Category Archives: Landscapes

Articles relating to urban and natural landscape photography

Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year 2020: End of the Road

In my last update about the Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year 2020 competition, I related my experience of having one of my images selected from the Top 101.

Unfortunately, that was the end of the road for me, for this year at least, as my image did not make it into the final selection.

This was the image which was chosen:

Rock Hyraxes

Rock Hyraxes

I never expected to win, and I certainly did not expect to progress as far as I did.

It remains quite an honour to have one of my images make it to the top 101 images of many thousands entered, especially as I do not live in Africa, have only been photographing in Africa since 2012, and was competing against many wildlife photographers far more experienced than I.

Subsequent to the competition, Africa Geographic approached me to seek permission to use two of my images its in-house online banner displays, which are intended to send encouraging messages, request people to support charities, invite them to go on safaris (or, as is the case for now, postpone rather than cancel their safaris).

Normally I do not license my images to other individuals and organisations, but in this case, I made an exception, as Africa has given so much to me, and in these challenging times, we all need to help each other.

After my recent experience with this competition, I intend to have another go at the Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year competition next year.  I certainly have a fair chance.

Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year 2020: Top 101

In these strange times, there has not been much activity for me photographically, and consequently I have not had anything to report, until now.

Last night, I received an email from Africa Geographic to advise that one of my images, which had earlier been selected for feature in the Weekly Selection in its Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year 2020 competition, has been selected by the judges to be featured this week in the Top 101.

I was not expecting this.  What it means is that at least one of my images has advanced in the competition, and is now within a smaller pool of images from which the finalists and winner will be chosen.

As always, it is very flattering to receive news like this, and given the extremely high standard of the images which have been featured, it is quite an honour.

Unsurprisingly, my image is not one I would consider my best, but it has twice appealed to the judges.

I am not sure if this is the end of the road for me in this competition, but I have progressed further than I would have imagined possible, and in these dramatic and uncertain times, it is a good feeling.

Progress Update – Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year 2020

In a previous article, I related my unusual decision to enter a photography competition — specifically, the esteemed Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year 2020.

I have entered quite a few of my favourite images captured during our travels in Africa.

It is proving to be a tough competition, but to my delight, the competition administrators have on several occasions chosen some of my images to be featured in the Weekly Selection.

So far, nine of my images have been selected.

On the first occasion on which I received an email from the editors to advise that my images had been selected, I experienced a combination of shock and delight.  Not only had my images been selected, but on that first occasion, four of my images had been selected!

It was, and remains, quite an honour for me, given that I have only been to Africa three times, and that my images are in the company of some amazing photographers who have far more experience shooting in Africa than I have.

What I have observed from participating in this competition is that the judges tend to favour story shots.  While there are some beautiful portraits of African wildlife, these are mostly in the minority.

Looking at my images which have been featured, only one was a clean, full-frame portrait of an animal.  The rest were definitely story shots.

I am a long way from winning this competition — and in all honesty, I probably will not even be selected as a finalist, let alone the winner — but it has so far been an interesting exercise, with the key learning being that as lovely as portraits of animals are, images which tell stories carry far more clout.

On our next trip to Africa, I will definitely be chasing more story shots.