Themed #ExploreNaturalAreas, this year’s competition, supported by Sunday Times and TimesLIVE, aimed to celebrate South Africa’s natural spaces and highlight the need for their protection.
As part of National Geographic’s Planet Possible initiative, which aims to inform, inspire and empower consumers to live more lightly on the planet, both professional and amateur photographers across South Africa were invited to participate in the 2022 edition of the popular competition.
The first place in the professional category was won by Hannah Tihen, whose underwater image captured a dark shyshark (Haploblepharus pictus) peeking its head out of the kelp in Cosy Bay.
Amateur category winners
Ntokozo Hlope scooped first prize in the amateur category with her captivating photograph of a sunset in Richard Bay.
Lidovho Tendani was awarded second prize for her shot taken in the Pretoria Botanical gardens, with Khole Bridgette’s image of an ostrich overlooking the sea in the Cape of Good Hope winning third prize in this category.
South African wildlife photographer and filmmaker and National Geographic explorer Tessa Barlin led the judging panel that was tasked with awarding this year’s entries.
“It’s been a privilege to be a judge on the National Geographic Photo Competition this year,” says Barlin.
“I’ve had the opportunity to see the world from such unique perspectives. The judges and I decided to place a spotlight on photos that didn’t necessarily display the best kit, but stuck to the theme, showed a clear sense of adventure, a love of nature and an eye for composition. Congratulations to the winners!” she adds.
“Visual story telling has been a part of National Geographic’s signature since the yellow frame’s inception over 133 years ago and plays a key role in informing and inspiring our viewers as to the importance of protecting the natural world,” says Christine Service, senior vice president and general manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa.
“We are grateful to the many entrants in this year’s photo competition and congratulate all of the winners. The entries we received were remarkable and reflected the unique beauty of Southern African natural spaces.”