I went to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum yesterday, which is always worth a look.
Apart from the fact that there are loads of great photos, there’s the fun of deciding whether the judges have made the right decisions. I’m always a bit disappointed when they choose a portrait of a large charismatic mammal as the overall winner—a yawning hippo or a leopard or something—because much as I like those animals, I think it would be cool to see it won by a photograph of a shrimp or a toadstool or something. This year it’s an elephant (boo!) but it’s an abstracty kind of picture which I guess makes it a less obvious choice. And it is a good photo.
I paid slightly closer attention to what kit everyone was using this year; I was interested to see that the victory of digital is almost total. The only bastion of film was the ‘In Praise of Plants’ category; I guess if your subjects are stationary, it’s less important to be able to take thousands of shots and discard most of them without having to get them developed.
You can see all the pictures on the NHM website, so if you’re not going to pass through London before April, you might as well check them out. If you are considering going to the show, I’d suggest you don’t look at the website first, because the pictures look so much better seen large on lightboxes than as piddly little jpegs.
» the picture is of a Corn Bunting singing, with its breath forming rings in the dawn air. Which is cool. As you can see, it’s © Gastone Pivatelli.
6 replies on “Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition”
I love that picture. Okay, the elephant picture is neat, too, but the bunting with the web and the breath rings? Marvelous.
Nice, isn’t it. Nicer than the winning the picture in the bird behaviour category, I think.
Was the winner the owl? It was a nice picture, but it looked a little like the cover for a book.
It was nice, I just think it lacks something special to take it to a higher level.
Wonderful picture. The full-on open mouth is arresting. Those puffs of breath are beautiful. Never seen anything like it – the scale is amazing. It makes me realise how much energy goes into birdsong. One of those rare photographs that really makes us feel part of the common struggle.
‘It makes me realise how much energy goes into birdsong.’
That reminds me of this story: Urban noise can force nightingales to sing so loudly that they break European sound pollution regulations.