DURBAN North resident, Skye Meaker has been named the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year (WPY) 2018. The announcement was made at a ceremony at the Natural History Museum, London, which runs the competition.
The incredible news comes months after he was selected as a finalist in the MontPhoto nature photo contest. This year’s WPY competition saw over 45 000 submissions from 95 countries, judged by an expert panel.
Meaker’s stunning photo of a daydreaming leopard in Botswana captured the judge’s attention for its creativity and originality.
The Clifton College learner took the photo in Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana and titled it ‘Lounging Leopard’.
“Earlier this year I knew I had won my category in the competition but couldn’t tell anyone until the awards evening and because I won the 15 to 17 year category it put me in the running to win the overall young wildlife photographer of the year award. When I heard my photo being announced as the winner, my heart jumped out of my chest because I was so nervous and excited. It has been a dream of mine to win a category in this competition but to win the whole youth award blew my mind,” he explained.
Meaker, whose work has gained global attention before said this was a dream come true for him.
“It’s the biggest and best achievement you can get as a photographer under the age of 18 so it was a dream come true. My photo will travel and be exhibited with the rest of the finalists and category winners in the WPY competition around the world,” he explained.
Meaker said he now plans to build his portfolio for the adult section of the competition in two years time.