Meet the Judges

Gerry van der Walt All Authors Leave a Comment

As you probably know by now, the 2012 Wild Eye Nature Photography Competition is open for entries.


I am very exited to officially introduce you to the three judges that will be helping us choose the monthly winners and runners up.  


I am sure that you would have heard their names and seen their images so I feel honored to present to you – our judges!


Andy Biggs (US)




Andy Biggs is an avid adventurer, conservationist, teacher, and outdoor photographer whose photography celebrates the African landscape and its rich wildlife, people, and culture.


With a deep respect and understanding for African wildlife, Andy unfolds the world of the Serengeti onto our doorstep with striking emotional depth. His photographic safaris allow the traveler to not only enhance their understanding of photography, lighting, and wildlife, but to develop a life-long admiration for Africa ‘s beauty and culture.

In 2008, Banana Republic used thirteen of Andy’s photographs as the cornerstone of their Urban Safari campaign, and his images were seen in all 750 stores around the globe, as well as in their billboards, catalogs and annual report.


Andy was also the winner of the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year in the ‘Wild Places’ category in 2008.


Andy launched Gura Gear in 2008, in an attempt to deliver lightweight camera bags to the market. Andy was looking for a lightweight camera bag to hold all of his photographic gear, and there was nothing desirable on the market that suited his needs. After spending 2 years with many prototypes, the Gura Gear Kiboko bag was born.


Andy’s photographic interests also encompass the landscapes of the American Southwest. Andy uses camera formats ranging from 35mm to 4×5″ large format, to the latest in digital camera technologies. His key to shooting a great photo? Andy makes it a priority to shoot when the light is most dramatic, notably the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset.


View Andy’s website here.


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David Lloyd (UK)



I’m a photographer of wildlife and travel from New Zealand living in London where I toil in an agency studio by day. I arrived in late 1989 for a six month journey and I’m still here journeying twenty years later. Some favourite places are Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Namibia, Botswana and I should not omit Richmond Park near my home here in England.


I first picked up a camera when I was five, I think, and acquired my first SLR twenty something years ago with a Nikon F801. Since then it’s been a natural progression to the D3s. Wildlife has always been a passion and in 2004 during a trip to South Africa’s Thorny Bush Reserve near the Kruger National Park I was able to join that and the one I have of photography together. Since then I’ve enjoyed other parts of Africa and enjoyed seeing my photography progress. During that time, someone remarked to me the pointlessness of keeping pictures on computers after taking them, so I used my other skills to make a website to show them to other people. In the following years I was privileged to see more of my work published, culminating with last years cover the Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year portfolio.


My maxim is really simple, I just prefer to make pictures that I’d like to see on my wall. That maxim is an adaptation of one which was taught to me by my father as a way of assessing your own pictures. It’s why you won’t see too many pictures of animals hunting or eating each other. I just hope to make pictures that catch their personalities which are pleasure to look at while keeping everything nice and real.


I have a particular passion for black and white stemming from my darkroom days, but I do know quite from experience that some pictures cannot be forced this way, and so are best left in their natural state.


If you’re going to take successful pictures of wild things, you need to have in order of importance: knowledge of your subject, preparation, a good sense of picture, and a good camera. The luck comes thereafter. Possibly the best tip though, is to stay with your subject for as long as possible.


View David’s website here.


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Greg du Toit (SA)




Greg du Toit is an 8th generation African and a professional fine art wildlife photographer.


His work is easily recognized by the tangible mood, primitive energy and vibrant colours that it conveys. This signature style has brought him international acclaim and he has hosted two solo exhibits for the National Geographic Society, representing African wildlife. His work has hung in the London and Sydney Natural History Museums and his fine art collections have traveled to the end of the globe with exhibits having been hosted in New York, Singapore and London. His images regularly clinch awards in the most prestigious photographic competitions in the world, namely the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year and the Windland Smith Nature’s Best.


While his work is widely published in magazines like Africa Geographic and the BBC Wildlife Magazine, he has also been interviewed by the BBC World Service and appeared on NBC’s popular ‘Today Show’. His famous work on Kenyan free ranging lion has seen him deliver presentations as far a field as Finland and although he is a passionate photographer, he is also a passionate African, who communicates his personal appreciation and awe for Africa’s wild creatures, through his work.


His dynamic collections represent scenes captured in the camera, as apposed to being digitally manipulated on a computer afterwards. His dynamic body of work has been meticulously collected after living permanently in the wilds of Africa and in four different African countries! He is a photographer who picks his frames carefully, and one that spends many months each year, waiting patiently to capture nature’s most special and intimate moments.


View Greg’s website here.


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I am sure you will agree with me that we we are very privileged of having a judging panel of this calibre and I am personally looking forward to the monthly feedback the judges will be giving on the various winning images.  A great way for us all to learn!


All going well, the judges will all be joining us in South Africa in January 2013 for the grand finals award ceremony but I will be confirming this soon along with more exciting details of the event.  


For now I urge you to take a look at the websites mentioned above and then start getting your own images uploaded to the competition!


Until next time.


Gerry van der Walt


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