Bird Photographer of the Year 2022

9/09/2022 – Bird Photographer of the Year is the world’s leading bird photography competition with over 20,000 entries received in 2022. The competition is in its 7th year and celebrates the world’s best bird photography, whilst supporting conservation efforts through imagery and financial support.

In 2022, my image; the Doting Couple, won the Bronze Award in the portrait category of BPOTY, placing it amongst the top 30 images in the world for the year. What an incredible honour!

Here is “the story behind the shot”:

“I have seen Purple-crested Turacos on hundreds of occasions and have always tried to take special photographs of them. They are such iconic African birds and are sought after subjects. Unfortunately they are shy characters and tend to avoid camera lenses. While birding a small conservancy in the Lower Mpushini area near Pietermaritzburg my luck with them was going to completely change. This exquisite pair flew out from thick cover and landed a few metres in front of me while I was searching for African Emerald Cuckoos in the canopy. The birds seemed way more interested in each other than me, which allowed for some unbelievable photographic moments. A dream encounter and an intimate moment shared with them!”

Thank you so much to BPOTY and the judging panel and congratulations to all the inspirational winners!

To view and celebrate all the winners and highly commended images:

Bird Photographer of the Year 2022

“The Doting Couple”
A pair of exquisite Purple-crested Turacos share an intimate moment near Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

Bird Photographer of the Year Awards

Bird Photographer of the Year is the top international competition for bird photography. It celebrates bird life from around the world, whilst also raising vital funds for their partner charity Birds on the Brink.

Since entering the competition in 2019, I have been blessed to have a number of photographs recognised by the competition’s judging panel.

Why should you consider entering photographic competitions?

Entering photographic competitions can have many benefits both for the birds and the contributing photographers. Firstly, photographic competitions provide a medium through which we can celebrate birds and drive awareness about their beauty as well as their need for protection. Most competitions have a strong link to conservation. Secondly, they encourage photographers to self-analyse their images, push their creative boundaries and by doing so improve their craft. And thirdly, the top international competitions encourage photographers to uphold strict, ethical standards in the field and in their post processing efforts afterwards. They have specific rules which govern this and in such a way uphold authenticity and discourage behaviour that can have a negative impact on the subject and its surrounds.

Bird Photographer of the Year 2019
“Eagle’s Eye View”
A Verreaux’s Eagle photographed at Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens
near Roodepoort, South Africa

Bird Photographer of the Year 2020

A Red-collared Widowbird photographed at Rietvlei Nature Reserve in Gauteng, South Africa.

Bird Photographer of the Year 2020
“Rock Jumping”
A female Drakensberg Rockjumper photographed at Naude’s Nek in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

Bird Photographer of the Year 2021

“They call me Diederik”
A Diederik Cuckoo photographed at Nambiti Game Reserve near Ladysmith in South Africa.

I am always inspired by seeing the work of other photographers. Although my specialty is bird photography I have learnt so much from other genres; including wildlife, street, macro and landscape photography. The following two pages give some inspiration from the last two years of BPOTY:

View the Bird Photographer of the Year 2020 Winners — Bird Photographer of the Year (

View the Bird Photographer of the Year 2021 Winners — Bird Photographer of the Year (