Competition entries from my perspective

Some feedback on the new submission procedures now that the entry deadline has passed.

In general most people took heed of the guidelines and submitted correctly sized images to the correct address. There were however a few people that sent their submissions to the wrong address or submitted images that were considerably larger than they should have been.  The good news is that as this is the first month that we have a web site and are trying to tighten up on the rules, I have cut people some slack and not rejected anyone’s submissions. The bad news is that this is the last month that I will be doing so.

You might be wondering what it looks like when I receive your submissions.  I receive them to a Gmail account and use a web-based e-mail client to read the e-mails. This allows me to see the size of the images before I download them, meaning I can now easily reject over-sized entries before I waste bandwidth downloading them. Below is a screenshot of one of the entries I received this month with annotations indicating how I can tell that the images are too large

I know that it is sometimes difficult to get your file small enough without reducing the quality too much so I am happy to give a little bit of leeway but files that are 3 or 11 times as large as they should be are unacceptable and will be rejected in future and you will be disappointed to sit through the competition, only to realise that one or more of your entries was not accepted.


Apart from there being a veritable plethora of image subjects in this garden, the lotus flowers in the little pond next to the hothouses provide a soothing and joyful focus point at this time of the year. On 7 Jan. Nettie and I left a windy, cloudy Cape Town hopefully, and we were quite surprised to find Stellenbosch under a clear sky! 

This is the oldest university botanical garden in South Africa – and beautifully maintained. The gardens include three glass houses (tropical-, succulent- and karoo houses), the lotus lily pond, water lily pond, Japanese garden, herb garden and arboretum. There is also the BioBou Garden Gift Shop (only indigenous, plant-based, organic and eco-friendly products). The garden is open 8-5, seven days a week, closed only on certain public holidays.  Call 021 808 3054 for information on how many lotuses are in bloom.

The earlier you go the better, for photographing bright flowers in full sun is not the easiest of tasks (at about 10.00 the sun shines on most of the lilies). Be sure to take sunscreen and a hat! Apart from these supermodel lilies, you will also find insects galore to photograph, so don’t leave your long lens at home: dragonflies, spiders, nectar-seeking goggos..

The Katjiepiering Tea Garden in the dense shade of the huge oaks could provide whatever sustenance you need during your stay.

If you don’t want to travel so far, and live in Cape Town, you will find sacred lotuses in the bottom-most pond of Wynberg Park, but these lotuses are not as accessible as the ones in Stellenbosch.  It is a natural, wild pond, not a brick built pond with lilies hanging over its sides. The choice is yours.

                                                                                                                                                                 lot_00-40                                         lot_00-109




HPS Competition Meeting Update

I hope you are looking forward to our first meeting this year – this coming Wednesday 14th January at 7.30pm.

Here are a few updates:


JJ has very generously increased his sponsorship of prizes for our competitions, as follows:

There will be vouchers awarded to First Place (R40); Second Place (R30) and Third Place (R20) in the four categories ie. Prints Set Subject; Prints Open; Projected Images Set Subject and Projected Images Open. At the end of the year, members will decide on the Best Image of the Year (via our website) – for which the prize will be the printing of that image on canvas 600mm x 900mm valued at R350.  Our thanks to Picture Works

for this very generous sponsorship.


Bernard Seymour Hall will be at the meeting – receipt book in hand – hoping you will be paying him your R200 membership fee.  If you wish to pay via the Internet, please find the details on our website, and don’t forget to mention your name as a reference.


Those of you who have perused the website in detail will have realized that digital images need to be sent to a new e-mail address viz.



Kindly insert this new address in your ‘Address Book’ asap.


Please remember to get your images in timeously – before 6pm on Tuesday.


We are lucky to have obtained the services of an outside judge for our competition; and after tea, Chris Joubert will be presenting ‘The People of Lubumbashi’ (co-incidentally the city where Nicole was born!).


Hoping to see you all on Wednesday –

Kind regards,




One Week To Go

Just one week left until our first meeting of 2009.  Remember that it’s a competition evening and that the set subject is Silhouette.  So if you haven’t given any thought to your entries yet, now would be a good time.

Digital entries must be submitted (and received) by 18h00 on Tuesday 13 January 2009 to be eligible.  Please check the guide on submitting as entries must now be sent to a different e-mail address.  Rules will also be more strictly adhered to so if you don’t read the guide you may find your submissions are not accepted.