Hennie van Heerden's Wildlife Diary

October 29, 2011

First Prize Category Birds National Wildlife Federation 2011!

Oh my…
This year, for the first time in my life, I entered two photo contests. Up until then I always had this hesitation to send in one of my shots because I was afraid it would ruin my own pleasure about a picture. I do realize that that sounds kind of weird, but I really can be thrilled with a picture, for varying reasons. Either because of a special moment, or because it was taken at a – to me – special location, or maybe just because it brings a smile to my face. Whatever, but a shot can really make me happy.

Anyway, mid August the first ‘verdict’ came in. A shot of mine of two Dung Beetles fighting over a dung ball which I took in Mala Mala, South Africa last December got to the finals of “Wildlife Photographer of the Year” (I know.. maybe it was kind of far fetched since I’ve only been into the more serious photography for about 4 years now 🙂 but still reaching the finals I considered already a compliment).

But what it did was sort of diminish my expectations for the second, almost equally big contest I entered. The National Wildlife Federation’s Photo Contest. When you’ve ever layed eyes on the quality level of the photographical material in their magazine and on their website, the courage to enter a photo to the annual photo contest sinks right into your big toe.. Must admit that I closed my eyes when my finger hovered over the ‘send’ button.

But last week, an email came in: “Your photo “Braving the Waves” of the Green-backed Heron Fishing has won First place in the Birds category, Pro level, of our 2011 National Wildlife Photo Contest.”……
Wow! I’m really over the moon!

Although the NWF only announces the winners on the 21st of November, I got special permission to publish this, well at least to me, great news in time before the VNF photo festival next week. Thanks NWF!
To the Dutch: I DO see you there, don’t I?? Hurry up in ordering your tickets! Only 5 days left! Order your tickets at: Foto Konijnenberg!


  1. Gefeliciteerd. Het is meer een kunstwerk dan een foto. Heel uitzonderlijk.
    Kom wel foto’s bij je maken als je weer van de maan af bent.

    Comment by Bert Boshoven — October 29, 2011 @ 5:33 pm | Reply

  2. Van harte proficiat. Niet meer dan verdient natuurlijk!

    Comment by Michel Geven — October 29, 2011 @ 5:36 pm | Reply

  3. Wat gáááááf!
    Van harte gefeliciteerd!
    (Het is ook een bijzonder fraaie foto, dus terecht. Maar toch 🙂 )

    Comment by J. — October 29, 2011 @ 5:59 pm | Reply

  4. Congratulations!!! This is truly fantastic news –
    just love your photography. Both are great – but the colours and
    light with the bird are breathtaking.
    Best wishes & a wonderful weekend!

    Comment by Maria Rafaela — October 29, 2011 @ 6:54 pm | Reply

  5. Congratulations Hennie. Both images are amazing. Such a well deserved honor.

    Comment by Alex McCormick — October 29, 2011 @ 11:30 pm | Reply

  6. Congratulations Hennie, both photos are fabulous and deserving of recognition

    Comment by CherylV — October 30, 2011 @ 7:23 am | Reply

  7. Congratulations, Hennie! You deserve this honour!

    Comment by Gerda van Schalkwyk — October 30, 2011 @ 7:40 am | Reply

  8. Congratulations. Great shots. You led me here from the fox photo on Flickr.

    Comment by Joan Mazza — October 30, 2011 @ 9:30 am | Reply

  9. UItzonderlijk werk wordt herkend…. Gefeliciteerd!

    Comment by Robert Kok — October 30, 2011 @ 9:47 am | Reply

  10. Wauuuwwww, Gefeliciteerd Hennie het is ook een Kanjer van een foto! XXX

    Comment by Anne rademaker — October 30, 2011 @ 1:15 pm | Reply

  11. Prachtige kunstzinnige plaat van dit mangrovereigertje! Proficiat met de prijs. Herman

    Comment by Herman van der Hart — October 30, 2011 @ 2:03 pm | Reply

  12. Gefeliciteerd Henny, gaaf om te winnen met zeker een mooie plaat.

    Comment by Peter Maris — October 30, 2011 @ 5:36 pm | Reply

  13. je bent te bescheiden over je eigen werk want het is van uitzonderlijk niveau….gefeliciteerd met deze mooi prijzen en blijf je mooie beelden posten op flickr… Dirkjandb

    Comment by Dirk-jan — October 30, 2011 @ 8:16 pm | Reply

  14. Congratulations, Hennie. Couldn’t have happened to a better person/photographer. The honor is totally deserved and I would bet that any number of your images would at least make the finals. You are that good. Hugs from California.

    Comment by Marianne Wedell-Wedellsborg — October 30, 2011 @ 10:00 pm | Reply

  15. Fantastic news, way to go, Hennie! Both of those shots were huge favorites of mine and I’m not surprised at all that they did so well. Yahoo, you must be so happy! Proud of you!!

    Comment by Peggy Collins — October 31, 2011 @ 12:30 am | Reply

  16. Congrats Hennie. A great achievement. So happy we could provide a venue for the image. Was at MM yesterday. Migrant birds arriving. Had good rains. Summer is here.

    Comment by David Evans — October 31, 2011 @ 7:50 am | Reply

  17. Ik weet echt niet waarmee ik je het eerst moet feliciteren. Het boek ,je eerste plaats in de wedstrijd…….In ieder geval proficiat met al je prestaties.
    Uw foto’s volg ik al een tijdje en steeds weer verbaasd u mij met de vangsten van fauna en flora. De prijs is een ware verdienste van je talent en ervaring. Ik volg genietend telkens weer de nieuwe uploads van je foto’s.
    Succes en vriendelijke groeten,
    P@rick (schalkselynx)

    Comment by Patrick Lips — October 31, 2011 @ 3:06 pm | Reply

  18. Tsja, ik blijf erbij: die vechtende kevers had van mij in het Museon mogen hangen: wát een moment, echt één van je gaafste foto’s wat mij betreft…
    Maar gelukkig maakt de winnende reiger heel veel goed en terecht, die lage sluitertijd maakt dat je blíjft kijken, je voelt bijna de beweging …mooi!!


    Comment by roeselien — November 2, 2011 @ 8:02 pm | Reply

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