Categories: NewsPublished On: 25th June 2024

Winners of the NWGA/Santam 2024 Photography Competition Announced!

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Winner_Chrismari Batt van der Westhuizen (shearing)

WINNER: Chrismari van der Westhuizen-Batt

The winners of the NWGA/Santam 2024 Photography Competition, organised by Agri Voice, were recently announced at the NWGA 2024 Congress held on 13 June 2024 in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape.

This prestigious competition aims to build a photo bank for the National Wool Growers Association (NWGA) and its official mouthpiece, Wolboer/Wool Farmer, as well as to share the beauty of South Africa’s wool farming industry with the world. The judges agreed: selecting finalists from over 200 exceptional entries was no easy task. Congratulations to the winners! We are excited to share the exceptional winning photos here.

WINNER: Chrismari van der Westhuizen-Batt, Uitspankolk, Loeriesfontein

PRIZE: R12 500

Second Place

SECOND PLACE: Marianke Rossouw, Klippan, Bothaville

PRIZE: R6 500

Third place

THIRD PLACE: Lizemari Jordaan, Nuwerust, Aberdeen

PRIZE: R3 500

Wild card

SANTAM ‘WILDCARD’ WINNER: Dr. Franci Swart, Western Cape Department of Agriculture, Swellendam*

PRIZE: R2 500

*Dr. Swart was also the winner of the 2016 NWGA Photography Competition.

Gerhard van Staden, Eastern Cape Regional Manager of Santam, announced the winners on the second day of the congress.

“It is a great privilege for Santam to be involved in this competition,” said Van Staden. “Agriculture is very close to our hearts. We always say at Santam: ‘With agriculture, one builds a nation’, and a competition like this celebrates the best of agriculture.

“The theme was ‘Sustainable sheep and wool production’, and 26 participants submitted a total of 203 photos. The photos will appear in the organisation’s magazine, website, and newsletters. The winning photo will be framed and displayed in the NWGA headquarters.”

The judges were Charl van Rooyen, former Deputy Editor of Landbouweekblad, and Liza Bohlman, former Chairperson of Agricultural Writers South Africa.

Van Rooyen noted that the top 20% of the entries were truly outstanding, with photos that deeply moved the judges. “We experienced so much empathy in the photo where the elderly shearer looks at the sheep with such compassion, and also in the photo of the young boy with the lamb nibbling at his hat.

“No one should be ashamed of the remaining 80%, as many of those photos could also easily grace the cover of any agricultural magazine. We congratulate those farmers, farmwives, farm sons, and farm daughters who submitted photos.

“In terms of technical aspects, it was gratifying to see how photographers understood the concept of light, especially the striking sunset photos. Other photos depicting farm scenes and life, usually on horseback, were also very impressive. It is heartwarming to see an institution like Santam willing to invest in such a competition. There are many competitions from big stages for writers, photography, sports photos, etc., but there is not much encouragement for the ordinary farmer to showcase his photos. Thank you, NWGA, for hitting the mark with such a sponsor.”

Bohlman added that most photos were technically good and some truly excellent, especially in the use of natural light. “Composition was mostly very good, and capturing special moments in the wool industry was also pleasing.

“What distinguishes the good photos and the winning photos for me is the story they tell and how they make me feel. How a photo communicates is particularly important to me, not just how beautiful it is or how technically skilled the photographer is.”

Van Staden thanked Agri Voice for bringing NWGA and Santam together as sponsors to make the competition possible and for handling the collection and processing of the photos.

“Thank you to everyone who entered,” he said. “Keep taking photos and capturing the special moments of the wool industry!”

Agri Voice, NWGA, and Santam are already looking forward to the 2025 entries!

 

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