Photographic Society


2018 Awards and Update by Ms Avidon & Ms Jones

Zaeem Bhabha achieved a PSSA (Photographic Society of South Africa) Certificate of Excellence, for his panel of 10 photos.

Here are the images out of panel of 10 that received: Gold


 School Trophy Awards:

The 2018 Photograph of the year: S Bheeka

The Best Panel of School Photographs: Z Bhabha





Winner of the Avidon Trophy for the Best School Panel: Z Bhabha


The boys submit photos each term which are judged in their star level. (Awarded a bronze, silver, gold or a certificate of merit). Mrs Anne d’Oliveira, President of the Camera Club of Johannesburg and Vice President of the Photographic Society of South Africa then gives comments on photos judged and suggests ways in which the photographer can improve the image. This is reported back to the members at our Photographic Society meetings, where the images are projected.

Star Rating Criteria
ONE STAR: 1)   Exposure    2)   Focus    3)   No obtrusive elements
TWO STAR: All for 1 Star plus    1)   An element of composition   2)  Background must contribute   3)   A focal point
THREE STAR: All for 2 Star plus    1)   Stricter composition   2)  Understanding of use of light and colour
FOUR STAR: All for 3 Star plus    1)   Striking image – strong composition, good colour saturation   2)   Image must have an element of story-telling and/or convey a message
FIVE STAR: All for 4 Star plus    1)   Images should show creativity, imagination, good use of lighting, excellent colour saturation and have some impact

2019 Term 1

2 Star – A need for breath – Christopher Lindes

A lovely idea to have the water all over the swimmers face just before they clear the surface. The photographer has caught the moment with the bubble under the nose, which adds story to the image and action. Unfortunately the lighting was a tricky situation and has resulted in good exposure on the right of the swimmer but has totally being distorted into a very large white area on the left that additionally has some distracting reflections in it. The photographer certainly caught the moment. So well done in that respect.

2 Star – A simple little waterfall – Christopher Lindes

Imaginative. The bubbles as the water falls into the glass create and interesting abstract and juxtaposes to the hardness and rigidity of the glass itself. Having the glass in the centre of the frame works for this image. It looks as though the lighting conditions available were not enhanced in any way, which would have resulted in a less flat image if the photographer had introduced some from a reflected object. Also watch for the strange edges that occur on the top and on the left side as it causes an imbalance to the opposite sides, which are crisp. To improve on an image such as this a few water droplets around the base of the glass would have helped and a little more of the water stream going into the glass. Also be careful of the jagged line that occurs between the wall and the surface. If you are going to prepare this setting take care of where you place your objects.

2 Star – First Order – Khwezi Khumalo

The photographer has done well to turn this image to monochrome as it would have been very busy in colour especially given the number of people on the right of the picture. In monochrome they are not the main subject of interest. When looking at this image the eye goes directly to the “Star Wars” character. It is perfectly sharp and well exposed so that all the detail on the front is visible. The cape at the back being dark does not draw the attention of the viewer away from the “soldier”. Composition is great and the use of the shallow depth of field has certainly made the main subject stand proud of the rest of the image yet the story is still contained within the whole photograph. Well done.

2 Star – Heatwave – Khwezi Khumalo


The model is well poised and an imaginative angle for the photograph, which is a particular type of photography called perspective distortion or foreshortening of an object or figure – taking the figure from the bottom up. This creates a more dominent bottom part of the body in comparison to the top so the head looks out of proportion to the body. The photographer may or may not have been aware of this genre of photography but has achieved the effect in any event. The picture is sharp and well exposed. A few little hints to improve on the image is to crop in camera a little more of the left right up ti the balustrade and to include a little more of the behind and building. Also to crop of the sky at the line of the building on the right to give more emphasis to the model and get the eyes in the upper part of the image. Refer example.

2 Star – Raindrops – Abdullah Loonat

The photographer has chosen a very shallow depth of field and coup possibly have included a bit more of the raindrops towards the back of the ones shown. The front being slightly out of focus work well to move the eye of the viewer to the point of interest. The colours blend well in the photograph. There are some extraneous elements that could be avoided such as the blue spot on the top right and the bright lit areas at the top of the image. To strengthen composition in an image such as this try taking the rail on the diagonal. A diagonal line is a strong composition factor and it always creates the strong geometric shapes on triangles as a result on each side of the diagonal line.

2 Star – Shades of Pink – Abdullah Loonat

The photographer has correctly captured the delicate shades of pink in the sky and the resultant blue in between creating great horizontal line. Horizontal lines in a image create a calming effect. The idea of having the other subjects in the image as silhouettes is also a great effect. The exposure on the image has been well handled. It is such a pity that the photographer did not try to obtain some interesting subject matter to have as a foreground. When photographing trees that are leaning tilt the camera to make it straight, especially as this image does not have a horizon line to compete. Changing your position and angle of view to eliminate the out of focus tree on the right would have help further. At 2 Star the photographers need to be aware of their subject matter.

