Wildilfe Photography Competition 2019 – JUNE WINNERS!
Here are the Judges’ Choice and Public Favourite winners for June in the 2019 Indlovu River Lodge Wildlife Photography Competition in association with At Close Quarters.
And so the 2019 Indlovu River Lodge Wildlife Photography Competition comes to an end. After gathering likes on Facebook throughout July, it’s finally time to announce the last four Public Favourite winners, along with the four Judges’ Choice winners for June.
These eight winning photographs, together with the winners from March, April and May, are all in contention for the Grand Prize – a four-night photographic safari at Indlovu River Lodge for two people worth R40000! At Close Quarters photographic guides, Villiers Steyn and Lance van de Vyver, have the tough job of choosing that one image that stands out above the rest – a decision that they’ll make over the next week.
In the mean time, here are the Judges’ Choice and Public Favourite winners for June:
JUDGES’ CHOICE WINNER, June 2019: Garry Mills
Villiers: “This is what I would call an impact shot! There’s just something about the leopard’s eye contact that made this photo of Garry’s stand out from the rest… What a lot of people don’t realise, is that’s it’s actually not that easy to decide how tight to crop an impact shot – go too tight and the subject’s face seems squashed in the frame and go too wide and you lose the impact you were looking for in the first place. Garry, however, nailed it!”
Lance: “Garry nailed this category with a frame-filled close up of a leopard. Composition, space and focus are spot on. These factors help the viewer to feel the leopard’s gaze. Great shot Garry”
PUBLIC FAVOURITE WINNER, June 2019: Zaheer Ali
Villiers: “This photo of Zaheer’s is so similar to Garry’s winning leopard shot. It may be of a different species and have a horizontal orientation instead of a vertical one, but it still has great impact. And that’s what I love about it so much! I don’t mind the few green grass stalks at the bottom, but I must admit, the lighter-coloured ones at the top left do distract me a little bit.”
Lance: “A brilliant public choice winner for this category in June. Again, Zaheer has hit the category brief spot on. Although there are a few distracting pieces of grass in the image, on the whole it is a great, emotive shot of this endangered animal. Well done Zaheer.”
JUDGES’ CHOICE WINNER, June 2019: Willem Kruger
Villiers: “I am constantly amazed by the photos that Willem enters into this competition. Not only are they technically perfect and beautifully composed, but they usually capture a unique natural subject. This owlet image is pure gold! I just love the complimenting yellows and browns throughout the photograph, as well as the texture of the bark around the hole. It’s the piece of prey in the little owl’s beak, however, that tells the story and makes the shot for me.”
Lance: “Willem wins another Judges’ choice this month with this interesting shot of a Pearl-Spotted Owlet with its prey. A brilliant shot in what appears to be harsh lighting conditions. A unique moment captured by a technically brilliant image. Well done Willem.”
PUBLIC FAVOURITE WINNER, June 2019: Zaheer Ali
Villiers: “Well done Zaheer, not only for winning a second Public Favourite category in one month, but also for exposing this cuckoo so perfectly. By over-exposing, Zaheer was able to capture all the detail in the bird’s feathers, but he did so without letting the shutter speed drop too low to freeze the insect being eaten in mid-air. It’s a brilliant shot!”
Lance: “ Well done Zaheer. Not a bird which is often photographed, much less whilst eating. Great use of exposure compensation. The grainy-ness of the image is due to a higher ISO and is slightly distracting to the viewers eye. Compositionally, this image is not extremely strong as the cuckoo is dead center.”
JUDGES’ CHOICE WINNER, June 2019: Annemarie du Plessis
Villiers: “Annemarie has proven to be an incredibly creative wildlife photographer by winning the Creative Visions category for the third time this year! And once again her winning image contains a giraffe… It’s not just the perfect placement of the reflection or the water’s breath-taking colours that make this image so striking, but also the fact that the elephant’s trunk replicates the shape of the giraffe. And that’s what Annemarie is so good at – spotting those once-in-a-blue-moon-opportunities to capture a unique animal photograph!”
Lance: “Wow Annemarie! This image stood out immediately when judging this month. The twilight colours are striking. However, it is the ‘next level’ creativity and execution in capturing the giraffe’s silhouetted reflection between the elephant’s trunk and leg that was the deal maker. A never to be repeated image. Congratulations!”
PUBLIC FAVOURITE WINNER, June 2019: Dee Roelofsz
Villiers: “Back in March Dee also walked away as the Public Favourite winner of this category, also with a leopard photo. This month’s photo is very dramatic and it’s Dee’s creative vision in the editing process that makes this one so beautiful. I love the high contrast, sepia tone and dark corners very much, but I would have dropped the highlights a tad just above the leopard’s eye.”
Lance: “A stunning Sepia image. As you know, I am a big fan of this filter when editing in monochrome. Unfortunately, the highlights in the leopard’s eye are blown out which is distracting to the viewer and draws your eye immediately. Other than this minor criticism, I love this image. Well done Dee!”
FREEZE THE ACTION
JUDGES’ CHOICE WINNER, June 2019: Trix Jonker
Villiers: “One of the biggest challenges when photographing a Mara river crossing is finding a subject within all the chaos. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by it all, but Trix certainly didn’t. What makes this shot so powerful is the fact that my eye is immediately drawn to the subject – that brave wildebeest that is leaping into the water – before it scans back to its four herd members following behind and ultimately the ones that are swimming already. There’s also a strong diagonal line running from top left to bottom right, creating a flag-like composition to this image, enhancing the overall balance even more.”
Lance: “A stunning river crossing image. The composition is exceptionally good with the viewer’s eye being drawn perfectly through the image to the central wildebeest in midair. Crossing are chaotic and this shot captures the before, midair and swimming action of a crossing. A stunning image and worthy winner this month.”
PUBLIC FAVOURITE WINNER, June 2019: Bertjan Bolink
Villiers: “If you were wondering why Bertjan didn’t zoom out a bit when he took this super photo of a leopard jumping out of a tree, it’s because he used a 300mm prime lens. He was stuck at a specific focal length and, considering the small margin of error, he did an amazing job of capturing this moment.”
Lance: “A shot that is technically difficult to capture. Well executed action freezing silhouette shot with the leopard’s head in focuc. Well done Bertjan.”
A massive thanks to everyone who entered the 2019 Indlovu River Lodge Wildlife Photography Competition – we loved seeing all your beautiful entries. As mentioned earlier, judging all the finalists starts now so please keep an eye out for our Grand Prize Winner announcement later next week!
And don’t forget to book your spot on one of our unforgettable At Close Quarters photographic safaris. Simply click on “Scheduled Safaris” at the top of this webpage to see a list of the trips that we offer.