First place photograph by Tim Robson

Bush Tip No.3

Bring the best Binoculars you can afford and have them with you at all times

click on images to enlarge

2009 Photography Competition

After receiving many wonderful images for our photographic competition we have finally found our winners. It certainly was a difficult task picking the best of the best, but with the help of one of the world's best photographic teams, a decision has been made. Congratulations to all the winners and I'll be in touch very soon with your prizes.

Photographer of the year: Tim Robson

Fleeing Zebras

Faced with two stunning photos I was unable to chose the winner so I asked my good friends Owen Newman and Amanda Barrett (who are world renowned filmmakers) to make the decision for me. Here are their comments on the 2 finalists for the overall photographer of the year.

After careful consideration of two very grand photos, both of which are excellent in their own right but both so different, this is our unanimous feeling. The serval is a fantastic portrait and an unusual setting but the zebra photo goes beyond the skill of recording a great event but into the realms of art - the photographer is trying to create something more, an image, out of a scene. And so our money goes to the zebra. Congratulations Tim, you have won $ 500 US off your next safari.

We all loved Guy's Serval image so much, that we thought it deserved a $250 US prize for a very close 2nd!

Runner up: Guy Sellers - Serval portrait

Fleeing Zebras by Tim Robson

Serval by Guy Sellers

Category Winners

Africa Geographical subscriptions

1. Animals in their environment : Making sure that the habitat shown is an important part of the picture.

Winner : Susie Cazenove - Elephants in Ngorongoro Crater. A classic image of the big males enjoying the fresh herbs and green grass in green season on the plains

Elephants in Ngorongoro Crater by Susie Cazenove

2. Animal behaviour : Mammals, must show active behaviour.

Winner : Tim Robson - Zebra fleeing predators. This stunning photo was taken on safari with Andrew in Tarangire National Park. The Zebra had been peacefully grazing when a lion charged out of the grass to create this chaos of fleeing zebra

Runner up : Susie Cazenove - Gnu and Lion Lake Ndutu, Serengeti. This photo was taken on safari with Nigel just before dark. We watched what we thought was a certain kill as an old gnu wondered across the lake straight toward a crouched lioness. The lioness charged off in pursuit of it prey - the kill was inevitable. Then to our complete surprise the Gnu stopped, turned towards the stunned lioness and charged her! Confused by this role reversal the lioness run off, and then decided something wasn't quite right so stormed back towards the gnu - chaos. The gnu not to be out down rushed back towards the lioness and eventually chased it off and survived to the tale. Unbelievable!

Zebra fleeing predators by Tim Robson

Gnu and Lion Lake Ndutu, Serengeti by Susie Cazenove

3. Animal portraits: Convey the spirit of the subject in close up.

Winner - Guy Sellers - Serval. Taken at Ndutu, Serengeti on safari with Nigel and Andrew. We were all so amazed to this beautiful Serval posing for us in a tree out near the edge of the plain. 8 of us took very similar pictures, but Guy's image was the perfect portrait

Serval by Guy Sellers

4. Safari humour?

Winner - Mike Whatmore - birding in Niassa, Mozambique. Don't think we ever decided on the bird!

Runner up - Keith Scholey - Soit Orgoss mud! Fun and games with the Scholey family trying to get to Soit Orgoss in Loliondo. We eventually left the vehicle is what is now known as Scholey's bog!

Birding in Niassa, Mozambique by Mike Whatmore

Soit Orgoss mud by Keith Scholey

Photo tips

  • Shoot low - Don't always take photos out of the roof hatches. Get as low as you can to get that eye to eye feel.
  • For close ups focus on the animal's eye. This guarantees that most of the animal's face will be in focus.
  • Be prepared and ready with your camera at all times, as animals may suddenly appear and disappear just as quickly. Always have you camera turned on.
  • Don't always shot close up. Along with your portraits include one more with the general habitat in context to the subject.