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Welcome to the 1st Annual PRO Photo Challenge!

This version of The Pangolin Photo Challenge is open to professional wildlife photographers, photo tour leaders, full-time (and freelance) field guides and trackers. Images entered into this challenge must be taken anywhere on The African Continent and between January 1st and December 31st 2022.  If you do not qualify for these conditions please enter the Amateur Pangolin Photo Challenge 2022 instead here.

Unlike the Amateur Pangolin Photo Challenge, this version is free to enter and rather than submitting images for challenges closing every two months you will instead be asked to submit a portfolio of 5 images (one from each challenge category) before the end of the year.

The winner of the PRO portfolio prize will win a 5-night stay at The Pangolin Chobe Hotel for two people as well as a Canon R with a 100-400 RF lens, a pair of Olympus 10×42 Binoculars as well as a Sandisk Extreme Pro 128Gb SD Card and a Pangolin Body Warmer.

In addition to the main prize, every image entered into the challenge will count as one ticket to win a 7-day stay at the Pangolin Chobe Hotel including return flights from Johannesburg or Nairobi!!! During your stay, you will be shooting alongside the Pangolin Photo Hosts and spending time getting images with us in the Chobe.

Your end of year portfolio must contain one image from each of the challenges below.

Are you ready to take The PRO Photo Challenge? Click Here.

Five Challenges. One Portfolio. One Year.

Birds of the world challenge
water water everywhere challenge
twos company challenge
the small stuff challenge
the best of 2022 chalenge

Here is what the best portfolio of images will win!!

canon eos R body

Canon Eos R Mirrorless Camera

olympus 10x42 binos

A Pair of 10 x 42 Olympus PRO Binoculars

5 nights for two at The Pangolin Chobe Hotel.

100-400 RF lens

Canon 100-400mm RF Lens

sandisk 128 gb card

Sandisk Extreme Pro 128Gb SD Card

PLUS you can win a 7-day stay at The Pangolin Chobe Hotel just by entering!

Every image that you enter in the Pro Challenge (maximum 5) will count as one ticket in the lucky draw to win a one week stay at The Pangolin Chobe Hotel INCLUDING flights from either Nairobi or Johannesburg!

Competition prizes sponsored by

canon sponsor
olympus sponsor
sandisk sponsor
pangolin sponsor logo

Do you qualify? Toby is here to help! 

PRO Photo Challenge Details and Rules

Grand Portfolio Challenge Winner Prize 

The winner will receive the following prizes
Five days at The Pangolin Chobe Hotel for two people. Valued over $4500

  • 4 nights at the Pangolin Chobe Hotel (Full board) for two people sharing
  • Twice daily photo activities in The Chobe (Photo Boat and Game viewer)
  • All meals and drinks
  • Advice and assistance from The Pangolin Photo Hosts
  • Afternoon image review and editing sessions
  • Airport pick up and transfers from Kasane Airport
  • All park fees, bed levies and taxes
  • A limited edition Pangolin Body Warmer

PLUS:

Canon R Mirrorless camera and 100-400mm RF lens

Olympus 8×42 Binoculars

Sandisk Extreme Pro 128 Gb SD Card

1 Lucky Draw Prize – every image entered (max 5) is a ticket to the draw.

The winner of The Lucky Prize Draw wins
Seven days at The Pangolin Chobe Hotel for one person.

  • 6 nights at the Pangolin Chobe Hotel (Full board) in one of our guide rooms.
  • Return economy class flights from either Johannesburg or Nairobi.
  • Twice daily photo activities in The Chobe (Photo Boat and Game viewer)
  • All meals and drinks
  • Advice and assistance from The Pangolin Photo Hosts
  • Afternoon image review and editing sessions
  • Airport pick up and transfers from Kasane Airport or Victoria Falls (NBO route)
  • All park fees, bed levies and taxes
  • A limited edition Pangolin Body Warmer

How the PRO Pangolin Photo Challenge works

Below you will find details of how the first annual PRO edition of the Pangolin Photo Challenge will work. Please read them carefully and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email us at challenge@pangolinphoto.com with your question.

Is there an entry fee? 

There is no entry fee for the Pro Challenge. There is, however, an application process that starts with you registering on this page (see form below). Once we have conducted our due diligence your application to compete will be approved. This process can take up to seven days to complete. You may NOT enter the amateur  Pangolin Photo Challenge once you have been accepted to the Pro Challenge.

Who can enter?

The Challenge is open to all wildlife photographers, photo tour leaders, safari guides and trackers from any country with the following two exceptions:

You may not be:

  • Employees of Pangolin Photo Safaris and their immediate relatives/household.
  • All Photo Safari Operators and Guides who make the use of Pangolin Photo Safaris properties and services.

How do the Challenges work?

Each challenge has a theme or subject which is explained in full on each of the relevant entry pages for that challenge. Once you have registered and been accepted you will have access to upload the 5 images that will make up your portfolio. This portfolio must be completed by midnight on December 31st 2022.

