll find the winner and finalists of last year’s hotly contested Africa Gallery competition.
I found this little reed frog on a table – at least two metres off the ground – in full sun whilst visiting Magoebaskloof. I relocated it to some shaded greens and decided to put it on an iris for some shots. In this shot everything just came together. It was released unharmed. -By Wessel du Plessis, Centurion. Canon 50D, Canon 100mm f/2.8L, ISO 100, f/8, 1/250 sec with external flash.
We spent some time with these two mating leopards in Singita Nature Reserve, but unfortunately in a bushy area. After sunset they decided to go down to the waterhole to drink water, where the ritual continued. This provided me with a great photographic opportunity to capture the intensity of the two mating leopards. I used light from a spotlight and fill-in flash, shooting on manual mode to ensure a fast shutter speed and freeze the action. Afterwards, the male leopard needed to get away from the female leopard as quickly as possible to avoid getting a serious smack from the female. – By Willem Kruger, Bloemfontein. Nikon D4, Nikkor 600mm f/4 lens, ISO 6400, f/4, 1/1000 sec.
We were spending an evening camping in the Messum Crater in Namibia when I stumbled on a very well camouflaged, slow- moving chameleon. The sun was low on the horizon and I lay on my stomach as it slowly made its way over a large flat rock. I used my flash to balance the exposure of the dark chameleon and bright sky. – By Geoff Spiby, Hout Bay. Nikon D7100, Nikkor 10.5 mm f/2.8,ISO 200, f/22, 1/60 sec.
I was at a waterhole in Nxai Pan National Park, Botswana, when a group of zebra came for a last drink at the waterhole. This zebra was a bit skittish and ran towards me, providing me with an ideal photographic opportunity as the sun faded in the distance. – By Johann Mader, Pretoria. Nikon D4s, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1.4x teleconverter, ISO 640, f/5,6, 1/100 sec.
With a crisp breeze in the early morning at the end of winter it’s not unusual to find a leopard lying in a open area – warming up in the sun’s rays. Fortunately this young male leopard was spotted in short grass doing just that. After grooming, he seemed to be fixated with something in the sky. No matter how hard we stared into the blue sky, we could not see any vultures or whatever he may have been looking at, and curiously wondered if he was just watching angels. – By Ross Couper, Singita Sabi Sand. Nikon D4s, Nikkor 600mm f/4, ISO 640, f/4, 1/1000 sec.
We were camping at Chitake Springs in Mana Pools, Zimbabwe. It was midday, late October. And the heat was unbearable. We were sitting in the shade next to the campsite, in the water of a spring. The spring runs for about a kilometer so were weren`t disturbing the game from drinking. A huge herd of buffalo entered the riverbed about 300 metres downstream. They slowly made their way towards us. I lay flat on my stomach and waited for them to start drinking but they kept coming closer. As I was about to slither away to the safety of our camp a few meters away, they stopped about 35 meters from me and drank. These old bulls were closest to me. – By Geoff Spiby, Hout Bay. Fuji Finepix S5Pro, Nikkor 80-400mm, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/570 sec.
The vlei areas in Hwange National Park are scattered with ilala palms (Hyphaene petersiana). They form a beautiful backdrop compared to the arid bushveld savannah. It was early one morning that I drove through the Mbiza area, hoping to find some sort of subject, when in the distance a lone giraffe came strolling by. It was just the perfect element I needed to complement my image. It is a surreal image, impressionistic of a tropical island rather than the African plains. The black and white conversion completed the image, highlighting the individual elements. – By Johann Mader, Pretoria. Nikon D700, Nikko 500mm f/4ISO 200, f/4, 1/8000 sec.
The desert landscapes of the Namib lend themselves to photographic opportunities unparalleled in Africa. The challenge is to find unique compositions at the right moment, with a special play of light, and that capture the essence of this iconic desert. It is therefore rewarding to traverse this area on foot and away from the beaten track to find scenes less often photographed. – By Josh Louw, Wilderness. Canon 50D, Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L, ISO 250, f/6.3, 1/1000 sec.
This image was taken in Kariega Game Reserve. The sun was rising behind a dense cloud of mist, which resulted in a gorgeous orange glow. These crows took off from the road and landed on this Euphorbia. I underexposed to try and get the best silhouette possible. – By Jacques de Klerk, Alicedale. Canon 7D, Sigma 150-500 f/5-6.3, ISO 250, f/9, 1/1250 sec.
This Image was taken at Mashatu in Botswana. It displays the effective use of side-light, giving the chameleon a sense of depth and adding the element of mystery to the image. – By Farida Carim, Vereeniging. Nikon D3s, Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G VR II, ISO 3200, f/4, 1/200 sec.
Diving on Roonies reef in Sodwana, I found this large school of sweepers under an overhang. Getting low down on the sand and pointing the camera upwards I noticed my wife swimming into the frame. At the same time the school started moving in a spiral and a tomato rock cod appeared, adding a splash of colour. Nikon D7100, Tokina 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5, ISO 320, f/8, 1/200 sec. – By Geoff Spiby, Hout Bay.
I took this image of the orange-breasted sunbird near McGregor in the Western Cape. -By Hilda le Roux, Robertson. Canon 7D II, Canon 500mm f/4, ISO 320, f/6.3, 1/640 sec.