Nature Photography Competition: July Winner!

Gerry van der Walt All Authors Leave a Comment

After a crazy photo safari season in the Mara we have finally been able to liaise with all the international judges, who have also been traveling, and get the scores for July finalized.

The quality of entries have been amazing and the judging process seems to get more and more difficult but, as mentioned before, we feel very confident and comfortable that the process is fair and that everybody that enters  stands the same chance of placing in the competition.

In case you missed it, you can check out this post which gives some insight as to how the competition is judged but if you have any questions please shout!

As you will have noticed the results for July and August have been slightly delayed, and we apologize for that, but now that most of our judges have wrapped up their hectic travel schedules we are back on track.  Andy is still on the road and could not get his comments on the winning images to us, even though we did receive his final scores, but once he is back I will post his comments as well.

The winning images for August will be posted on Monday so make sure to check out the blog for more amazing nature and wildlife images!

So, without further delay here goes with the winner, runners-up and highly commended images for July 2011.

Winner – July 2012

Wild Eye Nature Photography Competition - July 2012

Royal Flush

Image by Basie van Zyl

For his winning image Basie 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 Basie’s image:

Andy Biggs:  Currently on safari.

David Lloyd:  It’s a strong image and the strong point is the red beak in the middle and I think I saw the fish first before I really realised what the subjects were. And given that the fish is the part that makes the story, then this one works quite well for me. To be honest, I can’t help thinking it’s a little tight, but I wasn’t there so I can’t say to much as to whether anything could have been done about that. Nevertheless every other aspect of it works for me, the story, the background and the cleanness of the image too.

Greg du Toit:   When I saw this image I believe the word “Wow’ left my mouth! Malachite Kingfishers are small so this photographer must have been on top of the action! Stills photography is all about a moment, and this is a moment captured skillfully. The mother kingfisher suspended and bringing a fish back to her baby is just so well captured. The dazzling colours, glints in both eyes and strong horizontal perch all make this a definite winner!

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First Runner Up – July 2012

Wild Eye Nature Photography Competition - July 2012

Stormy Past

Image by Keith Connely

For his second placed image Keith 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 Keith’s image:

Andy Biggs:  Currently on safari.

David Lloyd:  This one certainly does typify the lions iconic status, emphasized more so by the low view point. African lion pictures are popular subjects but what sets this one apart from most of them is the colours: solid green blue and orange colours are well represented in near equal measures and I think that it is this that makes it a standout picture.  I’m of the preference of strong shapes in a photograph and these three colours give it just that.

Greg du Toit:   This image is powerful! The posture of the lion and the low angle make it powerful! The king is surveying his kingdom and this is a technically difficult shot to pull off, as overcast skies tend to blow out. I am not sure how this photographer managed to get his exposure so spot on, but he did, and this image is a keeper!

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Second Runner-Up – July 2012

Wild Eye Nature Photography Competition - July 2012


Image by Hendri Venter

For his third placed image Hendri 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 Hendri’s image:

Andy Biggs:  Currently on safari.

David Lloyd:  I would think that capturing an action shot such as this, of fast moving jackals is difficult enough to get a pleasing composition, but the photographer has managed it well here. Not only that but the jackal’s faces are in full view too. I can’t help thinking that if one face was unseen, the picture might not be so successful. The tones and textures of the jackals work very well with the matching background decor too.

Greg du Toit:   This is an action shot out of the top draw. Of the 8 legs, only one is actually grounded! The image is pin sharp and the jackal’s eyes are full of detail and life. If I shot this, I would be so happy!

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Well done and congratulations to Basie, Keith and Hendri on their winning images and for progressing 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!

I am sure you will agree with me that the, as with all the previous months, the quality of images are amazing and makes for a great advertisement for wildlife photography.

As always, here are the highly commended images that all came very close to cracking the top 3 and making it through to the grand finals.

Highly Commended Images – July 2012

Wild Eye Nature Photography Competition - July 2012

Young and Wreckless

Image by Wynand van Wyk

Baby animals always make for great images as they bring with them that cute factor.  Apart from that the image works well as Wynand was able to get some great catch light in the eye and the implied movement to the right brings a nice dynamic feel to the image.

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Wild Eye Nature Photography Competition - July 2012

The Triplets

Image by Massimo da Silva

I have always liked plain and simple images.  Uncluttered.  Massimo did very well to not only spot this scene but also photograph the repetition created by the three birds on a stick.  The blue background is very striking and contrasts very well with the red color in the bird’s beaks.

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Wild Eye Nature Photography Competition - July 2012


Image by Brendon Jennings

In am image like this the face and eyes of the animals are the focal point and Brendon did very well to capture the intensity in the male lion’s face.  Adding to this is the female looking up at the male which completes the story.

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Wild Eye Nature Photography Competition - July 2012

Tiny Green Mantis

Image by Elaine de Bruin

This is an absolutely amazing macro image! The skill to get the image this sharp combined with lovely colors and an almost perfect background makes for an image I would be proud to have as a part for my portfolio.

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Wild Eye Nature Photography Competition - July 2012


Image by Adam Kotze

This image is all about eye contact and Adam composed the image perfectly to highlight this.  Lovely leading lines also makes you ask ‘what is he looking at?’ This image is strong in monochrome but I would love to see this in color as well.

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Wild Eye Nature Photography Competition - July 2012


Image by Liz Frost

Love the moment that Liz captured here.  The story could go either way leaving some nice tension in the image.  The dust adds a lot to the image and almost draws your eyes away from the horizon which is slightly skew.  Great skill to capture this fast moving scene so crisply.

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Wild Eye Nature Photography Competition - July 2012

Addo Family

Jacques de Klerk

The monochrome conversion of this image leaves your eye moving across the repetition in the image.  Jacques did a great job on cropping an converting this image to maximize it’s possibilities.

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So there you have it.  An amazing collection of wildlife and nature images.

To check out all the entries that were received during July click here.  You can also check out all the August entries here – we will be announcing the winners on Monday so see if you can call the winner!

If you have not yet entered check out all the competition details, rules and image submission guidelines on this page which also features a gallery of the the winners thus far.

As always I look forward to hearing your comments on the winning images.  Please feel free to congratulate the winners and highly commended photographers in the comment section as well.  After all, that’s what on online community is all about!

Remember to pop in on Monday to check out the winners for August 2012!

Until next time,

Gerry van der Walt

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