Nature Photography Competition: October 2012

Gerry van der Walt All Authors Leave a Comment

Wildlife photography is an amazing hobby and just think – your images can win you a trip to the greatest show on earth!

If you have been playing with the idea of entering the 2012 Wild Eye Nature Photography Competition not only do you have two months left to do so but your chances are getting better and better.

How so?

When the competition launched in January we had a huge amount of images being posted every month.  Since then we have received emails from people saying that they do not have any images left as they have been uploading a LOT and need to get out into the field to get some new material.

This is great as not only are people heading out into the field to do wildlife photography – always a great thing – but if you have images you have not yet posted this is your opportunity!  You never know what happens!

But, let’s get back to business and the announcement of the winner and runners up for October.

As always we have been receiving some amazing images featuring a wide range of subjects and destinations.

Based on our judges feedback, this month our winner was pretty clear but the second and third placed images were seriously challenged for inclusion in the top three who all progress to the finals.

So, here goes with the winning image for October 2012 – awesome images all round!

Winning Image:  October 2012

Wildlife Photography Competition - October Top Ten

Hostile Take-Over

Image by Rudi van den Heever

For his winning image Rudi 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 Rudi’s image:

Andy Biggs:  What a superb action shot.  It isn’t often that one gets good interaction in the birding world, especially between two different birds of prey.  What makes this image for me is what is in the talons: what is left of prey. Absolutely superb.

David Lloyd:  This image does not sit still for a second! By that I mean there is something happening in every part of it, from left to right, from front to back.  I’m not sure what the relationship was between the two birds, but it seems one has stolen the breakfast of the other.  The blue of the picture works so well with the beige too, those colours complement each other well. The photographer has done very well to catch this this way, from the shutter speed, to the aperture setting – the depth of field is perfect.  I know I’d be delighted if I’d taken this picture, as I know pictures of this type are not so easy to get.

Greg du Toit:   This explosive image contains so many dynamic elements that it just keeps me looking!  The falcon is pin sharp and the out of focus goshhawk in the background, complete with an outstretched talon, is just incredible. Add to this dust and feathers flying everywhere, and you have a dynamic action-packed story-telling image of note.  Such moments and indeed images are a rare treat so congrats to the photographer and savour the moment.

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First Runner Up:  October 2012

Wildlife Photography Competition - October Top Ten

A Grand View

Image by Keith Connelly

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:  I never can get enough of good leopard images, and this one doesn’t disappoint. The soft and warm light, combined with a clean view of it’s eyes all add up to a great wildlife photograph. The catchlight in the eye really does help carry the image.

David Lloyd:  This is delightful, a plain portrait, but delightful nevertheless. What has impressed me is the no nonsense approach to the picture, a simple but effective composition – there is no need to be too wasteful when you see such a wonderful subject as this. I would imagine too that exposure would have been the challenge, but the most important part, the leopard’s face, is right on.

Greg du Toit:   This leopard portrait has been very cleverly composed.  The vertical orientation lines up with the out of focus branch in the background, adding a strong dimension of depth.  The soft diffused light lends itself to the posture of the subject, adding also to the gently pensive mood . The perfect amount of depth of field rounds this image off beautifully.

* * *

Second Runner Up:  October 2012

Wildlife Photography Competition - October Top Ten

Eye to Eye

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’ image:

Andy Biggs:  Wow. What a stare. I often tell my safarigoers to get as many eyes in the scene as possible, and this is one of those types of images that really nails that one. Super warm light, soft background and a composition that is all about the lioness. Excellent.

David Lloyd:  This looks set to be a cover shot! Eye contact and a low angle of view seem to be ingredients of success and for an eye catching picture and this one has both.  The horizon splitting the picture into two colours completes the scene nicely. The feeling I get is that this lion is considering whether or not to make a move towards the cameraman, which gives it a nice edge too!

Greg du Toit:   The light is this image is just superb! The posture of the lioness is equally excellent. With her outstretched tail and piercing eyes engaging the camera, this is an image that not only draws one in but which also keeps the viewer engaged. I would like to know what the lioness is staring at?

* * *

Well done and congratulations to Rudi, 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!

The images are amazing and I am not just talking about the ones above.

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 !

Here goes with the highly commended images or October 2012.

Commended Images:  October 2012

Wildlife Photography Competition - October Top Ten

Chimney of Light

Image by Basie van Zyl

A striking silhouette to anchor the image and a fantastic night sky makes for yet another great star image from Basie who has taken this genre of photography to a whole different level.

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Wildlife Photography Competition - October Top Ten

African Wild Dogs

Image by Hendri Venter

A low angle and the repetition of the subject makes for a great wildlife image.  The soft background also makes the lead dog pop out of the frame and, as the viewer, you cannot help wondering what the two dogs are looking at with so much interest.

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Wildlife Photography Competition - October Top Ten


Image by Brendon Jennings

A lovely sepia conversion which makes the most of the dramatic sky.  Brendon did well to drop the horizon and place the lion off to the right of the frame to create a lovely sense of space.

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Wildlife Photography Competition - October Top Ten

Leopard Stalk

Image by David Dampier

I love this image and the sense of movement it conveys.  Creating images like this is not difficult but David nailed this one by panning along with the leopard, in order to get him in focus, and especially since the animals is moving at a diagonal.  Awesome shot!

* * *

Wildlife Photography Competition - October Top Ten

Quiver Tree Trails

Image by Basie van Zyl

A long shutter speed and a striking foreground subject with lovely soft light makes for a stunning star trail image.

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Wildlife Photography Competition - October Top Ten

A Colorful Reed Frog

Image by Ingrid Sellschop

The biggest challenge in macro photography is to nail the depth of field and this image shows how to do it correctly.  Ingrid created a lovely close up image of quite a unique subject that almost feels like he is lifting his head out of the frame.  Very striking image.

* * *

Wildlife Photography Competition - October Top Ten


Image by Gavin Tonkinson

Pangolin sightings are quite rare and decent images of them even more so.  Even if just for the subject and quality of this close up image this is a fantastic wildlife image!

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So that wraps up October and another great month of wildlife photography!

So, there are two months left for you to upload your images and stand a chance to win either a weekend away for two at a 5-star lodge or a trip for two to the Masai Mara in 2013!  Awesome prizes and just think think of the shots you will be able to get then!

If you have not yet entered check out all the competition details, rules and image submission guidelines on this page.

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!

Until next time.

Gerry van der Walt

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