PHOTOGRAPHY: The Observer and National Geographic

As a photographer, recognition of your art, or your skill or whatever we think we all have is, for me, a nice to have. I take photos for me, for my clients and for my bank balance and everything else is almost superfluous.

So when National Geographic chose one of your images, completely unexpectedly, in a monthly competition with 11 of your peers as your challengers, and when the winner at the end of the month after an international on-line vote gets published in National Geographic Magazine, you firstly kinda doubt the validity of the notification but also hope that it is true.

It was true and looking through the challengers, I reckoned I had a better than average chance of coming close to the top spot.

So, trying to ignore it, trying to make it unimportant, I contacted everyone I knew, and got them to contact everyone they knew, to get them all to vote.

There were some superb images there, some lovely street work (as was the category of my image), some landscapes which while brilliant didn’t really excite me, but hey, photography is subjective right? The wildlife shots too, were superb, but the feedback I got from other National Geographic photographers was heartwarming, people from across the globe were favoriting the image National Geographic published on their website.

Of course, I didn’t win, I came third, the winner, a full face on shot of a wild leopard in the jungle, where the photographer had tracked her for three days, and in that three days managed to get just one shot of her, the one shot which was presented, won.

So the story of the image fully surpassed mine which read ‘having coffee in coffee shop in Oxford, went to loo, saw the shot, took it’.

The image is below, and I rather like it, and I’m rather proud to have been chosen, but that leopard shot, that was really something else.


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