Photos here and there


The photograph above was taken by me on 30 October 2013. These two zebras seemed to be really into each other, and were bumping into each other like to teenagers.

UPDATE: Right now, I am truly annoyed, and I do not know who to be annoyed at, either WordPress, or Flickr. Below each of the events/places I mentioned below, there is supposed to be a slideshow of each of those photographic events. For some reason, WordPress strips out the embedded code provided by Flickr for each of those slideshows. Aaaarrrgghh! So, for now, in this post, you will have to be satisfied with links to the galleries on Flickr.

So, I have been out and about taking photographs here and there. It is not always easy to find the right pic and sometimes the subjects simply do not cooperate.

On 28 September 2013, I had the opportunity to be a photographer at the Believe Mountain Bike Race. The slideshow below contains pics from that event taken by me. The race was held at Northern Farm, GPS coordinates, 25°55’52.33″S – 27°58’45.59″E. Visit gallery here.

Next, on 19 October 2013, I was involved in photographing the 7th Warrior Adventure Race close to Hartebeespoortdam on the Redstone Private Country Estate, GPS coordinates, 25°46’37.06″S – 27°51’46.82″E. Visit gallery here.

The next 3 places are 3 of my favourite places to relax with my camera. It doesn’t cost me an arm and a leg to go to either of them.

On 26 October 2013 I visited the Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary. On this day the birds were very mellow, and so I didn’t get many birds in flight. Access to the sanctuary is free and the GPS coordinates are 25°46’11.32″S – 28°13’39.31″E. It is on the corner of Roper St and Boshoff St, in the suburb of Bailey’s Muckleneuk. Visit gallery here.

Just a few kilometres from where I live, in the neighbouring suburb of Moreleta Park, there is a little gem of a nature reserve called The Moreletakloof Nature Reserve. Entrance at this reserve is also free. GPS coordinates are 25°49’0.68″S – 28°17’28.16″E. The entrance is on the corner of Helios St and Palmiet St in Moreleta Park. Visit gallery here.

And, then, finally, just a few kilometres south from where I live is the Rietvlei Nature Reserve. Although entrance is not free here, it is only R40 (about $4) for an adult, R20 ($2) for children 6-16 years, and R5 ($0.50) for children younger than that. GPS coordinates are 25°52’59.26″S – 28°15’49.95″E. Visit gallery here.

I have come to experience photography in a very therapeutic way. Whenever I feel stressed, all I need to do is head out somewhere to take photographs and soon I feel mellow again.

When you get a chance, come over to my Flickr profile and visit me!

Attended the Photo and Film Expo

NOTE: I discovered with some dismay that the twitter pics that are supposed to display with the tweets I did during the day at the various workshops, are not being displayed. Something is wrong with the embedded code that Twitter provides, and so there are no pics connected to those tweets in this blog post. If you would like to see the presenters, then click on the date links with each of the embedded tweets below.


I attended the Photo and Film Expo at the Coca-Cola Dome today. It is promoted as the largest photographic event in Africa! Well, it didn’t disappoint.

I arrived there at around 09:15 this morning and I only left at 17:05 this afternoon. That is 5:05PM! There are many stalls from all kinds of photographic style companies, such as Nikon, Canon (represented by Digital Experience) and Sony (I am a Sony man myself).

One of the things that I discovered today (which is important to me), is that there is someone who rents out Sony equipment. We all know of places to rent Nikon and Canon equipment, yet I didn’t know of any place to rent Sony equipment. I found such a man in Robbie Aspeling. You can find his Sony Rentals at his site (RA Photography). Once there, just click on the Sony Rentals link in the site menu.

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10 Topics, 20 Photographs, 24 Hours

Last Friday and Saturday, 4-5 October 2013, our photo club had its 3rd Annual Photo Rally. What it comes down to is that at the start you are given 10 topics to photograph, and in the next 24 hours you have to hand in 2 photographs on each topic. No photographs may be altered after it has been taken, whether in or out of camera. Photographs must rely completely on settings before the photo is taken. Further, no photos were to be taken after 16:00 (4PM) on 5 October.

It may seem easy to take 20 photos in 24 hours, but when you have to fit all this into normal life, it becomes a little tricky. These photos will be judged at our next monthly meeting.

I won’t bore you with the descriptions of each topic, so here are the pics according to topic:

Into the sun
Creative Self-Portrait
Childhood memory
Faceless Portrait
More than one (Patterns)

Apart from the above, there were a few my wife and I liked. Together we liked:


Then, my wife liked:


And finally, I liked:


All-in-all, it was a fun 24 hours, and would do it again!

Rietvlei Nature Reserve

I love visiting the Rietvlei Nature Reserve. You will find all kinds of animals and birds there. It is very convenient for me, since it is almost in my backyard. It is only 6Km from our house. The tariffs are reasonable, since it is only R40 for adults, R20 for children between 6-16 years old and R5 for children under 6. Pensioners and the disabled pay R20.




For those with GPS, it can be found at 25°52’56.74″S, 28°15’51.02″E.

Here are a couple of pics from Rietvlei:





wdicks's Rietvlei Nature Reserve album on Photobucket

June: club photographic judging

Last month was a bit of a shock to me in the sense that before last month’s club meeting I had entered 5 photographs the previous months and all were awarded gold awards. Then came last month and I entered 4 photos of which 3 got silver awards and only one gold.

So, with a new challenge for this month’s judging at the club I thought I’d try again! The Set Subject for this month was Mono Abstract. That is apart from all the other normal categories like Nature, Mono, Sport, etc.

I walked away there very surprised tonight since at my 1 Star level I won three categories and in the fourth I got a silver, which I kind of expected.

So, here are the pics:

Wired Up. Mono Abstract 1 Star category winner.

Stripes. Mono 1 Star category winner.

Seed Bearing. Nature 1 Star category winner.

Water Baby.

With Water Baby I had a feeling that it would only get a silver. However, I still hoped that because there was water and movement involved that somehow it could get a gold. But alas, no! I actually told my wife when I chose the photograph that I would probably only get a silver.

I really enjoy the monthly meeting at the photographic club. We get to chat with other photographers and we get to listen to the judges’ comments and so learn through what they have to say.

Judging photographs is not easy

At the start of this year I decided to take photography a little more serious than I had up till then. So, I decided to join a photography club. I joined the National Photographic Club of South Africa here in Pretoria.

As a newbie in photography I had to start as a 1 Star photographer. There are 5 star levels for photographers. Once you become a 5 Star photographer, you need to move up the 5 Star ranks of 5 Star Master Bronze to 5 Star Master Platinum. And, of course, this doesn’t happen overnight. To move from 1 star to 2 star a total number of 30 judging points have to be accumulated and at least 7 gold or certificate of merit (COM) awards, where COM = 5, gold = 3, silver = 2 and bronze = 1. This is explained in the table below:




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