First off I have to say this competitition has been very difficult in selecting successful candidates. A high standard of photography from the finalists made this hugely exciting and competitive. Interesting and clever titles always help but at the end of the day, well composed, powerful imagery with good editing weighs in. Images were weighted in points according to specific criteria. As you all know very well, shooting wildlife can be more-often-than-not a tough and time consuming experience and can involve alot of luck.
On the whole, a ‘winning image’ and an excellent image can be set apart by invoking artistic creativity and use of perspective. This shift in perspective can generate a feeling/ emotion. Perhaps its the penetrating gaze from an animal directly into the lens which moves you; or a melodramatic monotone generating wistful emotions. How does the image make you feel?
So I take my hat off to all the finalists for all their hard work and effort put into this, I wish I could award prizes right up to 5th place in each of the categories but I cant! A huge CONGRATULATIONS to the following winners and runners-up:-
CATEGORY 1: ANIMAL PORTRAITS –
Amid very strong competition, this winning image clenched first place due to a superb edit and keeping context with this bird’s environment. Possibly the image with most ‘pop’ in this competition.
WINNER: NEVILLE THOMAS, “LILAC BREASTED ROLLER”
500mm, F13, 1/1000 sec, ISO 800
RUNNER-UP: PETER BROOKS, “BACK-LIT KING”
400mm, F4, 1/500 sec, ISO 400
2ND RUNNER-UP: NEVILLE THOMAS, “RELAXING BEFORE THE NIGHT’S HUNT”
370mm, F6.3, 1/100 sec, ISO 800
CATEGORY 2: BEHAVIOUR –
Images in this category were additionally weighted on animal-specific behaviour fitting into the end product for an overall well-edited and composed image.
WINNER: PETER BROOKS, “FOLLOW ME”
400mm, F4, 1/640 sec, ISO 640
RUNNER-UP: ASHLEY ROBSON, “WHAT A DRAG”
200mm, F5.6, 1/200 sec, ISO400
2ND RUNNER-UP: RIAAN DE KLERK, “WHO’S UP FOR SOME TUG-O-WAR?”
403mm, F6.3, 1/500 sec, ISO 640
CATEGORY 3: ANIMALS IN THEIR ENVIRONMENT –
This category comprised the majority of the entries in the competition and was largly open to your imagination. The winning image set a very high standard. With perfect composition, editing, timing and not to mention the element of luck- finds this rare capture unequaled and one of the best in the competition.
WINNER: ASHLEY ROBSON, “LITTLE MISS LAZY”
200mm, F6.3, 1/160 sec, ISO 400
RUNNER-UP: PETER BROOKS, “BUZZARD TAKE-OFF”
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2nd RUNNER-UP: NEVILLE THOMAS, “QUICK GLIMPSE BEFORE MAMA CALLS”
250mm, F6.3, 1/130 sec, ISO 400
CATEGORY 4: WILDSCAPES –
Largely up to your interpretation of a “wild landscape”, images were adjudicated with additional emphasis on creativity. The winning entry was a fantastic image evoking emotion and creative mood, capturing the essence of this category.
WINNER: PAUL MCMULLIN, “REFLECTING”
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RUNNER-UP: RIAAN DE KLERK “SUNSET FROM THE HIDE”
150mm, F6.3, 1/800 sec, ISO 100
2ND RUNNER-UP: MICHAEL TUCKER, “BLACK RHINO STAR TRAILS”
24mm, F4, 18 min+40 sec, ISO 100
CATEGORY 5: NATURE IN BLACK AND WHITE –
As black and white photography often portrays a sense of timelessness and an essence of mood, congruous images in this category were accented towards the story they told. Devoid of colour, these images rely more on tone and greater use of compositional lines and contrast to win our attention. It was a very tough decision.