Nature Photography Competition: November 2012

Gerry van der Walt All Authors, Gerry Leave a Comment

After a number photo safaris and courses, slightly extended judging process and silly season I am glad to finally bring you the winners of the November 2012 Nature Photography Competition!

Now that the New Year is well underway we are very excited to wrap up the monthly competition winners and then see who ultimately comes out as the overall winner of a trip for two to the Masai Mara.  As you know, the winner and two runners up of each month will progress to the grand final where all the images will stand a chance to win one of the arge prizes on offer but more on that in a few weeks.

For now, let get straight to it and look at the winner, runners up and highly commanded image received during November 2012!

Winning Image:  November 2012

Wild Eye - 2012 Nature Photography Competition

Grooming Baboons

Image by Dave Barnes

For his winning image Dave 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 Dave’s image:

Andy Biggs:  This silhouette completely works, as the backlit baboon’s form is accentuated with the rim light. What really makes this image work is that is shows a moment in time that conveys emotion. Wonderful winner for this month’s contest.

David Lloyd:  It is the detail of the baboon’s fur and the shapes within that make this one a worthy winner. There is a nice ring light throughout every part of the subject, his arms, head and tail. I do wonder though what we could have seen if there was a little more detail seen in his face with one or two eyes becoming prominent? The key part I’ll admit, is what the baboon is doing, and if the photographer wanted us to see that foremost, then he/she has succeeded.

Greg du Toit:   This is an image that keeps me engaged. The backlighting is just sufficient to outline the subject content in a way that I understand what is happening in the frame but it is also mysterious enough, and leaves suitable negative space, to allow my mind to fill in the blanks. I especially enjoy the way the tail frames the grooming baboon and the intense concentration and focus made evident by the catchlight in the eye of the subject.

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First Runner Up:  November 2012

Wild Eye - 2012 Nature Photography Competition

Waterbuck Skyline

Image by Brendon Jennings

For his second placed image Brendon 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 Brendon’s image:

Andy Biggs:  I really warm to this photograph, as it has a great combination of color, well-defined shapes and the thing that really sets it all apart: atmosphere. The colorful clouds in the background propels this image forward, as it is yet another item in the scene that draws a viewer’s eyes around, looking for more.

David Lloyd:  What strikes me with this one is the palette of colour on show, kind of like that of an old master’s painting. And the photographer has quite clearly identified this, and endeavoured to keep the sky which contains most of those colours. The colour of the main subject compliments that of the sky very nicely too.

Greg du Toit:  It is not often that one sees an image of a herd of waterbuck and I find this one surprisingly refreshing. The low horizon line and mood-filled sky give me a sense of space and freedom. The excellent quality of the natural light used, makes this soft and pleasing on the eye. Most photographers would have zoomed in or placed the horizon higher.

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Second Runner Up:  November 2012

Wild Eye - 2012 Nature Photography Competition

Golden Light

Image by Brendon Jennings

For his third placed image Brendon 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 Brendon’s image:

Andy Biggs:  What can I say? I love the beams of light that are coming from outside of the frame, the zebra silhouette and how they play off of each other.

David Lloyd:  The simplicity of this picture makes this picture deserving of its place – it is a common subject in a common setting – but the photographer kept his/her objectives simple and that is why it has succeeded in the end. I also cant help thinking that the sky helped win it too, with its varying tones as opposed a flat block of colour that we’ve often seen with this kind of picture before. I think the photographer has gotten the level of the horizon just about right too, together with it’s detail and tiny hint of green there. To be honest, I found myself liking this picture more and more every time I looked at it.

Greg du Toit:   I love this image for its simplicity, negative space and the detail reveled by the backlighting. I can see the zebra’s long eyelashes and the long tail hairs. It is hard to create a silhouette out of a zebra as their white stripes pose a problem. This is only possible with a very contrasty background and the photographer has done especially well to contain the highlights in the top right corner.

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Well done and congratulations to Dave on his winning image and Brendon for having two images in the top three!  Both of you will 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 November 2012.

Highly Commended Images:  November 2012

Wild Eye - 2012 Nature Photography Competition

Zebra Eye

Image by Warren Flemming

This is a great take on a classic wildlife image.  It’s always great using images out there as inspiration and creating your own version of it and  in this case Warren did a great job.

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Wild Eye - 2012 Nature Photography Competition

Downward Cat

Image by Brendon Jennings

Photographing with a spotlight, when done correctly, can result in some great images.  Normally images of lions at night show a yawn or profile so this image gives a nice, fresh version of the same scene.

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Wild Eye - 2012 Nature Photography Competition

Spiderweb Refractions

Image by Elaine de Bruin

The color in this image is just amazing and shows why macro can make you see a whole new world.  Elaine has been producing some brilliant macro images and this one is no exception.

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Wild Eye - 2012 Nature Photography Competition

Pigeon Hunter

Image by Hendri Venter

Images like this take patience and a bit of luck but it definitely pays off.  Hendri nailed this one and caught the ‘key’ moment perfectly in this frame.

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Wild Eye - 2012 Nature Photography Competition

Mating Lions

Image by Hendri Venter

When lions are busy mating you just know that moment is gonna happen when the female lashes out at the male.  This always makes for great wildlife photography but, as the photographer, you still need to be ready, know your gear and make it happen.  Great action shot.

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Wild Eye - 2012 Nature Photography Competition

Lily Leaf Miner

Image by Elaine de Bruin

It is the little reach by the caterpillar that makes this work.  Combined this with a soft background and perfect sharpness and you have another fantastic macro image.

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Wild Eye - 2012 Nature Photography Competition

In the Breeze

Image by Brendon Jennings

This was one of my favorite images when we started looking through the November entries.  Stunning light, a great pose and lovely texture makes for a wonderful wildlife image.

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As you know, wildlife photography is a wonderful mixture of technology, art and the great outdoors and these images just shows what is possible if you follow you passion.

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

Tomorrow we will be announcing the top ten and winners for December 2012 so make sure to pop in again to see some more amazing wildlife and nature images.  Once we have released the December results we will be posting all the winners together in one past as we start building up to the grand final!

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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