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Reader photo: Jan’s flower

Photographer: Jan Putter

JAN WRITES: A flower popped up in our garden in the Free State.


SHELLEY CHRISTIANS SAYS: Jan found this beautiful spring flower in his garden. The colour really pops against the green leaves.The shallow depth of field ensures that the leaves do not draw any attention away from Jan’s lovely subject.

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Reader photo: Water trough

Photographer: Zander Erasmus

Equipment: Nikon D7000; Nikon 18 – 140mm lens

ZANDER ERASMUS WRITES: I took this photo near Fouriesburg in the Free State when we stayed there on our way to the coast. I had already taken the obvious photo of the sandstone cliffs outside town when I came upon this water trough. There were no animals to disturb the surface of the water – not even a breeze – and it reflected the sky like a mirror.

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Reader photo: Train at sunset

Photographer: Cindy Bester

Equipment: Nikon D5100; Nikkor 18 – 55mm lens

CINDY BESTER WRITES: I took this photo late one afternoon in Despatch, my home town. I initially took a pic of the approaching train, but realised the back of the train as it left the station made for a better shot.

I’m always looking for new places to take photos and I’ve explored most of Despatch to find scenic spots. Near the station and in the direction of Uitenhage, there’s a footpath next to the railway tracks. At a certain time of the year, the sun sets in line with the tracks, which leads to great photo opportunities.

Sometimes I shoot only the tracks, but it’s always a bonus if there’s a train around.

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Reader photo: Eagle silhouette

Photographer: Johan Orton

Equipment: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV; Canon 300mm lens

JOHAN ORTON WRITES: I had one goal for my first visit to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park – to capture a beautiful sunset – and I only had three days to achieve it.

I find that silhouette photos work best during the golden hour when the light is soft and warm. I took this photo at around 5.45pm.

Our time in the park had run out and it was our final afternoon game drive. I decided to stop at the first decent tree and try to get a silhouette shot. I had a clear picture in my head of what I wanted to achieve, but I just couldn’t get it right.

Then I saw this martial eagle near Twee Rivieren. I had to be careful not to scare the bird away when I poked my camera through the window, and my settings had to be perfect because there was no time to experiment. I had to rely on my experience as a sports photographer to get the shot.

My Canon 300mm lens has never let me down, provided the subject is close enough. In this case the eagle was only about 20m away. These are the settings I used: shutter speed 1/4 000 second; aperture f5.6; ISO 800.

Luckily the bird took off at just the right moment!

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