What a good but hectic last few weeks! This time was filled with preparation for this week when I judged a photography competition on Tuesday and gave a talk to the Christchurch Photographic Society on Wednesday!
It was great to judge the New Brighton Photographic Club's natural history competition - it was a mammoth task, commenting on and critiquing 85 images!! Not having much competition background I found that it was a great experience for me. I feel that we all learn from critiquing other's work and I feel it can help us along in our own photographic journeys. We all do it don’t we, often subconsciously… whether it be here online or when we look through magazines or newspapers etc., we find ourselves taking things we like from an image and perhaps thinking about what we would do differently. I feel it’s always a good thing to critique our own work, to take a self-check… we are often our own harshest critics, and I believe that this can be a good thing. Judging gave me a good chance to sit down and think about what makes a good natural history image, what works and what doesn’t. I feel that a good natural history image should be one that captures our immediate attention but also should call for further investigation. We shouldn’t judge ourselves strictly on whether we follow the 'rules' of photography, such as the rule of thirds etc… because photography is open to interpretation and we, as artists, as photographers, portray a scene the way we see it. These rules can often be very helpful in making pleasing images, although we shouldn’t be governed by them. For it’s often when we step outside the box, dare to be different and 'break the rules' that we make dramatic compositions and create something that is unique!
I had a great time last night talking to the Christchurch Photographic Society! It was great to be able to share some images with such a welcoming and friendly bunch of photographers. As part of my preparation for the talk I've spent some time back in the hide in search of some new kingfisher footage to introduce the use of hides in bird photography (the new clip is seen here below, best viewed in HD). Preparing for the talk was a good chance to review some of my photos which I haven't had time to edit in the last few months... I found it fun to rediscover images from some of my recent photographic adventures! Some of those images are shown below...
I recently won the Ronald Woolf Memorial Scholarship to attend the Photographic Society of New Zealand's National Convention which is held in Invercargill. At the end of this month I will going on a photography trip down to the very south of the South Island of New Zealand. I hope to capture the dramatic colours of New Zealand's Autumn and the amazing wildlife that call the Catlins home! I am really looking forward to meeting photographers from all over the country!!!