Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year 2017 final results

Well, well, well – one of my 9 images and an image of mine that was almost not taken (Thanks Hougaard Malan for the persuasion) won the Travel/Scenic category of the Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year 2017 competition. Thank you Africa Geographic for organising the competition and the great prices – much appreciated. Looking forward to next year’s competition.

The image:



Detail of the image:

Exact location:

Kokerboomkloof camp site, Richtersveld, South Africa


This photo was taken amongst the Quiver trees in the Richtersveld Transfrontier Park – close to Kokerboomkloof camping site. It was a moonless night (moon rise was around 21H00) with no light pollution because there are no nearby towns. Just after sundown but still enough light to ensure a great composition, we did the necessary setup of the cameras (including the bulb mode on camera). I waited for the Blue hour to pass (just before 19H30) and then pressed the shutter release. We left the cameras (open shutter) on walked back to camp (about 1km) for a lekker braaivleis. After supper (after about 90 minutes) the camera was collected and after another 90 minutes of in-camera noise reduction, I was able to view the image on the back of my camera for the first time. I was very pleased with the results. The Southern cross was perfectly placed thanks to Hougaard’s calculation and  the camera captured just enough light and stars before moonrise.

Date and time taken:

June 15, 2014 @ 19H27

Equipment used:

Nikon D800 camera, Nikon 17-35mm lens @17mm, Benro head on Benro tripod, cable release used, ISO 200, f8, 5372 second (90 minutes using bulb mode), Manual priority, White Balance – sun


There was even an article in our local Volksblad newspaper:

More details on the competition and results:

Message to take home:

Interesting piece of information I’ve read on the Internet and and I though it is so true. I hope it is applicable to my star trail image above:

“I always thought good photos were like good jokes. If you have to explain it, it just isn’t that good”


Until my next blog – keep on shooting!!!

  1. #1 by Josef Steyn on June 3, 2017 - 9:34 am

    Baie geluk Willem. Die prys is welverdiend.

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