Tag Archives: WPOTY

The laptop critics are on the march once more

Dear all,

Some of you may have followed the recent discussion concerning Ashley Vincent’s picture ‘The Explosion’ snatching the Nature category as well as the grand prize in the 2012 National Geographic photo contest. The entire discussion revolves around the captive vs wild discussion to which I happen to have a very clear opinion. The 2010 Wildlife Photographer of the Year wolf shot was a hoax, since the photographer failed to mention the shot was picturing a captive animal, while at the same time the rules don’t allow for shots of captive animals. In that sense there is no comparison to Ashley’s work: the rules allow for pictures of captive animals to be submitted and his caption tells the full story, so I honnestly don’t see what people are nagging about! As long as you don’t start pretending captive animals were actually wild and as long as you don’t refrain from mentioning the truth, there is absolutely no issue in my book! And for those of you who feel NatGeo should only focus on wild animals, they should enter into a discussion with National Geographic instead of running this discussion on the back of Ashley’s picture (it was after all not him defining the rules of the competition).

Whilst we’re at it, check out the latest Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness #8, amongst which you will also find a color version of my sleepy vervet monkey shot.

All this being said, I can only say that I admire Ashley’s work (check out his 500px portfolio here) and that I am stoked he agreed to share his personal thoughts in a guest blog on this page. Till then, I invite the laptop critics to go out to a zoo and get the shots Ashley is envisioning and creating and I leave you with a shot of an elephant orphan at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. To avoid any confusion, it considers a rescued elephant, which is now being taken care off at the Trust and which will be reinserted into the wild in the Tsavo National Park in Kenya.

Canon 5D, Canon 17-40mm f/4 L IS USM @ 17mm, 1/400, f/5, ISO 400
Canon 5D, Canon 17-40mm f/4 L IS USM @ 17mm, 1/400, f/5, ISO 400

Warm regards,



The excitement of competition

Hi everybody,

For those of you who follow me on FaceBook and/or Twitter, you may have seen that 2 of my entries made it into the finals of the 2012 Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition, which this year received over 48,000 images from 98 countries. That means that two very intensive sessions of critical review by the judges have been survived, now remaining 1 final selection round.

When I received their message that they were pleased to tell me that at least one of my images has made it through, my heart rate went up and no way I could get back to my daily chores. The feeling this gives is amazing, pumping adrenaline in much the same way racing a fast car does, or going down a hill on your mountain bike, …

I have no idea how many shots make it to the finals (does somebody know?), yet by mid May the winning images will be known. And as has been said many times before, it is impossible to predict what the judges will go for. Going through the portfolio’s of past years definitely helps (I’m trying to get them all), and when selecting your images don’t go for your personal favorites only. On the contrary, get out of your comfort zone and enter some shots of which you’re not at all sure, for whatever reason, …

And oh yeah, to bring the point home that you don’t need the latest equipment to enter these competitions, my 2 shots that made it to the finals were taken with my old 350D and standard kit lenses!

For now, I leave you with 1 of my personal favorites that did not make it. Liking simplicity in a shot and fully realizing it has become close to impossible to surprise with a lion shot, I looked for an image that would portray a lion, blending into the environment, portraying it’s grandeur by ignoring vehicles passing by. This shot is the result of that search: blending in, turning the back, looking of into the distance, ignoring and frustrating the visitors and photographers who are craving for a nice portrait, … yet what they get is ‘The Royal Cold Shoulder’

Canon 350D, Canon 75-300 @ 150 mm, 1/640, f/5.6, ISO 1600

Happy Easter and warm regards,