Beauty in Biodiversity – Nature’s Treasures Photo Competition Winners
March 31st, 2020
This week we had 168 entries from 63 different photographers which is up from 32 entries from 14 photographers – that’s an increase of 500%! We are very excited by the rising interest in this competition and the support from all of our photographers in sharing the information. The judges were hugely impressed with the quality of photographs overall which made it very difficult to choose. We paid particular attention to how the image told a story related to the theme of the week, the composition of the image and the degree of focus.
WINNER of the Wildlife Warriors Nature’s Treasures Photo Competiton on the theme Beauty in Biodiversity is Mwihuungi for a stunning photograph of a chameleon surrounded by leaves.
The image won in the theme Beauty in Biodiversity because this amazing animal was photographed in its natural habitat – a blend of different shades of green. The composition and lighting were perfect and the image is very sharp.
Mwihuungi is an artist and loves to draw, paint and also write and perform music. He hopes to be a good photographer one day and it is a skill he is working on.
Check out Mwihuungi’s amazing work on Facebook Mwihuungi creatives and Instagram @mwihuungi_creatives. Congratulations Mwihuungi! He walks away with Ksh 1000.
RUNNER UP #1
When Ashikoye Akoke took this photo of two jeweled bugs trying to hide behind a thin stem of a sodom apple branch. The composition is a beautifully balanced image of the sodom apple, a poisonous plant, and it’s predator, a small treasure of an insect with a large stabbing mouthpart that can be seen tucked against the belly of the first bug. The detail and structure of the photo are unusual and beautiful. These bugs are brightly coloured iridescent metallic hues – they look like pieces of exquisite art, but it’s not for our pleasure, but a warning to would-be predators. Touch them at your peril – they will release a noxious smell.
What do you do? I am an accomplished Natural Heritage photographer based in Fort Jesus Mombasa and my photos have been used to secure world heritage sites of Kenya’s sacred forests and the Great Rift Valley System through UNESCO. I am a nature enthusiast and photographing nature is a hobby – I’m particularly in love with butterflies.
Where did you take this photo? I took this photograph at Nguuni sanctuary in Mombasa where they are common. I shared it on Arthropods of East Africa on FB to find out what these beautiful insects are.
Was it easy to get the photo? No, though these bugs are common, it took much patience to get the photo as they usually scurry away and try to hide as soon as you pay attention to them. I waited for long for them to get used to me.
Where can we see more of your work? Check out my Instagram page @oashikoye.
Your advice to aspiring photographers? Be confident and take an interest in nature. Take many photos and go through them to choose the ones you like. Most of all you need 1000% patience.
The Great Wildebeest migration has been happening every year for millennia, you could set your clock to it. We take it for granted and that is why this photograph showing the entire landscape covered from foreground to the horizon is a reminder of the awe and beauty of our unique world treasure which sustains much of Africa’s savanna biodiversity. We congratulate Faith Takai for reminding us about the importance of the wildebeest to all the biodiversity in the area, which may soon disappear due to climate change habitat loss and other threats to the ecosystems like roads and railways that will interrupt this fabulous wonder of nature. We spoke to Faith about this photo.
Where did you take this photo? I was celebrating her birthday in Masai Mara I took this photo.
What camera did you use? My iPhone
Why Masai Mara? I come from the local area and the migration never ceases to amaze me. I’ve seen it so many times, yet it always catches my attention.
You chose a square format. Why? I intentionally chose a square frame on my iPhone. I just like it.
JUNIOR CATEGORY WINNER (15 years and below)
The jury unanimously selected Shiru for the junior category for her photograph of a dark mossy log across a stream giving an image of a tangled riverbank – but in the clearing are the rising towers of the city of Nairobi – the image of natural wild vegetation next to the urban jungle spoke volumes about the beauty of biodiversity. What a good eye! Congratulations Shiru!
How old are you? 14
Where did you take this photo? In the Arboretum in Nairobi.
What kind of camera do you have? Canon US 4000
What do you like about photography? I love taking photos of animals and sunsets.
What advice would you give other young photographers? Enjoy the experience, don’t treat photography as a job. Take lots of photos and send them in.
The judges felt that many other pictures deserved mention and singled out two additional photos and decided to recognize the photographers for them
Using a cell phone, Divinah Koech captured a spectacular close up at dawn of a damselfly on a dew beaded blade of grass sipping water from a droplet. What an incredible eye to have been able to follow the animal’s behavior and capture it on a phone. Well done Divinah.
We had several chameleons entered in the competition this week – these amazing pre-historic looking almost dragon-like reptiles move haltingly and constantly. They can be hard to follow
Our judges commend Boniface Muthoni whose close up of a chameleon profile was perfectly shot and beautifully composed. We were really impressed with the level of focus and detail on every scale of the animal’s skin. Well done Boniface!
This week’s theme is Under the Surface (water or soil). Send your submissions (phone and camera photos) to bit’ly/WildlifeWarriorsKE (3 images per person only). Junior category is age 15 and below.
Entries close on Sunday 5th April at midnight.