And the Grand Prize Winner Is « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

And the Grand Prize Winner Is

And the Grand Prize Winner Is

The Judge’s Vote for Grand Prize

1-Jacana chick on Lily-leaf: 24
T2-Pallid Harrier looking back: 23
T2-Great Egret on Spillway: 23
T2-Toco Toucan: 23
5-Wagtail and Brown Bear: 22
T6-Siskins Fighting: 21
T6-King Eider head portrait: 21
T8-Yellow-rumped Warbler Art: 20
T8-Grey Heron with Fish: 20
T10-Merlin on Fence Post: 19
T10-Great Blue Heron Leg: 19

The Public Vote for Grand Prize

1-Jacana chick on Lily-leaf: 123
2-Grey Heron with Fish:: 78
3-Siskins Fighting: 70
4-Wagtail and Brown Bear: 60
5-Pallid Harrier looking back: 57
6-Toco Toucan: 49
7-Great Egret on Spillway: 29
8-Yellow-rumped Warbler Art: 19
9-King Eider head portrait: 18
10-Merlin on Fence Post: 16
11-Great Blue Heron Leg: 15

Grand Prize Winner

Congrats to Lou Coetzer. His image, Jacana chick on Lily-leaf, was selected as best in show by both the panel of judges and the public.

My Comments

The cream surely rose to the top here. While there is lots of correlation between the judge’s panel and the public vote we are somewhat comparing apples and oranges because images in very strong categories may have scored relatively lower than images in weaker categories. In no way, however, am I surprised that a single image emerged as clearly best from the 5,500 entries. Think about that one for a while….

Thanks to the skills and hard work of Peter Kes you can see a gallery of all the honored and prize-winning images here. Click on an image to view the larger size. I must say with all honesty and with all due respect that I would put this collection of avian images up against the best avian images from the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competitions and the best avian images from the Nature’s Best Competitions.

The Grand Prize Prize Pool

Grand Prize
Prize Sponsor
$500 Gift Certificate B&H PHOTO VIDEO
Choice of Lens Plate Wimberley
Two 32 GB 450 X UDMA Compact Flash Cards Delkin Devices
24 x 36″ Gallery Wrap Canvas Print Canvas On Demand
Airport International Bag V2 Think Tank
Choice of Canon/Nikon Lens Plate 4th Generation Design
Gitzo 3530 LS Carbon Fiber Tripod Gitzo

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13 comments to And the Grand Prize Winner Is

  • Congratulations Lou. This was my fave. I just love it

  • Congratulations, Lou! Very well deserved win! Such a phenomenal photo of an amazing, beautiful subject. Congrats to everyone else who made runner-up as well. Great photography! (Particularly that raptor with the snake wrapped around its leg…such a fantastic photo.)

  • avatar Bill Eaton

    What a wonderful experience this whole contest has been.Some really wonderful work by the participating photographers and a lot of effort by Artie,the judges.Kudos to the voters as well.
    Hope this happens again next year.

  • avatar David Policansky

    Artie: Thanks again for all your, Peter’s, Denise’s, and the judges’ work on this, but especially yours for involving us all in the process. I’m delighted that both your readers and the judges chose that wonderful image as the winner. What do you make of the big lead it had among the readers–123 to the runner-up’s 78–and the minuscule lead it had among the judges–24 to THREE runners-up all tied at 23? Indeed, even the lowest-scoring image was fairly close to the winner among the judges, at 19, while the lowest-scoring image among the readers got only 15 compared with 123. It seems there is some lesson here.


  • This is a wonderful image and hearty congratulations to Lou. However, I have often wondered whether the image would have been even better if the left-hand side of the leaf was included in the photo.

    • avatar Jim Kranick

      Interesting thought. The only problem I see with that would be some member of the Rule of Thirds Police deciding that the bird is too centered and bouncing the image.

      • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

        No police for composition. Stuff either works or is doesn’t. In this case I agree with your assessment; this image simply would not have been as powerful with the bird in the dead center and the whole leaf included. The “rules” are actually only guidelines but they have been used by artists for many centuries for one reason: they work :).

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      David, Not at all. If anything I would have gone the other way pointing the lens a bit to the right to move the bird back in the frame a smidge. The question however raises a few interesting points:

      1-a perfect image is hard to come by.
      2-there is often room for improvement even with superb contest winning images. And please include my images there too.

      • Artie, without pointing fingers at Lou’s wonderful photo, I completely agree with your two points. Also, please note that by suggesting that the left-hand side of the leaf be included in the photo I never for a moment meant that the jacana chick should be centred (something so obviously wrong that I didn’t feel it worth mentioning) but that the image could have perhaps been cropped in camera – or during processing – in a slightly different manner. I also realize that there was probably only a split second to grab the photo without time for considering composition alternatives. Whatever, the balance in the present image is superb – as is everything else about it.

        • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

          If you included the left-hand side of the leaf and did not center the chick the chick would have been a lot smaller in the frame and the image a lot less powerful. If you agree that the balance is perfect why did you suggest the change???

          I strive to be 100% accurate with everything that I write or say and when I see comments that do not make sense to me I take the poster to task. 🙂 It seems that you might have been taking my comments a bit personally; please do not.

          • Rest assured nothing was taken personally and I appreciate and value the time you have taken in this discussion . . . I just didn’t want to be misunderstood and this is why I’m responding one final time. Since you asked, I do not consider balance and composition to always be exactly the same thing since balance can include other criteria. Also, I never said the balance was ‘perfect’ as stated in your response – I used the word ‘superb’. . . . *_*

            David. You were not misunderstood. You were simply wrong and you keep trying to wriggle out of that. When I am wrong I say, “I was wrong.” later and love, artie

  • A great group of images in the contest and every one of them was a winner but the Grand Prize winner really was special!