2012 winners

Born in 1989, Getaway Gallery has provided a platform for photographers to showcase their work and test their abilities against the finest. The 2012 competition saw more than 6 500 entries, with 57 outstanding finalists making life extremely joyous and difficult for the overall judging panel, which included Getaway editor Cameron Ewart-Smith and photographers Shem Compion and Karin Schermbrucker, and our first-ever online audience vote. Thanks to all the contributors and special congratulations to the top four prize-winning Getaway Gallery 2012 photographers.


1ST: ‘Open wide’ by Steven Benjamin, Cape Town

Open wide by Steven Benjamin

Nikon D70
Tonika 10 – 17 mm lens and two Nikonos 180 strobes
ISO 400, 1/100 sec at f18

Steve, a marine tour guide and photographer, often dives with Cape fur seals at Duiker Island near Hout Bay, and found that on hot days during breeding season they were more curious and playful than normal. ‘On this particular dive, I had to fend them off from my strobes and fins as they were pulling and playing with everything they could fit into their mouths.’ In difficult circumstances, Steve managed to capture this technically flawless image and, more importantly portray the cheeky nature of these animals.

Steven wins a Canon EOS 7D camera with an 18 – 135 mm IS lens, a Z EF 70 – 200 mm f2.8 L IS II lens and a Selphy CP-800 white bundle printer, valued at R46 100.


2ND: ‘Caged’ by Michelle Slater, Cape Town

Caged by Michelle Slater

Nikon D200
Sigma, 70 – 300 mm lens
ISO 400, 1/60 sec at f8

Michelle saw this chimpanzee at Tygerberg Zoo, near Cape Town, and tried to capture its unhappy look behind the bars. ‘I found the black and white conversion helped bring this message through,’ she says. Michelle had always been fascinated by photography, but was too afraid to give it a go until she joined the Fish Hoek Photographic Society in 2005. She now experiments in all types of photography and strives to capture a lot of mood and emotion, which she has done wonderfully here. In a time where many animals are fighting for survival and conser- vation is more crucial than ever, this compelling image says more than words could.

Michelle wins a Canon EOS 60D camera, an EF-S 18 – 55 mm IS lens, a Z EF 100 – 400mm F4.5- 5.6 L IS USM lens and a Selphy CP-800 white bundle printer, valued at R33 100.


3RD: ‘Mursi love’ by Ben McRae, NSW, Australia

Mursi love by Ben Mcrae

Canon 5D Mk II
24 – 70 mm lens
ISO 100, 1/200 sec at f7.1

Ben was staying with the Mursi in southern Ethiopia and had spent the day relaxing in the shade and playing cards with his guide and this woman (Naelku Kulumadere). She sat mesmerised by their game, only occasionally averting her gaze to attend to her child. When the heat had subsided, Ben asked if he could take her picture and it was only then that she put her lip plate in place and the corn on her head. ‘As fierce as they look, they’re quite placid and genuine,’ says Ben. It was his first trip to Africa 10 years ago that prompted Ben to take up photography and he has since returned to the continent annually in search of that perfect image. He’s amazed at the diversity of the tribes that exist in remote areas, and it’s this world that keeps pulling him back. Photographing people is a fine art and with creative use of lighting, Ben has produced a stunner.

Ben wins a Canon EOS 600d camera, an EF-S 18 – 55 mm IS II lens, a Z EF 70 – 300 mm f4-.6 dO IS USM lens and a Selphy CP-800 white bundle printer, valued at r28 100.


4th: ‘Nomad in cave’ by Amelia Vermaak, Barberton

Nomad in cave by Amelia Vermaak

Canon EOS 7D
24 – 70 mm f2.8 L USM lens
ISO 640, 1/100 sec at f2.8

While Amelia’s main focus lies with photographing the wildlife and birds of Southern Africa, she took this beautiful image of an old man in a cave near the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. there was snow on the mountain, but it was warm inside and water was boiling over a fire. he gave her permission to be photographed, but had eye problems and didn’t want to look at the camera, which she respected. She used natural light from the opening of the cave and underexposed to capture this image. Composition, colour, lighting and timing all came together when Amelia made this wonderful, story-telling picture.

Amelia wins a Canon EOS 550D camera, an EF-S 18 – 55 mm IS lens, a EF-S 55 – 250 mm IS lens and a Selphy CP-800 white bundle printer, valued at R12 100.