Camera Club of Johannesburg

Club Competitions

CCJ takes part in various inter-club competitions, as well as arranging competitions between its members. CCJ’s entries into inter-club competitions, as well as the results of recent club competitions, are below.

Cwm Rhondda International Photographic Battle

The Camera Club of Johannesburg is one of the 26 photographic clubs from South Africa, Canada, Malta, USA, Isle of Man, Ireland and the UK that participated in the Cwm Rhondda International Photographic battle, hosted by the Rhondda Camera Club. CCJ was placed 7th overall, and was judged to have the best colour image, for Maximum regret in 321 by Mark Geldenhuys. The judging for this competition was streamed live and can be viewed on Youtube. CCJ’s entries into this competition are below.

Maximum regret in 321 – Mark Geldenhuys

Rocky shores – Sandy van Vuuren

Could be the 50s – David Benn

Down the hatch – Jack Weinberg

Interclub competition with New Brighton Photographic Club

The Camera Club of Johannesburg has an annual interclub competition with the New Brighton Photographic Club in New Zealand. In 2021, the New Brighton club won this competition, and CCJ’s highest placed image received a third place – see below.

Robber fly – Cavan Hill

Des Berkowitz Portfolio Trophy 2021

This is an annual competition for CCJ’s members, where members submit a portfolio of six images with an accompanying article or story relating to the images. In 2021, Monique Adams was the winner with her portfolio titled ‘Animals’.

Originally, I choose People as my topic for this year’s portfolio trophy.  However, the onset of the calamitous third wave meant that this was not possible, so I opted for Animals instead.

As you well know, bird, wildlife and nature photography are my genres and the lack of international tourists in South Africa this year meant that I had ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunities to visit some of South Africa’s top wildlife destinations at affordable prices and in Covid safe conditions.

The images selected in my portfolio submission represent as wide as wide a range of the wildlife I saw and photographed this year as possible.  The meerkats were photographed at Tswalu which is situated in the arid Kalahari region. The animals are habituated yet wild and to obtain this image, I had to lie on the ground on a mat and spend several hours trying to predict out of which burrow they would emerge and then capture them as they ran around at breakneck speed.  The honey badger is difficult to find never mind photograph and I have only ever had a quick glimpse of them as they run across the road or dive into their burrows.  I was delighted therefore to catch this youngster emerging from her burrow in the Sabi Sands. We had tracked her in an ever-decreasing circle before we found her burrow and staked her out until she finally emerged. The lion headshot is of two lions mating. To find lions mating is difficult and when you do, they usually hide in the long grass or present you with a rear view.  This time we found this pair mating in the open at Mashatu in the Tuli Block in Botswana in perfect light and were able to manoeuvre ourselves into the perfect position.  The side striped jackal is a notoriously shy animal unlike it’s much more commonly seen cousin, the black backed jackal. So, I was thrilled to have this one coming in to drink at the overnight hide at Zimanga in Kwa-Zulu/Natal in the dead of the night.  The challenge here was to keep very quiet as they are very skittish and then to capture the animal at very low shutter speeds.  The hide has some side lights shining on to the waterhole, but no flash or spotlight is used.  Finally, my best sightings and photo opportunities this year have been with leopards in the Sabi Sands.

Firstly, we had the amazing opportunity to photograph a leopard making a kill, dragging it to a tree, ascending the tree with the kill and then finally and triumphantly taking a much-needed break!  Here the challenge was photographing using the spotlight and a fixed 400mm lens. I used the fixed lens as opposed to the zoom as it has a lower f stop and the light was obviously poor. I also wanted to bring out the marvellous blue sky in the background. To get the shot I had to lean right back in the safari vehicle to get the angle with the lens propped precariously on a beanbag atop my knee.  Once I had the image, it was quite a puzzle as to how I was going to bring myself back into an upright position whilst securing the lens.  The second sighting was of a mother leopard with her cubs.  We watched in amazement as she interreacted with each one in turn. Again, I opted to use my 400mm prime lens as this was such a ‘once in a lifetime’ sighting that I wanted to get the best image possible.  It was a risk as they were actively moving around, and I had to be careful not to cut off ears and tails.  This time I was crouching down as far as possible and had to watch my speed to ensure the image sharpness. So, lots to think about in physically challenging conditions. I hope you have enjoyed the images and have had a taste of our wonderful wildlife heritage.”

Three musketeers

A fierce predator

Mating lions

Night time reflections

Triumphant leopardess

Leopard bonds