Wildlife Portraits Winners – Nature’s Treasures Photo Competition
August 20, 2020
The first theme in Season Two of the Wildlife Warriors Nature’s Treasures Competition, Wildlife Portraits received 250 images from 96 different photographers from Kenya and Uganda. The judges were impressed by the quality of images in the Amateur and Junior Category.
Siddharth Patel from Kenya wins for a dramatic image and a perfect portrait of a less photographed animal, the buffalo, captioned by the photographer as ‘Buffalo Soldier’.
The judges commend the photographer for a beautiful image. The image is sharp and in focus showing the eyes, the strong texture of mud, and also the small bits of flying mud. The image is also not over-edited and captures the natural setting of the buffalo mud bathing. We spoke to Siddharth about his image.
- What do you do for a living? I’m an aeronautical engineer and photography is a hobby.
- Where did you take this photo? Nairobi National Park, Kenya
- What camera did you use? Canon 1100D
- What’s the story behind the image? This was in the park about 2 years ago. There were two old buffaloes mud bathing. My friend stopped the car and when I looked at the buffaloes in the mud this particular one popped his head to look at us. I was initially focused on the other buffaloes which were on the grass and I didn’t expect these two to be in the mud. It was perfect timing and I captured it. Always expect the unexpected.
- Do you have any advice for upcoming photographers? Be open on trying the different settings, changing the aperture, the shutter speed; don’t always stick to the norm. Experiment and that is how you will learn.
- What do you like most about nature photography? It’s about animals being wild and free which is where they belong. This is the message that I want to share through my photography.
Congratulations Siddharth! You can see more of his beautiful photos on Instagram @siddharthpatel01. He wins Ksh 5000.
Riz Jiwa from Kenya is the Runner Up for a strong portrait image of a part of a Zebra’s head captioned as ‘Lashes to die for’ by the photographer.
The judges were captivated by the composition of the image and the execution on the eyelashes and eye whiskers. The image displays the delicate features of the zebra as one can even see the contrast and sharpness of the eye whiskers. The image also shows the good use of black and white photography. We spoke to Riz about his image.
- What do you do for a living? I’m a Hot Air Balloon pilot
- Where did you take this photo? Masai Mara, Kenya
- What camera did you use? Nikon D850
- What’s the story behind the image? I was taking a walk during the lockdown. I was able to get quite close to a herd of zebra that were grazing. I decided to see how close I would get to them and managed to get close with a lot of patience. I was standing with my camera for a long time, just waiting, getting as close as I could, and eventually managed to not only get a good portrait of the face but managed to pick out a good composition of the image.
- Do you have any advice for upcoming photographers? Keep shooting. The more pictures you take the better you become. You can learn a lot online- invest in some time on photography. Study other photographers and develop your style.
- What do you like about nature photography? Photography started as a hobby and now I’m spending more time outdoors to get better photos. I like the reactions of people on wildlife photos, causing people to have an emotional response.
Congratulations Riz who wins Ksh 3000. Follow his work on Instagram @Riz_Jiwa.
Jim Joel Nyakaana
Jim Joel Nyakaana from Uganda wins for a well-composed image of a Black-fronted duiker (Cephalophus nigrifrons) in its natural habitat.
The judges were impressed by the lighting and it was an image of an animal rarely profiled. Duikers are very shy animals and the photographer must have caught it while walking in a rainforest. We spoke to Jim about his image.
- What do you do for a living? I am a travel and documentary photographer.
- Where did you take the photo? Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Western Uganda.
- What’s the story behind the image? I took this photo while on a forest trek to track mountain gorillas. The duiker kept peeping at us (we were a group) from a distance as we got nearer to where it was. Not to distract it, I used a zoom lens to take this photo.
- What’s the best advice you have been given on wildlife photography? Stay still in one place for a while so that you are the same with the environment in which your subject matter is. This gives you more time to compose your shot, and not stage it.
- Do you have any advice for upcoming photographers? Nature is an extension of who we are as human beings. We, nature photographers with every photo, are activists of nature and our own existence.
- What do you love most about nature photography? The calmness and the ambience of the outdoor away from the noise in the city is always therapeutic in its own way. It always pulls me to get out of the city to explore more aspects of nature.
Congratulations Jim! You can see more of his beautiful photos on Instagram @jim_joel_photography_safaris. He wins Ksh 3500.
Rishi Rudani from Kenya is the Runner Up for a well-composed image of a cheetah captioned as ‘Poser’ by the photographer.
