Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018 announces winners and honours 4 South African photographers

Posted by Welcome Lishivha on 17 October 2018

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018 has announced the grand winner titles and has recognized four South African photographers with four images across four categories including the grand title for Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018 awarded to sixteen-year-old South African Skye Meaker.

The Grand Title Winner 2018 was from the Animal Portraits category. It’s The Golden Couple by Marsel van Oosten, The Netherlands.

Dutch photographer Marsel van Oosten has won the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018 title for his extraordinary image, The Golden Couple, which frames a pair of golden snub-nosed monkeys in the temperate forest of China’s Qinling Mountains, the only habitat for these endangered primates. The winning portrait captures the beauty and fragility of life on earth and a glimpse of some of the extraordinary, yet relatable beings we share our planet with.

Chair of the judging panel, Roz Kidman Cox, says, ‘This image is in one sense traditional – a portrait. But what a striking one, and what magical animals. It is a symbolic reminder of the beauty of nature and how impoverished we are becoming as nature is diminished. It is an artwork worthy of hanging in any gallery in the world.’

Natural History Museum Director Sir Michael Dixon says, ‘In a world which is in thrall to special effects, this image celebrates the majestic and otherworldly presence of nature, and reminds us of our crucial role in protecting it.’

Sixteen-year-old South African Skye Meaker took the award for Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018 with his charming portrait of a leopard waking from sleep in Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana. Skye has wanted to be a nature photographer since receiving his first pocket camera at the age of seven.

Lounging leopard by Skye Meaker, South Africa. Grand Title Winner 2018 for the 15-17 Years Old category.

‘With precisely executed timing and composition, we get a coveted glimpse into the inner world of one of the most frequently photographed, yet rarely truly seen animals,’ says competition judge and previous competition winner Alexander Badyaev.

The two grand title images were selected from 19 category winners, depicting the incredible diversity of life on our planet, from displays of rarely seen animal behaviour to hidden underwater worlds. Images from professional and amateur photographers are selected by a panel of industry-recognised professionals for their originality, creativity and technical excellence.


Highly commended photos

Cool Cat by Isak Pretorius

Cool Cat by Isak Pretorius, South Africa. Highly commended 2018, Animal Portraits.


Late-night feed by Susan Scott

Late-night feed by Susan Scott, South Africa. Highly commended 2018, Wildlife Photojournalism.


The meerkat mob by Tertius A Gous

The meerkat mob by Tertius A Gous, South Africa. Highly commended 2018, Behaviour: Mammals.

The list features a total of four South African photographers whose photographs were honoured as “highly commended”. In addition to Skye’s photograph, Cool cat by Isak Pretorius was highly commended in the Animal Portrait category, The meerkat mob by Tertius A Gous was also highly commended in the Animal Behavior category, as was Late-night feed by Susan Scott for her image from award-winning film STROOP – Journey into the rhino horn war.

Beating over 45,000 entries from 95 countries, these five images will be on show in lightbox displays with 95 other spectacular photographs. The exhibition at the Natural History Museum opens on 19 October 2018 before touring across the UK and internationally.

A new category for 2018 is the Lifetime Achievement Award. This year acclaimed nature photographer Frans Lanting is being honoured for his outstanding contribution to wildlife conservation over more than three decades.


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Photo by @FransLanting When you work with wild chimps, you can’t hide your intentions—they see right through you. It’s best to be patient and polite. After all, when you’re following them on foot in the forest, you’re on their home turf. Only after we had spent several weeks tracking this group of chimps in southern Senegal did we experience the beginnings of acceptance. In this portrait of a young male named “Mike” you can feel his scrutiny. You can make a difference for the future of wild chimpanzees by supporting the World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International, the Jane Goodall Institute, and Neighbor Ape, founded by primatologist Jill Pruetz, with whom we worked on assignment for National Geographic to cover Mike and others in his community. @natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Chimpanzee #GreatApe #WorldWildlifeFund #Wild_Net #ConservationInternational #JaneGoodallInstitute

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The next competition opens for entries from photographers of all ages and abilities on Monday 22 October.

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