The years competition turned out satisfactory in many aspects.
Firstly I think wildlife photographers couldn’t wait to get to the kgalagadi after the lockdown of our most favourite spot on earth due to the virus’ regulatory standards. No wonder there was a renewed interest in photography especially To capture wildlife and landscapes. We received over 1500 entry images to judge from where we selected a top 30 then a special mention category and then the top 6 images that went through to the inclusive award weekend at the Kgalagadi lodge as part of the prizes for the top 6 photographers. The entries improved month on month during the year without a doubt and a group of photographers competed with very good images throughout making the judgement particularly tough. We also witnessed some younger photographers starting to knock on the doors of the acclaimed wildlife photographers. Genders were well represented as the female photographers in the kgalagadi increased drastically over the past 10 years. Dominique Maree a upcoming young female photographer made it to the second place over all with her superb portrait of a cori bustard. Interviews with the top three photographers can be seen on Joes Camera YouTube channel.
Carel Stander came third overall with his black and white image of a male lion. The image also won the top lion image.
Hugh Mitchler took the overall 1st prize as well as the landscape winner with the same image. It was felt that Hughs beautifully composed sunset and gemsbok herd represented the kalahari gemsbok park remarkably well besides being a awesome image and would thus further market the larger Kgalagadi transfrontier park each time the image is viewed across the globe . The award weekend at the Kgalagadi lodge lived up expectations. The Friday SJ Koortzen the Lodge owner prepared a lamb on the spit that blows the mind and the photographers got to know each other. The Saturday the top six photographers went into the Park early to do what wildlife photographers do in the Kgalagadi. At sunset the evening festivities kicked off in the dunes with sundowners and traditional bushmen dancing by local Koi San dancers from Andriesvale at the delight of the photographers that couldn’t wait to get some shots of the dancers around the fire.
Joe Lategan of Joes Camera and Kgalagadi photography announced the top three winners and then Everyone moved down to a private setting at the lodge prepared specially for the occasion. SJ then jumped back into the kitchen where he grilled steaks that had been hand selected and cured to match his strict standards behind the grill to each guests desire. We cant wait for the 2022 competition that has opened already.
Exciting news is that the winning photographers of this competition besides all the prizes will get the opportunity to sell their winning image at the lodge’s gallery for the next 12 months
Keep shooting and sharing to inspire. .