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PSA - 2014-07-25 10:38:00

  • Died Sunday, July 20 of natural causes
  • Served as Vice President of International Relationships, PSA Board since 2013
  • Read more

Excerpted from the South African Herald: (complete article can be read at

EXTRAORDINARY, intelligent and a perfectionist; these were just a few of the words used to describe world-renowned photographer Barrie Wilkins, 78, who died at his Port Elizabeth home on Sunday.

An optometrist by profession Wilkins, who was active in photography for more than 50 years, had been honoured internationally for his expertise and service to photography.

His son Gwilym, 47, described his father as a larger-than-life personality.

“My dad was a remarkable man, an absolute perfectionist who was passionate about his life, profession and family.

“He truly was loved, respected and admired by many,” he said.

Wilkins joined the Port Elizabeth Camera Club committee in the late 1960s and had just been re-elected as president of the club at the time of his death from natural causes. In recognition of his service he was made honorary life president in 1999 on the occasion of the club’s centenary.

Wilkins served more than 40 years on the board of directors of the Photographic Society of South Africa (PSSA), held the office of president on eight occasions and was the chairman of its honours division.

Photography was a passion for him as he traveled widely to photograph, share his expertise, and promote an understanding of the natural world through the art of photography.

He was last year elected to the board of directors of PSA - the first non-North American to be elected.

His photographic friend of 30 years, Jill Sneesby, recognized his teaching as legendary, with many photographers having benefited from his expertise.

“We were both very involved in the administration, teaching, judging and sharing of photography through the PE Camera Club and the Photographic Society of South Africa. He was acknowledged as one of the top wildlife photographers internationally and was truly a remarkable man,” she said.

Wilkins won numerous awards, such as Wildlife Photographer of the Year Mammal Behaviour in the UK, had his work hung in the Smithsonian in the US and had medals and honours testifying to his achievements.