Nature Photography Competition: December 2012

Gerry van der Walt All Authors, Gerry Leave a Comment

Yesterday we announced the winner of the November 2012 Nature Photography and as promised, it’s time to announce the last of the monthly winners and runners up who will progress to the grand finals and stand a chance to win a trip to the Great Migration later this year!

Next week we will be uploading a blog post featuring the 36 images that will be in the running for the overall prize so make sure to stay tuned for that one but for now, here goes with the winners and runner-ups for the 2012 December Nature Photography Competition.

Winning Image: December 2012

This Is Africa

Image by Hendri Venter

For his winning image Hendri will, apart from progressing to the grand finals, receive:

  • ProBody Sport sponsored by Clik Elite SA
  • Copy of Colors of Southern Africa sponsored by Hannes Lochner
  • R 1,000 rental voucher from Wild Eye
  • 8GB CF Memory Card
  • Wild Eye Baseball Cap


Judges Feedback on Hendri’s image:

Andy Biggs:  The winning image this month is well deserved. The silhouetted elephant complements the walk giraffe, and the perfect moment was captured in the image. There is a nice balance between the shadows and highlights, and there is so much to like about the image. Well done.

David Lloyd:  The juxtaposition of these two are wonderful, although they can be seen often in the same setting, the composition dictates that each is treated almost equally. The setting sun’s glow takes the viewer straight to the elephant, but without the giraffe, I cannot help but thinking that this may have just been another elephant sunset picture. It also strikes me that the photographer has resisted in making this a silhouette, and has maintained the detail in the shadow areas of the picture.

Greg du Toit:  I am not sure you can get a photograph that represents Africa better than this one. Most photographers would have created a silhouette from this scene but I like the way that this photographer has kept the detail in both the giraffe and the elephant. I can see every wrinkle and every blotch on the giraffe. By placing the sun behind the elephant the photographer has cleverly managed to handle a very difficult exposure, well done!


First Runner Up: December 2012

New Life

Image by Basie van Zyl

For her second placed image Basie will, apart from progressing to the grand finals, receive:

  • Traveler Shoulder Bag sponsored by Clik Elite SA
  • R 500 rental voucher from Wild Eye
  • 8GB CF Memory Card
  • Wild Eye Baseball Cap


Judges Feedback on Basie’s image:

Andy Biggs:  Timing is everything, and this holds true with this photograph. The relationship between the bird and nest really help separate this avian photograph from many ‘bird on a stick’ photos, and helps elevate the image to something much more creative. My favorite part of this image is the wing position!

David Lloyd:  I know it’s difficult catching birds in flight, so to catch one at this moment,  just a few beats from it’s nest displays a good sense of timing. While it is obvious where the photograph was taken, within the foliage of a tree, it’s very nice to see that no branches or leaves have intruded into the subject, and as such, kept safely tucked away by the shallow depth of field.

Greg du Toit:  This is a very difficult photograph to have captured from a technical perspective. For birds in flight, depth of field can help with the tricky focusing, but Paradise Flycatchers nest in dense tree canopies which means that depth of field was a luxury not afforded to this photographer. I am not sure how you did it, but the result is wonderful. The subtle fill-light brings out the wonderful blue skin surrounding the eye and rictal bristles.

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Second Runner Up:  December 2012


Image by Marcelle Robbins

For her third placed image Marcelle will, apart from progressing to the grand finals, receive:

  • Memory Card Valet and Wrist Strap sponsored by Clik Elite SA
  • R250 rental voucher from Wild Eye
  • Wild Eye Baseball Cap


Judges Feedback on Marcelle’s image:

Andy Biggs:  Nice use of depth of field to isolate the subject in the frame, and I enjoyed looking at this image for longer than I had originally anticipated. I have to admit that I am not the most knowledgeable when it comes to the smaller items of our world, however I do recognize a good photograph when I see one, and this is one of them. I love the antennae!!

David Lloyd:  It is unusual to see a macro picture treated as a black and white, which makes this one all the more worth while. It makes me curious and I be interested in seeing more. If I’m honest, I’m not sure about the composition, preferring to see the subject to the right of the frame, but then again, I wasn’t there, so I don’t know of the confines the photographer faced when taking the picture.

Greg du Toit:   The word ‘funky’ comes to mind and I just love this subject. The image is wonderfully sharp where it needs to be but the focus falls off rapidly and this creates the dreamy effect and feel of the image. The choice to go monotone is also very clever because this insect in its simplicity, by design and shape, is quite remarkable. The lack of colour accentuates this!

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Well done and congratulations to Hendri, Basie and Marcelle on their amazing images!  You all now progress to the grand final where they will be in the running for the grand prize of a trip for two to the Masai Mara in 2013!  We will be in touch soon with more details of your monthly prizes.

The entire top 10 make for a great collection of wildlife images and the judging was so close that any one of 5 images could have made it into the top three!

Here goes with the highly commended images or December 2012.

Highly Commended Images:  December 2012

The Challenge

Image by Seyms Brugger

This image is loaded with tension and aptly shows the power struggle between lions and buffalo. Well shot and composed – one feels the utter singularity of the lion facing the vast number in the buffalo heard.

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Up Close

Image by Brendon Jennings

One always feels the immense power of elephants. This angle heightens that awe. With the elephant looking down at the camera, and his long tusk framed by the blue sky, creates a feeling of humbleness to the awesomeness of elephants.

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Aardwolf Mom

Image by Seyms Brugger

Another great photograph from Seyms. The soft light compliments the Aardwolf’s timid look before she goes quietly back into her den.

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Giant Kingfisher Rise

Image by Basie van Zyl

Birds are hard to photograph, especially if they are fast flying Kingfishers. This is a great image that freezes the iconic dive of a kingfisher.

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Evil Eye

Image by Brendon Jennings

Brendon Jennings captures the pure ‘animal’ of the lion. The eye looking directly at the camera evokes a powerful response in the viewer to the complete omnipotency that lions embody.

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African Sunset

Image By Hendri Venter

Hendri captures the beauty of elephants in this sunset image. The detail of the elephant is clearly evident, casting a different image of an elephant and sunset image. This makes for a wonderfully serene, and quiet image.

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Image by Basie

Star trails are always wonderful to shoot. Apart from these trails, what also makes this image eye-catching is the warm to cooler colours in the sky, and the natural landscape the trails wrap around. The stars and the natural ‘chimney’ are both fantastic examples of our remarkable natural world.

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Well done to all the photographers who made the top 10 and thanks for taking part in the 2012 Wild Eye Nature Photography competition.

During the next two weeks we will be touching base with all the monthly winners and runners up to confirm your monthly prizes and to share more details on the grand finals and judging thereof!  We also have exciting news lined up so if you are still keen to have a place where you can share your images, get real and honest feedback and enter your images into a competition watch this space!

Tune in again next week when we will feature all the 36 winning images and wrap up the monthly competitions!

If you would like to congratulate any of the photographers please feel free to use the comment section below!

Until next time.

Gerry van der Walt

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Comments 0

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  1. Lee

    I really love Henri Venter’s elephant sunset image, it’s a great composition and one that I haven’t personally seen before! Wouldn’t be able to judge this myself, far too many amazing images.

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