You can enter only one image into each category and the image must have been taken by you in 2022. The image must also have been taken on the African Continent.

Any image that has previously won a national or international wildlife photography competition is ineligible for entry into the PRO Pangolin Photo Challenge.

You CAN NOT delve into the archives for the challenges. We want fresh images taken this year. We want to encourage you to take new images to enter. At the end of the year, all completed portfolios with 5 images (one from each category) will be judged on their individual merits and the portfolio with the highest score will win the overall PRO Pangolin Photo Challenge.

How does the Grand Portfolio Prize work?

Only portfolios containing five images will be considered for this prize.

During the course of the year, you are able to swap out images, for any of the challenges, if you feel you have taken a better image. You can load and replace images as many times as you like before the contest closes at the end of the year.

All submissions and the ability to swap out images will be closed on December 31st for final judging.

Who are the judges?

At Pangolin, we are lucky to work with some of the best wildlife photographers in the world. We have called in some favours and asked them to feature as guest judges alongside The Pangolin Photo Hosts.

For details of who the guest judges are then please click here. Judges cannot enter the Pro Challenge.

We have chosen judges from all around the world who photograph a wide range of subject matter and they are very much at the top of their game!

How does the Lucky Draw work?

For every image that you submit this will count as one ticket in the lucky draw which will take place in early 2023. Even if you don’t manage to submit all 5 images for the portfolio the images that you have submitted will count as tickets. We therefore strongly suggest that you submit 5 images no matter what!

The winner of the portfolio prize is ineligible to win the lucky draw too. If the portfolio winner is drawn then another draw will take place until another lucky winner is picked.

Where do the images have to be taken?

All the images submitted in the PRO Pangolin Photo Challenge must have been taken on the African continent in 2022.

The Pangolin Photo Challenges explained – Here is what we are looking for in each of your five images. ALL images musty have been taken in 2022!.

Birds of the World

 Birds of the World is pretty straightforward and easy. The bird or indeed birds must be wild and not baited in any way. Birdbaths are allowed but no seeds, fruit or meat etc can be used to entice the bird.

As the name implies the bird can be from anywhere in the world.

Water water everywhere.

 Water, water everywhere. In this image, we are looking to have water as a component of the image.

It does not have to be a mammal but can be any form of wildlife including birds, insects, reptiles, fish. We will not accept flowers, trees and grasses etc and any landscapes must have an identifiable animal as part of the scene.

This is a great opportunity to get to the coast, visit a park with a lake or pond or even get out a photograph on rainy days…you never know! We will even accept frozen water (snow and ice) as well as water in the form of mist and fog!

Not just clouds though…that’s a bit too easy!

Two’s Company

Two’s company allows us to explore relationships in wildlife photography. This relationship could be between two subjects of the same species or indeed of different species interacting.

We will allow all wildlife in this challenge category but not plant life. The focus of the image has to draw attention to the interaction of two individuals.

Even if the scene you shoot is that of a herd/flock/family, for example, as long as the eye is drawn to two individuals we will allow it.

The Small Stuff

Before you start to worry that you need a macro lens for this challenge then rest assured, you don’t! The Small Stuff allows us to focus (excuse the pun) on some of the more overlooked subjects….and not just the big stuff!

The rule of thumb here is that the subject needs to be approximately the size of a tennis ball or smaller. This can include some small mammals, birds, insects, reptiles and we are also going to allow plants – or parts of plants if that’s the focal subject – eg flowers.

The main rule is that the subject must not be coerced, altered, captured or damaged. Again use of baits is prohibited.

The Best of 2022

This is where you can submit your favourite wildlife image from the year – but please don’t enter anything similar to other shots from the other challenges. The image must have been taken in 2022.

The grand portfolio prize will look at all 5 of your images and judge them on their individual merits and then the portfolio with the highest score will win.

This can be any wildlife or natural subject including landscapes that don’t necessarily have to have an animal in the image – as long as it’s natural and not man-made or urban.

Don’t forget that every image that you enter is also a ticket into the lucky prize draw to win a 7 day stay at The Pangolin Chobe Hotel including flights from either Nairobi or Johannesburg so make the most of it and enter one image per category.

Who can enter the PRO Pangolin Photo Challenge?

The competition is open to all professional photographers, photo tour leaders, safari guides and trackers aged 18 or over from any country in the world with the following two exceptions.

  • Employees of Pangolin Photo Safaris and their immediate relatives/household.
  • All Photo Safari Operators and Guides who make the use of Pangolin Photo Safaris properties and services.

We would consider you a professional wildlife photographer if you derive over half of your annual income from wildlife photography activities. This includes making money from teaching, leading tours and stock photography. If none of these applies to you then please visit the Amateur challenge here.

This Pangolin Photo Challenge 2022 is divided into five challenges – Birds of the World, Water water everywhere, Twos Company, The Small Stuff and the Best of 2022..

One image will be allowed per entrant per challenge. You must enter one image from each of these categories to make up your final portfolio of 5 images for consideration.

