Tag Archives: Tanzania

Getting into the judges’ minds

Dear all,

If you follow Pics from the wild on FB, you will have noticed that I have been giving it a serious shot to guess the April Wild Eye Nature photography competition winner. You also may have noticed that I ‘failed’ miserably. Only 1 of my guesses was in the top 10 and none of them was in the top 3. I must say that I have seriously considered 5 of the other highly commended images, yet that the remaining 4 would, despite being great shots, never ever be in my top 10 (check out the winning images here). Does this mean the judges have it wrong, NO, does it mean my photographic eye is off, could be, yet I think not, does it mean the other entries sucked, not at all (check out all the April entries here), … It does mean though that your mood and personal experiences influence what you like at a certain point in time. Something that also goes for the judges, again portraying the difficulty in actually knowing what will catch their eye, since after all, that is what a competition is about. And that brings me back to an issue I’ve raised before, when entering shots into a competition, don’t stick to your own opinion, yet dare to go out of your comfort zone and ask for feedback from others, and dare to enter shots you’re not sure abot yourself!

Here’s one of my entries for this month, a potential winner? No idea, personally I like the shot, since I know hyraxes as being prone to disappearing in between the rocks, yet to somebody who has a rock outcrop in the back of his/her garden, inhabited by this species, this might not be special at all, … the only way to find out is by entering it 😉

Canon 350D, Canon 75-300 @ 130 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO 200

Finally and most importatly, I absolutely enjoyed going throught the images and analyzing what I liked and why. On top of that, I’ve been sharing some great images, and that in itself is what it is all about! That being said, if you have some spare time and you are prepared to be inspired, check the work of two clear front runners in the competition so far, and for obvious reasons: Isak Pretorious and Mark Dumbleton whom if I’m not mistaken both havn’t been absent from the top 10 since January.

Have a great week,




It’s all about giving and taking

Hi everybody,

Last week I told you a bit more about my sleepy vervet monkey shot. This week, I want to share some thoughts on sharing. In photography, sharing can take different forms and serve different purposes, yet what it all boils down to is that there should be a balance between giving and taking.

Let me use the Wild Eye gallery and monthly competition an example.  They are a great platform for sharing, exchanging, learning, inspiration, … And that also goes for the competition, since getting selected is great, yet the proverbial participation is better. Since even when your images don’t make it, that doesn’t mean they are bad images, it just means they connected less to the mood of the jury at that point in time. Yet thinking about your submissions, seeing what others submit and learning from the judges in the end all boils down to giving and taking. You take, by getting inspired (by looking at the competition, which is getting stiffer by the month b.t.w.), by exposing your work, yet you can also give, by providing feedback to the work of others, or by creating exposure for them. Honestly, how cool is it when a 13 year old gets in touch with you and asks you to go through her pictures to provide some feedback, isn’t that what it’s all about?! A small effort from your side that can give somebody else just that little push which is needed, isn’t that great? I can tell you it made my day!

Canon 350D, Canon 75-300 @ 300mm, 1/500, f/8, ISO 200

Some of the sites I’ve been checking out to share my work include 1x and 500px. Some time ago, I was still wondering whether I liked 1x or not. By now I can tell you I don’t, since in my opinion, you do not want to be at the mercy of a curator when you want to create exposure for your messages. If (s)he doesn’t like your style, you will end up spending a lot of time in uploading pictures without any result, besides getting frustrated, or worse, moving away from your own style in trying to please the curator. Don’t go there, go for 500px instead, the quality of the work and the interaction with other photographers is great. And for those who use Lightroom, sharing has just been made easier, since you can post from Lightroom directly. And while you’re at it, you can do the same for Facebook and a bunch of other social media.

Another way of sharing I have just been exploring is Pinterest, you can check it out here and I would love to hear what you think about it. What I like about it, is that it allows you to gather a nice collection of work you like from across the web. Where I am not sure about it, is whether it gives sufficient credit to the photographer (not everybody mentions the photographer as I do), … I still havn’t made up my mind on this one. Have you tried it? Has it worked for you?

To finalize, let me share 2 inspiring wildlife and nature photography sites I came across recently, by Andrew Aveley and Isak Pretorius.

Enough for this week, look for quality interactions, share what you like, enjoy what you are doing and take it from there.

Warm regards,


PS: I have added an archives tab in the right hand column of the site to facilitate navigation amongst older blog posts.