Better Photography Photo of the Year - 2016 Revealing Nature and Overall Winner
Graham Morgan is also no stranger to winning photography awards and once again, his stunning work has risen to the top of the judges' estimation.
Talking about his winning photography, Graham explained, "The image was taken at Chitake Springs in the Zambezi Valley, Zimbabwe. The spring is the only available water and runs through a sandy, steep sided gorge which is ideal ambush country for predators.
"The Cape Buffalo stampede down the side of the gorge kicks up chokingly thick clouds of dust to minimise their risk. You can see the dust settling in the background of the image. A large herd will drink the spring dry, but within an hour it’s up and flowing again, waiting for the next group of punters. Being the only source of water means all the wildlife is concentrated in a small area.
Chitake Springs is a truly wild place with very few human visitors. The animals are in an extra tight tussle for resources and their senses and temperaments are balanced on a knife's edge. The lions roar all night and the elephants, harassed by the lions, are constantly trumpeting. The baboons and impala are regularly making alarm calls.
"The local wildlife wandered right through our camp day and night. Two hyenas joined us one evening whilst we were seated on camp stools, eating dinner in the dark. The only available light was from our headlamps. They lay down like family dogs, paws outstretched two metres from our feet. The fact that lions were roaring close by probably had something to do with it.
"The sand is so hot and Tse Tse fly so prolific that the lions climb Kalahari Apple Leaf Trees and make a resting place similar to a cat basket, so as to escape the menace. That’s right! At Chitake the lions climb trees! Every roar, trumpet and screech means something and affects the behaviour of everything else. It’s such an intimately entwined, confined system that we do our clumsy best to tap into it. You can constantly feel the tension, everything is nervous.