With our competition photos streaming in from every inch of the most beautiful parks on the continent, we chased down professional wildlife photographer and competition entrant Peter Betts and got him talking shop:
KP.com:- Peter, you describe yourself as a professional wildlife photographer. How long have you been in the industry? Do you have any previous training in the field?
Peter:- I have done Wildlife Photography as a serious hobby for thirty-five years. I am self taught, but I had good mentors in the beginning: Anthony Bannister, Peter Johnson, Richard Goss, Kim Wolhuter (Grandson to Harry Wolhuter, first ranger at Kruger) and Dr Gus Mills.
KP.com:- What equipment do you use?
Peter:- I have always used Nikon Equipment because of the superior optics and the unmatched Full Frame 12 M pixel FX sensor. At the moment I have a Nikon D700 - I would like a D3S.
Peter also makes use of the Nikkor 24-70 Nano f2.8, Nikkor 70-200 Nano VRII f2.8, Nikkor 500 Nano VRII F4, Nikon TC 1.4 x Convertor, Nikon TC 1.7x convertor, and a Gitzo Tripod and Wimberley Head.
KP.com:- What kind of publications or websites have featured your work?
Peter:- Some of my shots are on Outdoorphoto website galleries. I've had pics published in Custos Mag, Getaway articles, Calendars, Book covers (The Elephant Whisperer at Exclusive books is the latest), as well as pics in various coffee table books on wildlife. I also sell alot of stock pics, and my A1 Canvases are exhibited in New York Art Galleries.
KP.com:- Getting on to the subject of the park and your work there, how many photography excursions would you say you've taken out there over the course of your career? What are some of your favourite areas?
Peter:- I have had 104 trips to Kruger since 1955. My favorite spots in Kruger are the Mahonie Loop - Punda Maria, Pafuri, S56 from Shingwedzi to Babalala Picnic Spot, Redrocks, Tshanga Lookout, Rooibosrantdam, Shangoni section, Tzendze Camp, Mooiplaas Windmill, Shongololo Road, Balule camp and Bangu Windmill. That's where the Kruger ends for me, apart from Tamboti Camp, and if I ever stay south of sabie River in Disneyland, it's quiet Biyamiti. I hate the crowds in the south - not good for photography.
All my entries on your site were taken Balule to Shingwedzi.
KP.com:- What else can you tell us about your history with the park?
Peter:- My Aunt has a non commercial farm in Sabi Sands, and it lies right along the western boundary fence with MalaMala to the north, also on the fence. I spent my childhood walking in that lovely bush. I was appointed an Honorary Ranger at the age of 23 for Kruger Park. I am also an FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) field guide.
Remember to keep those entries rolling in, and to check out some of the fantastic submissions we've already had!