Nature Photography Competition: September Winner!

Gerry van der Walt All Authors Leave a Comment

The Masai Mara is one of Africa’s best wildlife photography destinations and your wildlife and nature images can win you a trip for two in 2013.

This month three more images have been chosen by our international judging panel and apart from the monthly prizes they will progress to the grand final where they stand a chance to win the grand prize and join Wild Eye on a photo safari to the Masai Mara.

As it stands 27 images have progressed to the final with 9 more to be announced from now until the end of December 2012 but…

On Monday 29 October 2012 we will be making a big announcement which will change the game and increase your chances of winning whether you have entered or not!  Make sure to check out the blog next week for all the info.

For now, here goes with the three winning images for September 2012!

Winning Image: September 2012

September 2012 - Wild Eye Nature Photography Competition

Barn Owl at Dusk

Image by Mark Bridger

For his winning image Mark 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 Mark’s image:

Andy Biggs:  I really love this image. The owl, the angle of the light and overall composition work in a way that is extremely pleasing. It’s the angle of the light that carries the image, because such an angle to the sun allows the light to shine through and illuminate the grass in a way that is majestic. Absolutely superb.

David Lloyd:  Currently on safari.

Greg du Toit:   This image has that ‘something special’.  That ‘thing’ that is hard to define but that is present in all great images.  The owl is shown here in its environment and the dancing light is simply magical.  The subject placement, while unconventional, works splendidly. Like all wonderful images, I have not seen one like this before and I doubt I will, as such a image is hard to copy or replicate.

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First Runner Up: September 2012

September 2012 - Wild Eye Nature Photography Competition

Sunrise

Image by Mark Bridger

For his second placed image Mark 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 Mark’s image:

Andy Biggs:  Again we are back to an angle of light discussion, except with this image the subject is more of a silhouette.  The silhouette works because the outlined shape of the deer is easy to grasp and make sense of it all.  The warm color and simple background also help the already strong image.  Oh, and the rim lighting on the deer’s chest and neck is one more thing to love about this photograph.

David Lloyd:  Currently on safari.

Greg du Toit:   This too is a special image and the reason being, is the special back-lighting that was used.  The subject placement, the sun just peeking through and the beautiful shadow lines created by the forest, all combine to make this a wonderful image indeed!

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Second Runner Up: September 2012

September 2012 - Wild Eye Nature Photography Competition

Kalahari Eyes

Image by Seyms Brugger

For his third placed image Seyms 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 Seyms’ image:

Andy Biggs:  I have seen quite a few African wild cats out on safari, however none of them have been good photographic opportunities. With this image I can only wish that I would be so lucky to have one so close and so willing to look at the camera.  I love the stare from the cat, as well as the soft lighting.

David Lloyd:  Currently on safari.

Greg du Toit:   African Wild Cats are not common and neither are images of them.  This clear portrait is so easy on the eyes.  A hint of pink in the ears, the soft green eyes of the cat and a unique subject engaging the camera, all make this a winning image.

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Well done and congratulations to Mark and Seyms 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:  September 2012

September 2012 - Wild Eye Nature Photography Competition

Dash to Freedom

Image by Loftus Viljoen

Wildlife photography is about capturing moments, about telling stories and this image does that incredibly well.  It is only once you have had a god look at the water splashing around the frame that you notice the lion in the background.  Great moment captured!

* * *

September 2012 - Wild Eye Nature Photography Competition

Lap Dance

Image by Rudi van den Heever

Another great moment captured.  Photographing vultures wile the ‘discuss’ their next meal is always a messy affair and Rudi did a great job here of not only capturing the action but in choosing the correct image to present. 

* * *

September 2012 - Wild Eye Nature Photography Competition

Peek-a-boo

Image by Mark Bridger

Simple composition and a good deal of the cute factor makes this image work.  It’s almost as if the deer is playing hide and seek with the photographer and you can almost see him dropping down into the foliage before re-appearing somewhere else.

* * *

September 2012 - Wild Eye Nature Photography Competition

Rwanda Gorillas

Image by John Wightman

It is quite tough to create a different and unique image of mountain gorillas.  This image works thanks to the eye contact and implied lines created by the direction in which the two animals are looking.  It makes the viewer ask “what are they looking at” and when you get that right the image works!

* * *

September 2012 - Wild Eye Nature Photography Competition

Bee Eater Couple

Image by Basie van Zyl

Bird photography is tough and the smaller they are the tougher it gets.  Basie captured a great moment here and technically everything is just right.  Great image.

* * *

September 2012 - Wild Eye Nature Photography Competition

In the Mist

Image by Keith Connelly

A lot of times photographers try to do too much with their images.  This image is a perfect example of shooting what you see and creating a stunning wildlife image without trying to be too fancy.  Lovely image.

* * *

September 2012 - Wild Eye Nature Photography Competition

Giant Kingfisher Rise

Image by Basie van Zyl

Basie has taken kingfisher photography to a whole new level and this image shows why.  Superb bird photography.

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

To check out the entries received for October thus far click here and then make sure to get your own images uploaded to stand a chance to win!

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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