3 star – Fairy Lights – Barry Chung

Well spotted street scene using the archway to frame the two people and although they have their backs o the camera there is still a story telling aspect here because being youngsters, no doubt the story is they were looking a a cellphone! The exposure for night photography has been well handled as there is still detail retained in the clothes of the two main subjects. When taking these sort of images just watch that you horizontal line are also straight and not leaning to the left as with this image. Composition is good.

3 star – Traffic – Barry Chung

A great street scene with interesting elements in the image. Taking the image as a portrait has also worked very well containing the elements and giving a sense to the viewer of the narrowness of the scene. Going down a little lower when taking the image would also have helped take away the triangle in the sky at the top of the image. The image overall is a little unexposed so detail is getting lost in the buildings. The depthe of field works but possibly a little less shutter speed or it that is needed to increase the ISO a bit. Refer example.

4 star – Doplets – Luca Gnudi


A good attempt at capturing water droplets and the photograph has some interesting colour and object in it. I am not sure if what is in the glass is inviting to drink! The light background certain makes the dark liquid stand away from it. The little bit of light down the side of the glass also adds some tension to the image. The glass itself is a little too tightly cropped at the bottom and a bit of the surface should have been left in the image. As with the previous glass image watch that the background is pleasing. This wall has a colour change in it that is not straight. This image could have additionally done with a crop of the out of focus droplet as one eye wants to go there instead of staying with the main part of the image. Moving the glass a little off centre would also have strengthened the composition. Refer example.

4 Star – Gods Highway – Benjamin Chamberlain

An exercise in simplicity. The focus of interest is twofold being the clouds and the sun’s rays radiating from then. Compositionally the base of the rays has been well chosen on the right of the image but there is still enough cloud to occupy the space on the left. A good shallow base making this more of a sky-scape than a sea-scape. Good use of shutter speed, ISO and f-stop to result in a good exposure.

4 Star – Launch – Benjamin Chamberlain

Good positioning of the bird in the picture. The image has a bit of an exposure problem as the lighting conditions do not look as though they were that favourable. The head of the bird is sharp although there is a fall off over the back of the bird. A faster shutter speed and a bit higher ISO can help with this. In bird photography more of the bird needs to be in focus. If using a long lens without a tripod or resting place for the camera this can be an issue. But a good pose.

4 Star – Looking Over the Top – Rahul Parbhoo

A really comical scene and congratulations to the photographer for achieving a great setting. Having the base at a diagonal has worked in this instance as it adds that little bit of tension to the setting. The colours blend very well together and give an almost monochromatic effect to the colour image. Focus and exposure are spot on.

4 star – Pure Speed – Luca Gnudi

A good panning attempt. The rider at the front is perfectly sharp at the face and down the arm to the hand on the bar. The moment of capture of the two bikers worked well with the slight overlap of the wheels causing tension in the picture. The shutter speed has been well chosen to give the viewer a great sense of movement. Exposure and colour saturation is good. It would seem that the photographer has processed the image with the crop of the second rider but has been too drastic in doing so. Seeing a bit more of the back rider would have made for a much stronger composition.

4 Star – The Ring- Rahul Parbhoo

There are many of these images floating around the world but getting down to doing one is not always as simple as it looks. The photographer has managed an excellent composition, choice of depth of field and lighting to make this into a super image.

5 Star – Butterbeer – Chad Gaddie

Great story telling with the blurred out castle in the background setting of the main subject which is very close to the front of the image. The exposure is fine and the colour saturation of the beer and hand is pleasing. Watch for amputation of body parts that become unpleasant such as the hand, which should have had a little more of the wrist included. There are also some distracting white spots at the baby finger. It looks as though the images has been processed behind the hand that has led to some strange halos around the turrets. Also a little step back and the top of the tower would have been included.

5 Star – Funny Faces – Zaeem Bhabha

A humourous image taken from a very low angle with the lens pointing straight up to the faces. The faces are all sharp and each one save three are doing something strange. The colour saturation is well handled. Possibly the crop of the boy in the bottom corner is a little tight as well as the boy on the top right. More inclusion of their bodies would have made for a strong composition. Sometimes photographs like this cannot just be snapped and have to be carefully planned by the photographer. But an interesting perspective of smiling faces.

5 Star – La Rosa – Chad Gaddie

Although someone elses art the photograph has been well taken – it is sharp, depth of field is good and exposure well handled. The eyes are in a good position in the photograph. The crop decided upon by the photographer makes for a pleasing picture.

5 Star – Rapunzel in a tunnel – Zaeem Bhabha

A well snapped and interesting image of the family cat. Lighting is excellent and composition works nicely. The focus on the eyes and nose is perfect. The introduction of the cats plaything adds another element to the picture.


2018 Winners

One Star – Chris Lindes

Two Star – Dihan Du Toit

Three Star – Rahul Parbhoo

Four Star – Zaeem Bhabha

Five Star – Shanil Bheeka


Photographic Society Awards 2019

Photographic Society Awards 2019 Photograph of the year - R Parbhoo   Best Panel of School Photographs - C Lindes   PSSA (Photographic Society of South Africa) - Certificate of Excellence: L-R: R Parbhoo (with...