Interesting stuff — no doubt the Americans would say one-sided, but nonetheless. The more I read about the US military in Iraq the more I get the sense that it had become dysfunctional; a kind of inward-looking, bureaucratic self-serving entity semi-detached from the US government/politics. No doubt there are plenty of thoughtful officers who have learned some hard lessons over the past few years in Iraq and Afghanistan, though. For all I know they're applying them already.
I made my annual trip to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum. Which was, as always, well worth a visit. Obviously I recommend you visit it in person, because little jpegs don’t do the pictures justice, but if you can’t do that, you can see all the pictures online here.
Picking your own favourites is part of the fun of going to any exhibition, I think, but that’s even more true at WPotY, because you can compare your own choices to those of the judges. And my perennial complaint is that they tend to give the overall prize to a portrait shot of a large charismatic mammal: lots of elephants and lions and leopards. Yawn. Don’t get me wrong, those are fabulous beasties, but there’s a whole world of beautiful and curious lifeforms out there.
Well, this year, the winning shot is, once again, a portrait of a large charismatic mammal; but for once I have no complaints at all. Because the winning photograph, of a wolf jumping over a gate, is absolutely jaw-dropping. I have my quibbles with some of the other choices; I would have picked the booby or the whale as the winner of the underwater section ahead of the pike picture, for example. But for the overall winner, I think they were spot on.
» Fantail, a picture of a bearded tit landing on the ice, is the winner in the Creative Visions of Nature category. © Esa Malkonen.