Tag Archives: Wildlife

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.

Third Visit to Featherdale Wildlife Park

Welcome to 2020.

Early into the year, we made a third visit to Featherdale Wildlife Park, this time with some family members who had come to visit and stay with us for a few weeks.  It was their first time to the park, and they enjoyed it immensely.

On previous visits, I have been able to capture some pleasing images of the animals there, and it was no different this time.

On this visit, the sky was nice and overcast, which made for very pleasing shooting conditions, as the light was soft and even, and there were no harsh highlights or glary conditions with which to contend.

When first entering the park, one is greeted with the red-necked pademelons, amongst other marsupials.  These little critters are very cute, and I took the opportunity to pet and feed them, as well as photograph them.

Cute Critter

Cute Critter

Early into this visit, a striking and richly coloured golden pheasant was perched in a good location, so I captured numerous images of this bird, which is adorned with intense red, blue and yellow plumage.

Golden Pheasant

Golden Pheasant

Because we arrived at Featherdale Wildlife Park when it opened for the day, being able to shoot in the lower, overcast light in the early morning required much higher ISO ratings than usual.

Nothing screams cuteness more than a koala, one of Australia‘s unique animals.

Koala Cuteness

Koala Cuteness

Sadly, during the horrific Australian bushfires in the summer of 20192020, many wild koalas perished, and the population has shrunk to dangerously low levels.

This little creature is fortunate, in that he lives in Featherdale Wildlife Park, and does not have to contend with bushfires and drought.

Every time we visit, I always take the opportunity to photograph the penguins.

It is always a challenging exercise, as penguins tend to be highly active, and often flock together, so isolating one bird for a clean portrait is a game of patience and quick reaction once the moment is right.

Portrait of a Little Penguin

Portrait of a Little Penguin

There are many more animals to see and photograph at Featherdale Wildlife Park, and I am sure we will visit again.