Photography Competition: "Imitate the Old Masters"

I am very excited to announce our new photography competition, “Imitate the Old Masters”. We chose five portrait paintings by old Master painters of which you can imitate any one of them by taking a similar image. The idea is to see if you can capture the “essence” of any of these paintings on a technical and aesthetic level. We will obviously place much emphasis on atmosphere, light, colour and emotion. Even if you use a model that does not necessarily look similar than the subject in the painting, you should still be able to convey the same atmosphere and emotion in your photograph. A difficult one!


  • Leon Pelser sponsored R 1,000 prize money for this competition.
  • He also sponsored another competition, we will be hosting after this one. Thanks doc!

Judging and Criteria…

  • The judges will consist of a panel of three (3) Photo Critic moderators and judges
  • Originality will be really important while maintaining the essence of the original art-work. Your image should be reminiscent of the original art work. (Use your own interpretation in terms of finding an interesting model and background, but capture a similar image, especially in regards to mood and emotion)
  • We will also place much emphasis on photographic precision i.e. your ability to re-create the image in terms of light, colour, focus and background in shooting it, and thereafter perfecting the image in post…


Only Photo Critic members can enrol [Excluding Leon Pelser and any of the DPC Team, Administrators and Moderators.

  • You can enter a single image and up to five (5) images, but are restricted to entering only one image per master painting. In other words you may enter a single image per painting.
  • You are not restricted in terms of using any Equipment and Lighting.
  • You may use any Software, and go through any lengths to perfect the image in post-editing.
  • Only images with a complete description on how you’ve shot it, and what software processes have been used will be eligible  

Submitting your Images…
Images should be uploaded on Photo Critic and we will allow the competition images as an additional upload to your normal weekly quota. Add the following phrase in the top of the Description “Imitate the Old Masters Competition”

Closing Date…
30 August 2013 (The winner will be announced on Friday, 6 September 2013)

Featured Master Paintings...

"Girl with the Pearl" Johannes Vermeer

"The Prayer" Van Gogh

"Flowerhead" Salvadore Dali

"Victoria Duborg" Edgar Degas

Mother and Child Gustav Klimt



The competition images are posted below...

"Flowerhead" by Kevin Richards

"The prayer" by Susan Pretorius

"Girl with the Pearl" by Susan Pretorius

Gerrie Van Rensburg's "The Prayer"

Gerrie Van Rensburg's "Girl with the Pearl"

Peter John Martin's "Girl with the Pearl"

Sharon Cunningham's "Girl with the Pearl Ear Ring"

Lize Hill's "Girl with the Pearl"


Leon Pelser's Unofficial Entry..

The following entry was posted on a Blog by Leon Pelser, the sponsor of the competition and I thought it would be great to share it here with the entries. Even though the image will not be considered for the competition...

Leon Pelser's "Mother and Child" Unofficial Entry

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Comment by Danie Bester on September 6, 2013 at 14:39

Congratulations to Sharon Cunningham for winning the R1000 prize. Well done!

Comment by Johnny Barrington on April 29, 2013 at 22:12

Die lyk baie cool. Sal iets moet probeer.

Comment by Carminda Swanepoel on April 26, 2013 at 20:15
.....Ek is in.. Lyk soos kreatiewe werk.. Iets anders and a challenge.. :D
Comment by Peter John Martin on April 24, 2013 at 22:49

mmm this looks like fun .. well done for the sponsoring Doc

Comment by Mia-Daniel Bester on April 24, 2013 at 21:03

Going to be great to see what you photogs come up with.... Exciting stuff!!!  Haven't got too much time though, so get shooting!!

Comment by LEON PELSER on April 24, 2013 at 15:18

...en ek hoop kategorie 5 gaan die gewildste wees!!

Comment by Jenna Bester on April 24, 2013 at 14:18

wow!!! this will be very exciting, looking forward to see the images.

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