Natures Best Photography Awards

15 11 2013

Every year, thousands of photographers try their luck when entering the Natures Best Photography Windland Smith Rice Photographic Awards, and every year for the past five years, I have been in the mix trying my luck and entering images into the competition.  Finally, after reaching the final round of judging every year since I started entering, I have cracked the nod, and have had two images accepted into the awards.

The competition is based in Washington D.C. and the gallery housed in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.  It attracted twenty four thousand entries from over fifty countries, making the going quite difficult.

The two images that were accepted are both quite special to me.  The first, the elephant’s trunk, is a shot I have tried to get for many years.  Getting a close up shot of the trunk is surprisingly difficult for a number of reasons.  The first is you have to get quite close.  Elephants are large and dangerous animals, so I needed to find one that was relaxed around vehicles, allowing me to sneak a camera nice and close.  Secondly, the trunk never really stops moving, so zooming in on the trunk, and trying to follow its unpredictable movements is a seriously tricky affair.  Lastly, the trunk is constantly in the grass/bushes/trees, so getting it to stand out from the surroundings requires a lot of luck.  After many years of trying/waiting/hoping, I got the right elephant on the right day, and it paid off.

The second image is of a small group of greater flamingos.  Again tricky, but for quite different reasons.  On this particular day, there were around five thousand flamingos walking through the shallow waters of the salt lake.  Separating a small group from the masses was nearly impossible.  Everywhere you aimed the camera there were more flamingos!  Another difficulty is that they all do the same thing, all the time, so finding a new perspective or a new shot was challenging.  Luckily for me, they started displaying and the shot seemed to compose itself.

It really is a great feeling to have your images accepted into such a huge competition, especially after putting in the time.  Lets hope the good luck continues!



12 responses

15 11 2013
Marianna Nicolaou

Kurt mas CONGRATULATIONS!!! WELL DONE!!! We wish you continuous success and worldwide recognition of your work. We love you and we are very proud of you. Panicaki-Nanou

15 11 2013

Thanks guys! Your kindness is always appreciated!

15 11 2013
Greg du Toit

Hi Kurt

Guess where I am? At Ratray’s but Skeet is in bloody Mauritius???

Listen pal, WELL DONE on Nature’s Best. Legendary stuff and you REALLY deserve it BIG TIME.

You will get good US exposure!

Well done again!!!


Kind Regards Greg

See my new coffee-table book titled Awe. Autographed copies now available for shipping at

15 11 2013

Ahhh, Skeet – taking it easy…. Enjoy Rattrays, it always produces good stuff!
Thanks for the congrats, it is always appreciated! Now to make it 2 from 2 from SA in BBC…. 🙂
Keep well

15 11 2013
Lyle Krahn

No wonder you are proud of those photos. Well deserved.

15 11 2013

Thanks Lyle! Appreciated as always!

15 11 2013
Mary P Francis

Congratulations, you deserve it.

16 11 2013

Thanks Mary! 🙂

16 11 2013
James Shooter Photography

Well done Kurt. Many congratulations!

16 11 2013

Thanks James!

16 11 2013
Ellen Bell

Congradulations. We’ll deserved!!

Sent from my iPad


17 11 2013

Thanks Ellen! 🙂

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