I am extremely delighted to announce I celebrated the New Year, with the news I have won the African Wildlife category of the Windland Smith Rice Natures Best Photography competition 2014, with a second, Highly Honoured image, in the Animal Antics category.
The category winning image of this lioness, yawning in the rain, is a photo that became one of my own personal favourites as soon as I saw it on the back of the camera in the Maasai Mara. Not only have I always liked the aesthetics, but it also holds a lot of fond memories as I took it on my first safari. So, to see it recognised in such a way is truly incredible. Every year this is one of my favourite categories, so I was thrilled to be able to finally enter it this year, let alone win it!
My second image, which was Highly Honoured in the Animal Antics category, was this Cheeky Cheetah. Again taken on the same safari.
Natures Best is the biggest competition of it’s type in North America and see’s thousands of entries from all over the world, with around 110 images making it to the final. Each year the category winners and a selection of Highly Honoured images go on exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. So with the email coming through literally minutes before the midnight countdown, it really helped me see the old year out and the new year in with an extra spring in the step, to be awarded for the second year running in this competition.
A very Happy New Year one and all!