A staggering 201 images were submitted for the 2011 MalaMala Photographic Competition. It was no easy task to whittle down the incredible selection to a Top 10 – let alone to choose just one winner.
But after 44 days of earnest deliberation, we are tickled pink (rather apt on this “love”ly day) to present to you THE WINNER, as well as the remaining 10 OVERALL FINALISTS.
Max Waugh has walked away with the prize for his image, ‘Jakkalsdraai female leopard and cub’
From out judging panel: A very well balanced and beautiful image in respect of composition, colour, angle and texture. The shallow depth of field is integral in separating the foreground foliage and background foliage from the leopards, and more importantly, allowing the eyes of the baby leopard to remain the focal point. The out-of-focus mother behind the cub fills as a supportive element to the whole feel of the image. The twigs and leaves, also slightly out of focus, add even more depth. The sum total is an image that allows the eye to wander around, but always draws it back to the gorgeous little cub as the heart of the scene.
SECOND : Andy Goodman – Styx lioness and cubs
A very well composed and well balanced image creating a captivating mood, with a good use of sepia tone. A great use of depth of field brings attention to the eye of the mother, the main focal point of the picture. This picture has a gorgeous look, excellent pose and beautiful processing resulting in a lovely tone and mood.
THIRD : Lee Slabber – Parrot
A very well composed photograph. Bird photography requires a great deal of patience and capturing an image like this is no easy feat. The simplicity of this photograph with its vertical and diagonal lines, along with the bold and striking colours on the bird enhanced by the late afternoon light make this image first class. Parrots are fast fliers, so to capture this would require a high level of anticipation, along with correct camera positioning and absolutely perfect timing.
FOURTH : Lee Slabber –Lion
A very well composed image and great use of side lighting to create a dramatic feel, with texture and depth. The play of light through the grass and onto the face of the lion, with deepened shadows behind the animal make this picture even more powerful, enhanced by the stark contrast of yellow and black. The detailed whiskers and sharp eye are the focal points of this image.
Andy Goodman – Elephants
A great use of vertical and diagonal lines. The shallow depth of field also separates the subject from the background. A well presented crop allows eyes to remain fixed on the elephants. This is a really beautiful interaction, and is a good example of portrait mode. The blue in the background also lends a lovely hue to the scene.
Martin Joffe – Waterbuck
A perfect portrait, with a lovely pose and a clean background. This well composed image taken from a low angle and using simple composition rules makes the male waterbuck appear dominant, and almost regal.
Carrie Thurman – Dwarf mongoose
A wonderful image of these fascinating animals, with a decent composition. This picture is big on the “cute and comical” factor with the mongooses all peering out of their den. It could have been further enhanced with a tighter crop.
Chris Prestegard – Daughter of the Kikilezi female leopard
A gorgeous picture with great colour saturation, good balance and a good play on horizontal lines. The shallow depth of field separating the leopard from its background allow for the animal to become very pronounced and vivid. This is a picture that everyone wants, and with the mopane colours is a great, clean image.
Jennifer Martin – Giraffe necking
An unusual photograph which plays on the diagonals and verticals and allows the eye to explore the entire image. A tight crop has allowed most of the image to be filled with the giraffe, and hence has added a hint of clever confusion to the image. The author went in tight for the eye image, and pulled it off.
Nick Rabjohn – Leopard on log
A very well composed image with a good use of diagonal lines. There is a great colour saturation, with a unique combination of the yellow fungus and the leopards coat. The leopard is in perfect focus and the overall composition is beautifully enhanced with the curling of the leopards tail. The leopard is cropped a bit tight, and the vignetting tightens it even more, but this is a beautiful scene.
Max Waugh – Jakkalsdraai female leopard and cub
The wide eyes of the female leopard are the main focal point of this image. There is a great use of depth of field to hold the viewer in the leopard’s eye, however the poor lighting conditions have not allowed for any good colour saturation. This is a very rare sighting. The photographer could have zoomed out a bit more to show more of cub, but the overall impact is still very strong.
Congratulations from The MalaMala Team