15 September 2009

Marsel wins in International Photography Awards

The International Photography Awards (IPA) has announced the winners of 2009's competition, and we're proud to announce that Marsel was awarded 3rd place in the Nature category for the winning entry On The Lookout. This year's competition received nearly 18,000 submissions from 104 countries across the globe and is considered one of the most prestigious photography competitions in the world. The winning image was shot in Botswana, Africa, and features a meerkat silhouetted against the setting sun.

The meerkat or suricate (Suricata suricatta) is a small mammal and a member of the mongoose family. It inhabits all parts of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana and South Africa. Meerkats forage in a group with one "sentry" on guard watching for predators while the others search for food. Sentry duty is usually approximately an hour long. The meerkat standing guard makes peeping sounds when all is well. If the meerkat spots danger, it barks loudly or whistles.

Marsel: "I really wanted to photograph a meerkat silhouetted against a big ball of fire in the background, because my research had shown that no such image existed yet. In order to get this result I needed specific weather conditions (i.e. dust and haze) to get the highly saturated colors of the sun. I therefore had to try my luck several days in a row before everything finally came together. In order to be at the right spot at the right time, I had to follow these little fellows on foot, constantly trying to anticipate where they would stand. During the day they stay for longer periods in one spot, but around sunset they're in a hurry to get back to their burrows and they only occasionally stop for a few seconds to check out the surroundings for potential danger. After a few misses, I eventually managed to pick the right spot to set up my tripod and a meerkat appeared in my frame."

Amongst the other winners are Steve Bloom, Sebastian Copeland, Nadav Kander, Chris Frazer-Smith, Peter Lik and Kacper Kowalski.

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