Showcase 2022 Winner: Cameron Azad
The Cape starling is an attractive but relatively common bird in many parts of Africa. In shadow, the bird is mostly unremarkable, but in the right light, the feathers become iridescent and garishly beautiful. My goal was to capture an unusual image of this pretty animal, so on this trip I tracked many Cape starlings in my viewfinder, but ended up taking only a few images of them. Most of the birds at this watering hole carefully avoided the African Mantis, fearing the deadly raptorial claws that allow the Mantis to prey on much larger animals such as the starling. Here, the bird attacked one of the Mantises claws and quickly flipped the Mantises head into it’s beak, and finished it off. Game over!!
Dining at Dawn, Mkuze, South Africa, 2022 Showcase Runner-up, Birds © Cameron Azad
I’m a working hobbyist photographer. I’m a career Financial Advisor for a large Swiss-based bank, residing in Los Angeles, California. My job offers the flexibility to go on periodic trips. My travel is mostly to Indonesia, Philippines, Micronesia, Bahamas, Africa, and within the United States, and I’ve been doing nature photography for about 25 years. While I enjoy almost all genres of nature photography, underwater photography is my favorite due to the significant technical difficulties in capturing underwater imagers. A quirky and funny fact relating to my start in photography: the first time I was handed a camera underwater, I swam around like a whirling dervish, madly snapping photos of anything that swam…and quickly ran out of air at 75 feet. I had to buddy breathe to the surface with my dive guide.