Mashonaland Photographic Society

MPS holds competitions on the third Tuesday of every month except December. Beginners through to advanced photographers are most welcome.

Members may enter a total of three images a month, split into Open Category and/or Set Subjects which range from Still Life to Action, Portraits, Macro, Abstract and Landscapes.

Due to the ongoing situation, physical get-togethers are on hold, but our monthly competitions are still going strong! For more information SMS 0783 138 150 with the words ‘MPS’, include your name and email address and we’ll get back to you.

Joint Winner of October Set Subject ‘Human Silhouettes’

Chris Sheppard with ‘Table Mountain Jump’

Chris Sheppard with ‘Table Mountain Jump’

How I got the shot…

Anyone who has been to Cape Town will know how Table Mountain dominates everything.

As you drive around it is always visible, looming almost maternally in the South, South West.

Eden on the Bay is a seaside resort North of the landmark and has several “picture frames” where people can take selfies with the mountain in the background.

Over a few beers with my brother-in-law and his family, I pondered how to capture an innovative shot with enough elements in it to keep things interesting.

I needed a model who was athletic enough to “jump” high enough to be in the middle of said frame and still be able to land on the ground without hurting himself.

My niece’s boyfriend who is a Gym instructor was perfect and was press ganged into service. He was kind enough to follow my instructions and gave me the opportunity to take this image.

Camera Information
Camera—Canon EOS 7Dii
Lens—Canon EF 16-35mm @ 16mm
Shutter Speed—1/2000/sec @10fps
Single Focus on the “Frame”
Aperture—f2.8

Joint Winner of October Set Subject ‘Human Silhouettes’

Jim Dryburgh with ‘Sundown at Matopos’

Jim Dryburgh with ‘Sundown at Matopos’

How I got the shot…

At sunset I was in the Matopos. It was a superb place to watch the sunset.

There were lots of visitors taking videos and photos of the sunset and with youngsters clambering over the rocks it all presented itself as a good photo opportunity.

The decision to be made was what to focus on and what exposure to use. If I focused on the figures the sky was pale and if I aimed at the sky the subject was out of focus.

I found that aiming at the edge of the boulders gave me both the focus and the exposure that I wanted. Otherwise I would have gone over to a manual setting.

The camera was set with a minus point 7 exposure compensation value.

The lens was at 125mm (35mm equivalent) and the exposure was 1/640th. at f4.6

Joint Winner of October Set Subject ‘Human Silhouettes’

Chris Sheppard with ‘First Light Cast’

Chris Sheppard with ‘First Light Cast’

How I got the shot…

I love Silhouettes, be it people, trees, buildings or just anything interesting. Huntin’, Shootin’, Fishin’ is a great place to be to capture people who are relaxed with my photographic presence.

Over the years that I have covered the event I have identified certain spots that offer the best photographic opportunities.

Troutbeck Inn, Nyanga has a large trout dam in front of where HSF is staged. Day One sees fishermen racing to water in an effort to secure a productive spot as their scores depend on heir catch.

All this happens very early morning, before sunup. Being winter, clouds are almost a given.

This particular spot is perfect as a fisherman will be silhouetted against a struggling sun with moody clouds obscuring direct sun.

I took several frames of this particular scene in an effort to catch the cast thus giving some movement in image.

Image Details-
Camera—Canon EOS 7D
Lens—Canon EF 16-35mm @16mm
Shutter Speed—1/25 second
Aperture—f2.8
ISO—500
Aperture Priority
Post processing with Photoshop CC involved
increased contrast and saturation.
Clothing—warm gear with thermos of coffee!

Winner of October ‘Open’ Category

George Fleet with ‘Smiley Dragonfly’

George Fleet with ‘Smiley Dragonfly’

How I got the shot…

This photograph was taken in the garden one sunny day when the air seemed to be full of Dragonflies. These had a reddish appearance so there was a chance that a photo might prove interesting.

Trying to capture in flight was impossible but when one had settled the opportunity arose. This one kept flying off but returning to the same spot.

On landing, the position of body & wings were always in differing positions and only a few such looked to be a good presentation. Even then only for a few seconds as it moved wings up and down, twisted position and flew off. That day virtually no breeze.

After about an hour, checking as you go to see if any shot was what you wanted, and 142 takes later they were uploaded to review. As ever, a few also rans but this shot was the most descriptive.

The camera may never lie but it is not always reflective of what the eye sees. To try to improve on that a few colour adjustments were needed to portray the beauty of this dragonfly but not any exaggeration just for effect.

The background was a deep shaded bush so some slightly lighter green panels darkened to give a dark background to offset the colours.

One wonders if the Fairies myth grew out of these pretty little insects.

CAMERA: Canon 7D Mk 2
LENS: Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
PARAMETERS: Speed 1/60th sec,
Focal length 100mm, ISO 100,
Aperture f/10, on ISO Auto,
Auto white balance and Auto focus set to Image stabilised and A I Servo.

Photographs provided by Mashonaland Photographic Society

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