Camera Club of Johannesburg

Annual Club Competitions

CCJ arranges an annual year-end trophy competition for its members, where its members submit images in twelve different categories. The winning image in each category, as well the the club’s digital image of the year, are chosen by a panel of three independent judges. The winning images for CCJ’s recent year-end competitions are below.

In addition, CCJ also arranges an annual competition for its members, where members submit a portfolio of six images with an accompanying article or story relating to the images. Scroll down to see the the winning panel of images for the recent portfolio trophy competitions.

2023 CCJ Annual Trophy – winning & runner-up images

Digital Image of the year:

Winner: Vegetarian eagle – Cavan Hill

Photographer of the year: Monique Adams

  • based on all points scored at CCJ during the year, as well as salon acceptances and awards

Club Excellence Trophy: Gaby Grohovaz

  • based on points scored for CCJ judging and participation in club events

Best Beginner images:

Winner: Skull on a twig – Johan du Plessis

Runner-up: Old timer – Johan du Plessis

Best Creative Experiment images:

Winner: One flew over the cuckoo’s nest – Gaby Grohovaz (also Certificate of Merit)

Runner-up: Textures and colours – Kittie du Plessis (also Certificate of Merit)

Best Nature images:

Winner: Wildebeest silhouette – Monique Adams (also Certificate of Merit)

Runner-up: Mantis stare – Cavan Hill (also Certificate of Merit)

Best Photo Art images:

Winner: Theia Goddess of vision – Gaby Grohovaz (also Certificate of Merit)

Runner-up: Colour burst – Johan du Plessis

Best Photojournalism images:

Winner: 212 in action – Jack Weinberg (also Certificate of Merit)

Runner-up: Rooivalk display – David Benn

Certificate of Merit: Right hook contacted – Mark Geldenhuys

Certificate of Merit: Take that – Mark Geldenhuys

Best Social Comment images:

Winner: Three heroes – Alan Mason

Runner-up: Going fishing – Cavan Hill

Best People & Portraiture images:

Winner: Cassiopeoa Queen of Dreams – Gaby Grohovaz

Runner-up: Joy – David Benn

Best Still Life images:

Winner: Yellow daisies with bud – Jack Weinberg (also Certificate of Merit)

Runner-up: Vitreous acrobatics – Gaby Grohovaz (also Certificate of Merit)

Best Landscape images:

Winner: Sunrise at low tide – Cavan Hill (also Certificate of Merit)

Runner-up: Dawn lake scene – Jack Weinberg

Best Travel images:

Winner: Compressed perspective – David Benn (also Certificate of Merit)

Runner-up: Ready for the day’s fishing – Cavan Hill

Best Wildlife & Animal images:

Winner: Vegetarian eagle – Cavan Hill (also Certificate of Merit)

Runner-up: Pied landing with fish – Jack Weinberg (also Certificate of Merit)

Certificate of Merit: Cheetah takedown – Monique Adams

2022 CCJ Annual Trophy – winning & runner-up images

Digital Images of the year:

Winner: Autumn lake scene – Jack Weinberg

Runner-up: Turmoil – Kittie du Plessis

Best Beginner images:

Winner: Commer – Johan du Plessis

Runner-up: Last resting place – Johan du Plessis

Best Computer Enhanced images:

Winner: Ravishing – Gaby Grohovaz

Runner-up: Poppy abstract – Kittie du Plessis

Best Nature images:

Winner: Bee collecting aloe nectar – Cavan Hill (also Certificate of Merit)

Runner-up: Geothermal pools – Monique Adams

Best Photo Art – Creative images:

Winner: Turmoil – Kittie du Plessis (also Certificate of Merit)

Runner-up: Boat – Alan Mason

Best Photo Art – Abstract images:

Winner: Fire in glass – Kittie du Plessis

Runner-up: Spillage – Mark Geldenhuys

Best Photojournalism images:

Winner: Low pass – Mark Geldenhuys (also Certificate of Merit)

Runner-up: Night service – David Benn

Best Open Pictorial images:

Winner: Lily and buds – Jack Weinberg

Runner-up: Blue hour cocktail – Gaby Grohovaz

Best People & Portraiture images:

Winner: Penny for your thoughts – Mark Geldenhuys

Runner-up: Tshepo Ronaldo – Gaby Grohovaz

Best Sports & Action images:

Winner: Maximum regret in 321 – Mark Geldenhuys (also Certificate of Merit)

Runner-up: Fishing in rough seas – Jack Weinberg

Best Landscape images:

Winner: Autumn lake scene – Jack Weinberg (also Image of the Year)

Runner-up: Fire burn – Alan Mason

Best Scenic & Travel images:

Winner: Iceland church – Monique Adams

Runner-up: Dawn at Perdevlei – David Benn

Best Wildlife images:

Winner: Female weaver touchdown – Jack Weinberg (also Certificate of Merit)

Runner-up: Blotcheye soldiers on wreck – Mark Geldenhuys

Des Berkowitz Portfolio Trophy 2022

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 2022, the theme was “Man versus Nature’ and Mark Geldenhuys was the winner with his portfolio.

Man has always sought to conquer the oceans and for the most he has.

There are times however, be it through human error, inclement weather or even equipment failure that the environment trumps man and consumes all the man made devices.

In my series, I hope to portray how the environment has claimed the manmade structures and enveloped them and ultimately incorporated them into the environment and slowly started the recycle process to absorb and consume these man-made monstrosities and while this is happening create new reefs and homes for the underwater marine life.

The wreck shown in the images is the Chrisoula K which ran aground on the Sha’ab Abu Nuhas, right next to other famous shipwrecks of the northern Red Sea, including the Kimon M, the Carnatic, and the Giannis D. The Chrisoula K was over 100 metres long and 15 metres wide, with a nine-cylinder diesel engine.

The ship weighed in at 3 720 tonnes and yet was no match for the Abu Nuhas reef and remains on the floor at a depth of between 27m up to 4 m near the surface.

The wreck has been colonised by a very active and healthy marine eco system who ultimately will consume the wreck given enough time.

In the interim, it has become home for a very diverse eco system which is healthy and has adapted the wreck as part of the eco system.

The big challenge in documenting this portfolio is the underwater environment which is not conducive to photography as all colour bar a blue grey monotone disappears once one reaches a depth of 9m from either the surface or the light source.

To restore the vibrant colours I had to use a combination of underwater strobes and powerful video lights to regain some of the natural colours.

2021 CCJ Annual Trophy – winning images

Image of the year & Social comment category winner:

The Burn – Mark Geldenhuys

Portaiture category

Mermaid – Gaby Grohovaz

Wildlife and animals category

Cuckolded by a Cuckoo – Cavan Hill

‘Scapes category

Autumn – Sandy van Vuuren

Still life category

Lily of the Veldt – Jack Weinberg

Creative Experiment category

See The Music – Gaby Grohovaz

Travel category

Full Power – David Benn

Photojournalism category

Selling her Wares – Jack Weinberg

Nature category

Rocky Shores – Sandy van Vuuren

Photo Art category

Against All Odds – Gaby Grohovaz

Beginners category

Roller 1 Scorpion 0 – Michael Broschk

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

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