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Our judges for the 2017 Photographer of the Year competition have had a tough few weeks. And this past week, in which they had to narrow down the list to 26 finalists, was especially tough. First up this week, was to ensure that each entrant had only one photo amongst the Finalists (rules are rules).

As our rules state, multiple entries are allowed but only one entry per person can qualify as a Finalist. We had six multiple entries from the semi-finalists to go through – a tough process indeed as they would have qualified as finalists if not for our rules.

Below we have listed those six entrants who each had to have one entry culled as we shortened the list of Semi-Finalists down to Finalists. We have provided some notes from the AG judges and featured both photos from each entrant.

Photo on the left: ‘Did NOT make it’ / Photo on the right: ‘Made it to the finals!’

Andrew Aveley

The jumping Maasai is an extraordinary photograph of a commonly seen travel scene. It captures the emotion of the dancer and the African dust on his feet is a great depiction of raw African travel.
However, the intimate curiosity captured in the baby elephant’s trunk is by far the best photo of its genre that we’ve seen in a while. A lot of photographers try to capture elephant close-ups, not many succeed – apart from this one.

Nelis Wolmarans

There’s something incredibly powerful about the mother and her baby, almost suggesting that you’re being treated to a very special and rare sighting, but not for too long – they’re showing you how wild they are.
As far as showing how wild he is, it doesn’t get wilder than this male gorilla. He gives us goosebumps. Visual storytelling is about conveying emotion, and Nelis has nailed it.

Panos Laskarakis

We really like the leopard photo for its artistic success, but there’s something about the chocolate lion that speaks to us of a truly wild Africa. A wild place that exists that we haven’t yet been… We are privileged to be immersed in content that invites us to explore it in its entirety – the lion photo does exactly that for us.

Willem Kruger

Although it’s a stunning photo, this is not an entirely natural scene. The ‘vulture restaurant’ is a great conservation success story, but with side-effects for local scavengers like this jackal. The star trails seem to invite us to the centre of the universe – if we just climbed behind that hill, a whole new world would open up. That’s exciting, and difficult to capture. It’s a near-perfect technical photo.

Nicholas Dyer

The young wild dog playing with a baboon head is one of the most talked-about photos of this year’s competition. It perfectly captures the playfulness of wild dogs. But the pack of wild dogs advancing is very special indeed – the Game of Thrones feeling we get from this photo reminds us never to forget that wild dogs are formidable hunters despite their diminutive size.

Björn Persson

The dramatic scene of elephants walking across the landscape reminds us of scene from a C.S Lewis novel. But the lowland gorilla is extraordinarily captured. It’s an incredibly difficult subject to capture in difficult lighting conditions.

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Photographer of the Year 2021
Team Africa Geographic

We're the Africa Geographic editorial team – a diverse set of writers, editors, designers and social media natives, all united by our passion for this addictive continent.