With a hat tip to Fautsus who said of Helen of Troy; “Was this the face that launch’d a thousand ships, / And burnt the topless towers of Ilium.”
When it comes to iconic images that promote Nelson Mandela and Algoa Bay we may just have found; “The dolphins that launched a thousand [hopefully more] tourists to our shores!”
Tourists to our shores look for that ‘millennial moment’, that social media image or video that goes viral and validates their spend on a tourist adventure. Adventures in our bush and at sea are accompanied by the constant click and whir of cameras and mobile phones thrust in front of faces as we compete for that elusive image.
There are many called but few who make the grade when it comes to technical, emotionally charged and perfect images of our incredible wildlife in Africa.
The number of competitions for photographers to enter are many. One of them, Nature’s Best Photography Africa, is a South African non for profit entity that was established in 2015 to foster a love for and desire to protect the natural resources of Africa through photography and education.
Nature’s Best Photography Africa is now the ‘premier annual African nature focused photography competition in the world’ run in association with Iziko Museums of South Africa.
The extremely popular annual exhibition of award winning photographs is hosted annually at the Iziko SA Museum and at their prize giving on 5 December 2018 in Cape Town honoured one of Port Elizabeth‘s own – Rainer Schimpf – as a winner in the Africa at Sea category.
The bigger the competition, the bigger the prizes. The Overall African Wildlife Photographer of the year walked away with a magnificent prize of a 8 Night Wildlife Photographic Safari to Masai Mara. Each of the remaining 8 category winners received a prize of a 5 Night Wildlife Photographic Safari to Chobe Botswana.
Schimpf’s winning photograph in the Africa at Sea category was taken at Woody Cape – within the Addo Elephant National Park Marine Protected Area – along the Alexandria Dunefields of a pod of dolphins surfing in the waves with a magnificent ‘golden half-hour’ dune backdrop. The imnage captured perfectly the African Sunset colours that is on everyone in the world’s bucket list, the gay abandon of wild dolphins at play and the magnificence of our continent as a backdrop.
It is through images such as these that we succesfully promote our tourism offerings.
On accepting the award Schimpf, who runs eco-tourism outfits Expert Tours and AB Marine said; “This image underlines the enormous beauty and marine variety of Algoa Bay, the influence of the Sardine Run and incredible Whale and Dolphin watching opportunities within Algoa Bay. Our local tourism industry will benefit from images such as this one.”
The award winning images will be on display in Cape Town’s Iziko Natural History Museum and available later in book form.
Schimpf went on thank all who helped realise his image, Dolphin Dream and in particular Ocean & Coast who issued the necessary permits to produce and document his award winning photograph.
According to Lou Coetzer, Director of Nature’s Best Photography Africa; “The photographer of the year is not selected on a single image, but rather on a portfolio of images. Consideration is given to both the individual quality of the images, as well as the versatility of subject matter and the variety of skills with their relative competences, as demonstrated by the photographer.”
The various Categories in Nature’s Best Photography Africa are:
- African Wildlife Photographer Of The Year
- Photograph Of The Year
- African Landscapes
- Wild Cats Of Africa Behavioural
- Wild Cats Of Africa Portraits
- Birds Of Africa Behavioural
- Birds Of Africa Portraits
- Mammals Of Africa Behavioural
- Mammals Of Africa Portraits
- Reptiles Of Africa
- Africa Up Close
- At Sea
- In African Wildlife
- And White
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