buffalo dust by gail odendaal pangolin photo challenge

“Monochrome Wildlife” Challenge 2023

Check out our latest blog post below, featuring images that received recognition as Highly Commended and the overall winner in the Monochrome Wildlife category of the 2023 Pangolin Photo Challenge. Additionally, we provide detailed camera settings for each photograph.

Participants in this category were tasked with capturing the beauty of nature in black-and-white.

To participate in this year’s challenge, click here to find out how to join the 2024 Pangolin Photo Challenge. It’s simple, free, and allows you to win safari prizes!

Didn’t catch the Monochrome Wildlife Finalists video?

View the video here, and then share your thoughts on who should win. Afterwards, take a look at our outstanding images below to see if your predictions were correct.

Highly Commended
Zebra Stripes, by Janis Hurley

zebra stripes by janis hurley pangolin photo challenge

SONY ILCE-1 with an FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS + 1.4X Teleconverter

f/4 | 1/1600 | 560 mm | ISO 200

Janis has beautifully captured a mesmerising moment, featuring a small group of Grevy’s Zebras. The sight of seven of these magnificent creatures together is truly enchanting, especially given their tendency to be solitary animals. The second zebra, perfectly centred and sharply focused, stands out against a softly blurred background that resembles rolling hills. This photograph radiates an irresistible charm that captures the viewer’s attention.

Highly Commended
Connection, by Helen Mathias

connection by helen mathias pangolin photo challenge

NIKON D750 with a 200.0–500.0 mm f/5.6

f/6.3 | 1/1600 | 450 mm | ISO 140

Helen Mathias artfully captured a special moment between a couple of Northern Gannets, known for creating lasting relationships. In this striking picture, the deep connection between the birds is elegantly depicted, showcasing their enduring bond.

Highly Commended
Buffalo Dust, by Gail Odendaal

buffalo dust by gail odendaal pangolin photo challenge


f/5.6 | 1/2000 | 280 mm | ISO 1100

Gail Odendaal’s stunning photograph depicts a riveting moment where a herd of buffalo carefully makes its way to the river, alert to the nearby lions. The atmosphere is tense as the buffalo take a defensive stance, showing urgency amid the dust-filled air. In this vivid scene, the front buffalo, covered with numerous oxpeckers, stands out as a symbol of resilience in challenging times. This captivating image tells a compelling tale of survival in the wilderness.

Highly Commended
Turtle enjoying a calm day in the water, by David Swanson

turtle enjoying a calm day in the water by david swanson pangolin photo challenge

Canon EOS R5 with an RF100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM

f/7.1 | 1/160 | 300 mm | ISO 200

David Swanson expertly depicts the tranquil beauty of a turtle in the peaceful waters of the Chobe. Through intentional overexposure, he transforms the water into a seamless backdrop, highlighting the elegant silhouette of the turtle. This masterful manipulation of light and water creates a mesmerising composition.

Shake, by Clive Burns

shake by clive burns pangolin photo challenge

NIKON Z 9 with an NIKKOR Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S

f/3.2 | 1/1250 | 400 mm | ISO 2500

By expertly utilising a slow shutter speed, Clive captures the intricate details of the lion’s majestic mane and the graceful movement of water droplets dispersed in various directions. The peaceful closing of the lion’s eyes adds a captivating storytelling element to the image, enhanced by the skillful portrayal of motion. Congratulations on capturing a remarkable photograph!


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