Our announcement is finally here! The Wildlife Portraits winner is Ifham Raji from Sri Lanka. He shares some insights and advice with us for future contestants. Ifham enters the draw for the grand prize of being crowned Africa’s Photographer of the Year along with the previous category winners and our yet-to-be-announced Africa off the Beaten Track winner. The winning photograph is below!
Photo Credit: Ifham Raji
“This image was taken in South Africa at Zimanga Private Game Reserve. We came across a kill late in the evening and found vultures scavenging it. I knew if we returned, perhaps early the next morning, we could get some action in good light. Trusting my instincts, we left to the same location early the next day and found Tawny Eagles eating the flesh off the kill. In the midst of this, a jackal came to the kill, while we were watching, and attempted to chase away the Eagles to start feeding on it. as it tried to drag the The kill it was too large for it to move it to someplace else so it started tearing pieces of flesh, while the eagles also started doing the same from the other side . The jackal took large chunks away and went to a corner to eat it. It kept coming back for more.”
“I wanted to capture an image with the jackal approaching, carrying parts of the remains of the kill to continue eating it -except I had to make sure my camera was facing the approaching jackal to get a head on view shot. It did prove to be a difficult job, but after several attempts, I managed to capture a few images. This image was the best out of all of them, I felt, mainly because the jackal was not only walking right into the camera, but also with direct eye contact that was coupled with a strong sense of movement showing this unusual behaviour of carrying parts of the carcass.”
Our photographers have travelled all throughout Africa and Ifham is no different! He tells us that he “selected Africa as [his] prime destination in photographing wildlife due to its diverse and amazing wildlife. [He’s] been to the Masai Mara in Kenya and South Africa several times and [prefers] South Africa due to its unique wildlife in more various habitats.
While there are many beautiful destinations across the globe that offer glimpses of rare wildlife, Ifham shares with us the reasons why he enjoys Africa so much.
“I think Africa’s wilderness is unique with so much variety. Not only animals but habitats where animals roam, in landscapes that vary from big plains, thick and shrub jungles, deserts, rainforests, to mountains, rivers, oceans, lakes, volcanoes, etc. Different types of wildlife adapting from hot to cool climates. It is a wildlife and nature photographers paradise in every way and there is no place on earth to beat it any day or time.”
Photography is actually more of a hobby for this great photographer, although he does see it as a second profession. Perhaps winning this category will give him the confidence to make it a full-time career! He gives our contestants some advice nonetheless.
“My advice for the perfect photographic moment is an image with unusual or rare behaviour combined with perfect light, good composition and background and an image that can tell a story. To get that moment one must travel to different locations as much as one can and [take] as many pictures as one can, because this will make you a better photographer.”
“I think that Africa is a vast continent with so much of variety, and the bucket list is so huge, but for me I would say a visit to Okavango in Botswana, Masai Mara in Kenya, Serengeti in Tanzania, South Luangwa in Zambia, The Namib desert and South Africa is a must for any wildlife photographer and enthusiast.”
For more advice on how to take the best wildlife portraits, have a look at 5 Things to Pack on a Safari Shoot. Keep a look out for more photographs from our current category and don’t hesitate to enter your submissions before our competition closes at the end of the year for 2018.
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