Photo Competition - August Winners

The Winners

Despite the high quality of the submissions this month, choosing the winners wasn't too hard, because their quality was obvious at once. Unusually they're all from first-time entrants, but I think you'll agree they're all worthy winners. The first is this fantastic shot from Matthew Robins of Chessington in Surrey. One of nature's most spectacular powers, a massive lightning bolt captured in amazing detail, with the night-time city perfectly exposed in the foreground. It's easily one of the best photos of lightning that I've ever seen. He took the shot on a Canon EOS 30D with an EF 24-85mm lens. Matthew explains "I arrived in the South of France (Theoule) in the middle of a powerful storm. I stayed outside as long as I dared as the lightning strikes got closer and closer." It was worth the risk, and Matthew wins himself a SanDisk 2GB CompactFlash card, a SanDisk Imagemate All-In-One USB 2.0 card reader, and the excellent Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX40 luxury compact camera.

Our second prize winner this month is another brilliant, courageous and somewhat terrifying photo of an unstoppable power of nature. I'll let the Philip du Toit of Grahamstown, South Africa explain his shot:

"I was doing a game drive in the Eastern Cape South Africa at the time. We woke up early for our game drive and while drinking coffee we heard {the lions} roaring a few miles up the valley from the lodge. We knew what direction to take but we didn't know how far away they were. I have a very good knowledge of the area though and knew a few spots where they like to be in the mornings.

It did not take us long to find them and stayed with them while they made attempts at hunting. They were getting lazy though because they had been trying all night. They spotted a lone elephant bull about 200 yards away and started stalking him. Lions often practice stalking techniques on large animals like elephant and rhino to hone their skills.

The elephant was not in a playful mood though and we managed to position ourselves so that the elephant would chase the lion to our left. There was another vehicle parked a short distance from us and when the elephant started chasing the lion that vehicle had to move out of the way very, very quickly, because the lion wanted to go under and the elephant wanted to go through! I have a whole sequence of shots depicting the chase that the elephant gave them."

Philip used a Canon EOS 20D, f/6.3 at 1/250th ISO800, 160mm focal length to take the shot. He wins himself a SanDisk 2GB CompactFlash card, a SanDisk Imagemate All-In-One USB 2.0 card reader, and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1 compact camera. I'm not sure even the FT1 would survive being trampled by an elephant though!

Our top prize winner this month is another man prepared to take risks to get the picture. Alan Rossiter of Wexford, Ireland has captured not only the power of the sea, but also man's ability to withstand it, with this beautifully composed and perfectly timed shot of Hook Head lighthouse in Ireland. The building can withstand the power of the sea, the photographer not so much. Alan reports that two shots later he was "destroyed" by a wave! Fortunately his Sony A700 is environmentally sealed and splash-proof, and presumably Alan is OK since he managed to send the picture in to us. It's a shame we have to scale it down to fit on the page, because the full-size shot is simply stunning, with masses of texture and detail that it's hard to see on the screen. It's a subject that works supremely well in monochrome, and I think I'll probably be using this one as a desktop for the next month or so. In return Alan wins a SanDisk 2GB CompactFlash card, a SanDisk Imagemate All-In-One USB 2.0 card reader, and the fantastic Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 compact camera.

Many thanks to all our entrants, and congratulations to Matthew, Philip and Alan. Don't forget that the current round of our photography competition is open, with the theme of "Music and Entertainment" and a closing date of September 30th 2009. Click here for details on how to enter, and the superb Panasonic and SanDisk prizes on offer.


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