Project Description

Nocturnal Beings – Nature’s Treasures Photo Competition

April 21, 2020

This week the Wildlife Warriors Nature’s Treasures Photo Competition received 35 entries from 15 different photographers.

The OVERALL WINNER

Mustafa Adamjee for a striking and beautiful image of two Sokoke Scops Owls.

These owls are Africa’s smallest and most endangered owls. They are only found in a small patch of the Arabuko Sokoke Forest. These small owls are no bigger than your fist.

The judges were impressed by the moment which was well captured. The composition is well taken. The eyes are vivid and the claw of the owls are very clear. It was amazing to capture the owls looking at the camera as the photographer seemed to have caught the attention of the owls. We spoke to Mustafa about his photo

When did you take the photo? Last year in February

Where were you? Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve

What camera do you use? Canon 77D with a 100 – 400 mm Canon lens.

What do you do for a living? I’m a birdwatcher. I volunteer and take part in any research related to birds. As a hobby I do birding. It’s my passion to go look at birds and photograph them.

What is the story behind this photo? This Sokoke Scops Owl are rare and the chance of seeing this owls is very slim. When you go to Arabuko Sokoke Forest, you need a guide to take you to where the owls are. The guide needs to do is go into the forest very early and try to locate where they are going to sleep during the day being nocturnal animals. These owl likes staying deep in the forest. You have to move around and get into the forest. The Sokoke Scops Owl is almost the size of your hand, so imagine having to spot something that is that small is really difficult. I have gone there a couple of times and it’s hard to find them.

What do you love most about nature photography? Bird photography, specifically, is very crucial on timing. You have to capture a quick moment. Therefore, you need to react quickly and grab that opportunity. Birds are animals that do not stand still like mammals or even insects. You need to be really lucky to somehow be in the right moment at the right time. It’s much more challenging and I like that about it.

What top tips would you offer any upcoming young person interested in nature photography? For bird photography, it’s generally about patience and it’s something that you learn on the go. It’s not a skill that you could actually say ‘I read this and that’. It’s a skill that you have to experience for yourself, experiment with..

Congratulations Mustafa. Find more captivating images of birds on Mustafa’s Instagram @the_kenyan_birder. He wins Ksh 1000.

RUNNER UP #1

Ashikoye Okoko for a beautiful image of a Wahlberg’s Epauletted Fruit Bat taken in Mombasa.

The Wahlberg’s Epauletted Fruit Bats live in the tropical moist forest, mangrove forest, shrubland, and savanna habitats. They have also been found in wooded urban areas and roosting in man-made structures. They are nocturnal beings and roost in groups in well-lit open trees, under palm fronds, in dense forests near rivers, under thatched roofs of sheds, and, rarely, in caves. While roosting, bats are usually quiet and do not intrude on each other’s space.

The judges were impressed that the photographer captured the bat in natural light. The personality of the eyes and the light coming through the ears shows a special moment of an animal that’s often vilified.

Have a look at more of Ashikoye’s work on Instagram @oashikoye. Congratulations Ashikoye. This is his 3rd win and walks away with Ksh 500.

RUNNER UP #2

Boniface Muthoni for a beautifully composed photo of a Wasp Moth.

Moths are a group of insects related to butterflies belonging to the order Lepidoptera (the name Lepidoptera means “scale wings.”)

Take a close look at the wings of these insects and you will see overlapping scales, like shingles on a roof. The order Lepidoptera includes butterflies and moths and is the second-largest group in the insect world. Moths are highly adaptable to their surroundings and can be found in habitats all over the world.

The judges were intrigued by the stunning composition and beautiful exposure. The image is well taken and the judges appreciated seeing insects in this week’s theme. The iridescence of the insect’s thorax is also very captivating. We spoke to Boniface about his image.

Where were you? Syokimau, Machakos County, Kenya.

What were you doing there? There are some farms with grass around where I live and because of the current stay at home situation, I usually take photos just to get myself out of the house.

What camera do you use? Canon 7D with extension tubes and a 50 mm canon lens. For lighting, I have modified since for macro photography you have to be very close and you need a lot of light.

What do you do for a living? I’m a social worker but have done a few images on photojournalism. For the last 4 years, I’ve been training myself on Macro photography. I’m fascinated by nature and love the outdoors. I started familiarizing myself with insects – learning about them and how they are important to our ecosystem.

What do you love most about nature photography? Nature is something that cannot be ignored. For example, at the moment as the world is on lockdown, I was recently shocked by a surge in the number of insects I was able to capture in a small radius. Nature is therapeutic. When I’m under pressure I go to the outdoors to relieve myself. It’s fascinating and at the same time it brings a lot of healing not only for human beings but also to the earth.

What top tips would you offer any upcoming young person interested in nature photography? Today, whenever someone sees an image they intrigued by they usually don’t know the amount of time a photographer has put into it. For any upcoming nature photographer, they need a lot of patience and consistency in what they are doing. Rather than being all over, you can choose one area and put your energy and passion towards it. As time goes by, you will notice a lot of difference with the photos you take. People will start noticing your work and also they will want to know more about what you are doing. In the end, you will become a better communicator when it comes to nature and people will get to know about nature and what they need to do to preserve our natural world.

Follow Boniface’s captivating images on Instagram @bonimuthoniimages. Congratulations Boniface who wins Ksh. 500.

The JUNIOR CATEGORY WINNER (age 15 and below)

Beings is Jessica Nashipai for a well-composed image of jumping spider about to attack a cricket.

The judges were impressed by the composition of the image. We spoke to Jessica about her image.

How old are you? 14

Where did you take the photo? In our compound at home.

When did you take the photo? Last week on Sunday before the competition deadline.

What inspired you to take this photo? There is so much wildlife at night and they are pretty cool. I had about the competition and I wanted to enter.

Did you use a phone or a camera? I used my phone to take the photo.

Do you have any tips for young photographers? There is so much wildlife outside and when you just go out and look around, you will be surprised by what you see.

Congratulations Jessica who wins Ksh 400.

JUDGES COMMENDATION

The judges were fascinated by this image of Servals taken by Felix Odhiambo at Kicheche Laikipia Camp – Ol Pejeta Conservancy and felt that the photographer deserved a mention.

The judges commend the photographer for an incredible moment. Everything about the image is lovely. The image, even though it’s taken in captivity shows a special moment. The image has excellent exposure and is well edited. The judges applaud the photographer for his patience and waiting for the right moment.

Congratulations Felix. Follow his amazing work on Instagram @Lixlense and @__fe.l.l.i.x__

This week’s theme is HEALTHY HABITATS. 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, April 26TH, 2020 at midnight.