Image Submission

The Image submitted to the Pangolin Photo Challenge must adhere to the following conditions:

The submitted image must have been taken in 2022. The metadata of the file will be inspected to ensure qualification. The capture date will be published on the website along with the image. Please make sure when you export your image from your editing programme of choice that you select to include the Meta (aka Exif) data with the image. This contains your settings for the display.

All images should be a faithful representation of the original scene in the natural world. The subject should be wild and not captive. The scene should not be staged for photography. Composite images will not be allowed (except for night photography images). Post-production adjustments can be used but excessive use will count against the image’s overall standing with the judges.

The judges may request the original image file for review when the shortlist has been completed. This will precede their judgement and declaration of the challenges and portfolio winners and runners up.

Please note. An image that has previously won a national or international nature photography competition prior to The Pangolin Photo Challenge will NOT be considered. If chosen as a winning image and later found to be in contravention of this rule it will be disqualified.

The judges reserve the right to refuse photos that they deem unsuitable at their discretion. The image must be the sole property of the submitter and have no third-party publishing rights/restrictions attached to them.

The images must have been taken by the submitter. Your images must be submitted as jpeg files without a watermark. The platform that we use will place a standard watermark on your image to protect it and also allow for the image to be judged anonymously.

The judging process is conducted blindly so all watermarked images will be rejected. Once the winners have been selected competition organisers will delete all the submitted images from their servers or cloud-based storage.

The owners of the submitted images give permission for their images to be used for the purposes of promoting the Pangolin Photo Challenge. All entrants give permission to Pangolin Photo Safaris to display their image on the Pangolin Photo Safaris website and social media channels.

Baiting

No images that have used live or dead bait when capturing the image will be allowed in this photo competition. If the judges suspect that a subject has been coerced, baited or harassed the image will be disqualified from the competition.

To clarify we do not consider photographing a bird or mammal drinking or bathing in a permanent water source (waterhole, man-made lake/reservoir, garden pond or birdbath) to be a baiting scenario. If the body of water has been stocked with fish for example for the purposes of capturing images of birds fishing we would consider this to be baiting. This includes hides where fish are replenished regularly rather than a natural breeding ground for the fish. If you are not sure then please email us at challenge@pangolinphoto.com with information on the scenario in question and we can make a judgement call.

Agreement or participation

By entering an image into this photo competition you agree to and are bound by the rules set out above. Entrants agree to have their names added to the Pangolin Photo Safaris email newsletter database. This will be the primary method of communication and updates.

Judges

The judging of The Pangolin Wildlife Photographer of the Year will be carried out by The Pangolin Photo Hosts and Directors as well as guest judges selected for their skill and expertise in the field of wildlife and landscape photography. The judges’ decision is final, binding and non-negotiable.
We are listed with Photo Contest Deadlines

Can I enter more than one image?

You may enter and replace each image for each challenge as often as you like. The idea of the challenge is to keep you photographing throughout the year. Therefore, if you take an image that you believe is better than the image previously submitted you can swap it out.

Pay close attention to the closing dates of each challenge as images submitted after the closing date will not be considered for that particular challenge. They will be considered in the portfolio prize at the end, however.

How old can the image be?

The image must have been taken by you in 2022 and taken on the African continent. We don’t want images taken before January 1st 2022. New images only.

What format should my image be in?

We have had to set a file size limit to 10Mb as we have to upload all the images and make them downloadable by the photo hosts in Botswana – where the internet access is not very robust. The file type should be jpeg.

Why can’t I submit images with my watermark?

The judges of the photo challenge are the Pangolin Photo Hosts based in Botswana, along with our guest judges and to be fair to all entrants they will be judged blind.

What will happen to my images after the contest ends?

As soon as the competition ends, we will then delete all the images that were submitted.

How do you classify whether on not I am a professional wildlife photographer?

We would consider you a professional wildlife photographer if you derive over half of your annual income from wildlife photography activities. This includes making money from teaching, leading tours and stock photography.

Due diligence will be performed if deemed necessary. The decision to allow or disallow the image resulting in this investigation will be for the directors of Pangolin Photo Safaris to make. This decision will be final and binding. Negotiations or discussions will not be entered into. If an image wins the portfolio prize and it is later discovered that the photographer is deemed to be in contravention of the rules then the prize will instead be awarded to the runner up. The judge’s decision is final.

The Amateur challenge can be found here.

I can’t upload my image. Can you help?

If you are struggling to upload your image or enter the competition please email challenge@pangolinphoto.com and we will assist where we can.

What if I am not able to travel before the safaris expire.

All of the safaris must be redeemed for travel before the 1st of June 2024. if you are not able to travel then the safaris and the vouchers will be forfeited. The winners of the safaris must travel themselves. The safaris and the vouchers cannot be resold.

Will you be showing all the images in one place?

Yes. The system we are using allows all the images to be viewed again after they have been entered. They are also searchable by the name of the photographer. In addition to that, the system also displays the settings used by the photographer to help you better understand how the image was taken.