To the Future

The success of the 2015 inaugural year of Nature’s Best Photography Africa is acknowledged by a 40% increase in the number of entries received for the 2016 competition. This proves beyond doubt that there is a need for a world-class, Africa-focused Nature competition of this type.

Whilst there are several respected global nature photography competitions, these are typically owned by international concerns, and Africa is only one category amongst numerous others. Nature’s Best Photography Africa invites global photographers to enter photographs that were taken in Africa. We therefore provide Africa with a valuable platform and the ability to take a leading role in terms of how our continent is promoted to massive global audiences.

We aim to ‘foster a love for and desire to protect nature amongst all segments of our population through education and photography’.

In 2016 we implemented some changes to our categories and judging criteria. We also spent a considerable amount of time and effort on planning our educational strategy. The annual photographic competition remains an important element in an ongoing and sustainable, integrated conservation programme.

It is our firm belief that we cannot expect people to understand why it is important to conserve our natural resources unless they have had the opportunity to experience nature. We are therefore committed to exposing more of our population to nature in all her glory and to inspire them to experience, love, protect and thereby benefit from our rich wealth of natural resources.

In these efforts we have formed a close association with the Da Vinci Institute in order to design a module called ‘Synergy – Leadership Principles Through Nature’ into their popular Masters programme. This will expose 50 MBA students to the significance and wealth of benefits that nature provides.

We are also working with the Da Vinci Institute in order to package the ‘Synergy’ concept for seminars and practical workshops for the corporate and government sector. We intend launching a mentorship programme in 2016 that will see us identifying and supporting 10 talented photographers per year from the previously disadvantaged communities to provide them with some of the unique skills and opportunities necessary for award winning nature photography. Their progress will be tracked and clearly evident in their results in future competitions.

We are also pleased to announce that we are developing a close working relationship with the Cape Town Environmental Education Trust (CTEET) in terms of their future leaders programme.

This programme involves 21 children from different areas in the Western Cape who are taken on outings to nature rich regions in order to provide them with enjoyable and yet extremely valuable learning experiences.

This group of future leaders will be treated to an exhibition walkabout by Iziko educators and CTEET moderators. NBP Africa has invited these educators and moderators to an exhibition walkabout which will provide them with a valuable insight into the world of nature photography, what makes a winning photograph and interesting facts relating to some of the photographs on display. They will then share this information with the CTEET future leaders group and the numerous school groups who visit the Iziko SA Museum each year.

In order to allow more people from diverse audiences to participate in NBP Africa we have decided to include a cellular phone category into the competition from 2017. This decision was not taken lightly but it was felt that exposing more of our people to nature and photography was more important than a view that was purely focused on traditional camera technology. It is estimated that over 90% of Africans have access to cellular phones and this means that more of our people than ever before have access to powerful cameras and the opportunity to benefit therefrom.

I must take this opportunity to thank our partners without whom Nature’s Best Photograph Africa would not be possible: Iziko Museums of South Africa, Nature’s Best Photography Global, our beautiful annual publication (Novus Print Solutions, Antalis and Van Bookbinders), Nikon our exclusive camera partners, the prizes (CNP Safaris, & Beyond and Chobe Safari Lodge), Kingfisher our courier partner, Kizo Art Consultants (Marketing & Logistics), Painted Wolf Wines our wine partner, the African Wildlife Foundation our wildlife conservation partner, A Spring of Hope our community empowerment and benefit partner, The Photographer, our exhibition print partner.

Congratulations to the large team from NBP Africa and our partners who have committed much time and effort into delivering on such a world class and proudly African initiative and I look forward to many more years working together spent expanding on our current efforts.

We invite expressions of interest from other entities and people who are keen and able to contribute and participate in this rewarding journey.

I hope that you enjoy the NBP Africa exhibition and that this wonderful publication brings you much joy.

Warm regards

Craig Mark

Director – Nature’s Best Photography Africa