Imagine being in the presence of acclaimed wildlife and nature photographers from around the world – seeing their best work and hearing first-hand how they got the shot. It’s time for the Wild Shots Wildlife Photography Symposium 2017.

This year’s Wild Shots Wildlife Photography Symposium, held in Cape Town on 23 September 2017, features an impressive line-up of professional wildlife photographers. There are no fewer than three international invitees among the speakers. They’re no run-of-the-mill shutterbugs either – one of them being the celebrated National Geographic photojournalist, Brian Skerry, from the USA.

For a taste of what to expect, Wild shares some of the captivating pictures taken by the three international speakers. Want to know their secrets behind these unbelievable shots? Register online and make sure not to miss Wild Shots 2017. Wild Card members receive 10% discount!

Wild Shots 2017 will take place at the V&A Waterfront’s Nedbank Auditorium, Cape Town, on 23 September. Register now! There’s only space for 325 delegates.

Brian Skerry

He’s a National Geographic Photography Fellow, acts as ambassador for Nikon, and has spent more than 10,000 hours underwater to capture marine wildlife and aquatic environments. Need we say more? For the last 30 years, Brian Skerry has given our oceans a voice, encouraging us to listen and take note of the many dangers facing our seas.

Daring diver

Wild Shots Photo Symposium 2017-Brian Skerry-1-min

Where: Tiger Beach, Bahamas
Brian says: “Tiger sharks have acclimated to the presence of humans. Vincent Canabal is an ecotourism guide who works at Tiger Beach and knows many of the sharks here on sight.”

Dancing with dolphins

Wild Shots Photo Symposium 2017-Brian Skerry-2-min

Where: In the waters around Bimini in the Bahamas
Brian says: “Dolphins have the largest brains relative to body size within the animal kingdom, after humans, yet fully understanding dolphin intelligence has been a challenge for researchers. One behaviour that demonstrates higher cognition is socialisation and game play. To produce this picture, I swam with these dolphins for hours. After being on the move continually, this small group stopped for a few moments to play. I hovered over them and watched as they swam in a ballet-like formation.”

James Gifford

With a passion for Savute, Botswana, James Gifford has won both national and international awards for his photography. After spending two years in the field, James recently published a new book, Savute: Botswana’s Wildlife Kingdom.

Cat fishing

Wild Shots Photo Symposium 2017-James Gifford-1-min

Where: Savute, Botswana
James says: “This image was almost two years in the making but turned out very differently to my original vision. Poor rains meant that the channel, which had been flowing for only five years following a 30-year dry spell, was once again disappearing fast. The catfish had nowhere to go and were trapped in a handful of pools. I spent several weeks rotating between drying pools waiting for one of the resident leopards to take advantage of their vulnerability. Eventually, I was rewarded with this female jumping into the muddy pool with instantaneous success, remarkably doing so in broad daylight.”

Starry, starry night

Wild Shots Photo Symposium 2017-James Gifford-2-min

Where: Savute, Botswana
James says: “I was left with the simple task of dodging 13-foot thirsty elephant bulls in the dark moving towards the only water source for miles around. I had to use my 14mm wide-angle to capture the sky – I needed to be close to the ellies. They were remarkably relaxed though, occasionally approaching me to check out this new addition to the landscape, but eventually diverting course at the last minute like a one-sided game of chicken.”

Margot Raggett

Founder of the Remembering Elephants Project, Margot Raggett has already raised £130,000 for Africa’s anti-poaching efforts. And not wasting any time, she will launch the Remembering Rhinos Project in October this year to celebrate one of Africa’s most critically endangered wildlife species.

Wild Shots Photo Symposium 2017-Margot Raggett-1-min
The project will feature images like the picture above, taken by Wild Shots speaker Margot Raggett. Photographers from all over the world will contribute towards a rhino book, which will be sold to raise funds. Looking at this black rhino and calf in Kenya, one can only hope that the efforts from heroes like Margot will make a difference.

Register online

Register online – registration between 1 and 23 September costs R1,250.

The delegate package includes entry to the full programme of events, presentations and panel discussions by award-winning wildlife photographers, book signings and exhibition area, lunch and refreshments, and a delegate pack.

* Pictures courtesy of Wild Shots Wildlife Photography Symposium