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How I got the shotShowcase

2023 Showcase Winner: Vicki Jauron

By March 7, 2023No Comments
Impala In Golden Light, Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe, 2023 Showcase First Runner-up, Mammals © Vicki Jauron

Impala In Golden Light, Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe, 2023 Showcase First Runner-up, Mammals © Vicki Jauron

First Runner-Up: Mammals

Why is this photo special?

The magical light of Mana Pools, Zimbabwe, filters through the woods and creates hazy streams and an ethereal feel. It is really a special environment because of the light and a place I had long wanted to experience. Walking with a guide through the forest not knowing what we would come upon was truly unique. I loved how this impala stood facing us with his horns prominent in silhouette.  He is small in the frame and I’m not sure whether you would say he is the subject, or the light and the forest are the subject.  I’m always looking for scenes that elicit an emotional response or where mood is really integral and I felt this scene provided that opportunity.

We had been searching for an animal to help us show off this beautiful light and, after trying unsuccessfully to get some kudus to cooperate, we finally found this male Impala. The main focus for me, after finding the subject, was on the composition and exposure. I wanted to frame the Impala against the trees and not zoom in too close. I also needed to expose for the highlights, keeping them as bright as possible while still showing the structure of rays.

The technical stuff

I used a Nikon D500 camera with 200-500 lens. I shot the image at 200mm, F5.6 (my widest aperture for the lens) at a speed of 1/500 and ISO 320. I was shooting in manual mode and handholding.

Photo credit: Cameron Riera

About me

I currently live in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. I’m retired and spend most of my time alternating between photography and playing with my two young grandsons. I do sell many of my images through Getty Images, so I guess that makes me a professional. Since my first trip to Africa in 2016, I’ve been hooked and go back every year. Africa has really opened up a passion in me for wildlife, conservation and using my photography to promote and support protection of our world.

In 2013, a friend invited me to a meeting of the Nature and Wildlife Photographers of Long Island, where I lived then. I was stunned by the images captured by the members of the group and that inspired me to learn the craft. Since then I have sought out people whose work speaks to me and have either attended workshops, online mentorship or gone on safari with them. My key mentors in this regard are Federico Veronesi and Piper Mackay (for Africa), Denise Ippolito (for her creative vision) and Tin Man Lee (for his guidance and process).

I’ve been a NANPA member for about 4 years now. The first time I entered the showcase, I had two images that made the Top 100. Last year none of my images advanced, but I admittedly took some risks with what I entered and it was a good learning experience. I was ecstatic to make the Top 26 this year as well as have a Top 100 and two Top 250 images.

Memorable moments

I’ll always remember my first time coming across a snowy owl in the dunes on Long Island. It was just me and the owl and we sat together in peace (at a safe distance of course) for some time. It was such a beautiful morning and started an annual pilgrimage for me to spend time with them late in the season after most other photographers would have moved on to other subjects. I had several years of spiritual moments observing and admiring them and always looked forward to it. I miss those days!

Facebook:  VickiJauron
Instagram : @VicJauron

See all of the Top 26 winning images from NANPA’s 2023 Showcase nature photography competition.

Top 26