Progress Update - Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year 2020

In a previous article, I related my unusual decision to enter a photography competition — specifically, the esteemed Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year 2020.

I have entered quite a few of my favourite images captured during our travels in Africa.

It is proving to be a tough competition, but to my delight, the competition administrators have on several occasions chosen some of my images to be featured in the Weekly Selection.

So far, nine of my images have been selected.

On the first occasion on which I received an email from the editors to advise that my images had been selected, I experienced a combination of shock and delight.  Not only had my images been selected, but on that first occasion, four of my images had been selected!

It was, and remains, quite an honour for me, given that I have only been to Africa three times, and that my images are in the company of some amazing photographers who have far more experience shooting in Africa than I have.

What I have observed from participating in this competition is that the judges tend to favour story shots.  While there are some beautiful portraits of African wildlife, these are mostly in the minority.

Looking at my images which have been featured, only one was a clean, full-frame portrait of an animal.  The rest were definitely story shots.

I am a long way from winning this competition — and in all honesty, I probably will not even be selected as a finalist, let alone the winner — but it has so far been an interesting exercise, with the key learning being that as lovely as portraits of animals are, images which tell stories carry far more clout.

On our next trip to Africa, I will definitely be chasing more story shots.

Published on Saturday, 28 March, 2020.