The judges were captivated by the sharpness of the image. They were also amazed by the angle, the beautiful lighting. The image was able to capture a perfect moment of a cheetah during hunting. We spoke to Rishi about his image.
- What do you do for a living? I just graduated from High School and looking forward to joining a university.
- Where did you take the photo? Masai Mara, Kenya
- Which camera did you use? Canon EOS 80D with a Sigma 150 – 600mm lens
- What the story behind the cheetah image? After spending time with the 5 cheetah brothers one morning in Mara, we decided to go elsewhere. After driving for 10 minutes, our guide pointed out a lone female cheetah in the tall bush slowly stalking a herd of Topis, Wildebeest & Zebras that had crossed the ‘Sand River’. We stopped, hoping to see it hunt. She slowly crept in the tall bush, camouflaged, heading towards the Herd. I captured the moment when she peeked at the herd from the tall grass allowing me to get a good portrait shot of her.
- What’s the best advice you have been given on wildlife photography? Always look for different and unique compositions, and try to get as low as possible. Get on eye level to the animal, making it look much powerful. The easiest way to make a photograph that connects with an animal is by getting the eye level.
- Do you have any advice for upcoming photographers? Shoot early in the morning when the light is good and when most animals are active, allowing you to capture unique and different photographs.
- What do you love most about nature photography? I love that you need to be attentive and also maintain patience. As a photographer you don’t know what the animal’s next actions are therefore, you are required to always be ready for the action as you won’t get another opportunity to capture the same moment.
Congratulations Rishi! You can see more of his beautiful photos on Instagram @Rishi_Rudani. He wins Ksh 2000.
JUNIOR CATEGORY (15 Years and below)
Raj Jakharia from Kenya wins for cheetahs walking with the backdrop of the landscape captured by the photographer as ‘every single line means something’.
The image displays the perfect portrait of a cheetah family known as the Tano Bora in Masai Mara. Male cheetahs can be territorial and will group for life forming coalitions consisting of brothers born in the same litter. The judges were impressed by the well-exposed image and commend the photographer for placing the cheetahs at the bottom of the frame. We spoke to Raj about his image.
- How old are you? 13 years
- Where did you take this photo? Masai Mara, Kenya
- What camera did you use? Canon EOS 1300D
- What’s the story behind the image? The five cheetahs walking together are the Tano Bora and they appeared to be going hunting.
- What’s the best advice you have been given on wildlife photography? My brother who is also a wildlife photograph told me to always think of how I’m going to process the image in my mind.
- Do you have any advice for upcoming photographers? When you are taking photographs, you have to think about what you are going to take. Process the image in your mind how it’s going to be after you have taken it
- What do you love most about nature photography? I love seeing the animals. I enjoy looking at nature
Congratulations Raj! You can see more of his beautiful photos on Instagram @jadioboss.photography. He wins Ksh 2000.
Hanain Ayub from Kenya is the Runner Up for a lioness captioned by the photographer as ‘The Golden Queen’.
The judges were impressed by the well-composed and beautiful image of the lioness on the grass. The foreground blur gives a different feel to the image.
- How old are you? 15 years
- Where did you take this photo? Tsavo East National Park, Kenya
- What camera did you use? Canon 70d
- What’s the story behind the image? We saw a cheetah going into the bushes and what we thought is we would go round and wait for it. There was an airstrip on our left and we could see planes moving. It was in the late evening and minutes later a lioness came out. She stood on the bank (the road we were on was deep) giving a different perspective, the light was nice and it was one of those lucky photos.
- What’s the best advice you have been given on wildlife photography? Don’t get bored and don’t expect results all the time. Just keep trying.
- Do you have any advice for upcoming photographers? Always take photos and try to be different.
- What do you love most about nature photography? Going out all day being with wild animals. It’s always good.
Congratulations Hanain! You can see more of his beautiful photos on Instagram @hanain_. He wins Ksh 1000.
A big thank you to our partners African People and Wildlife from Tanzania who is supporting the Amateur Category – Winner, OGO – LAW who is supporting the Amateur Category – Runner Up, Diana Kisinga who will be supporting the Junior Category – Winner, Tony Wild who is supporting the Junior Category – Runner Up, Conservation Through Public Health, Gorilla Conservation Coffee, and Wildlife Clubs of Kenya.
We are also grateful for the judges; Usha Harish, Callie Broaddus, and Ananth Krishnamurthy who have been generous in giving their time to review and select winners during this period.
We continue to encourage photographers across all countries of East Africa – Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi, to share the beauty of nature and wildlife in their country every week through bit.ly/WildlifeWarriorsEA.