Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition

March 2, 2011 at 1:01 pm (life!, pictures, randoms)

This weekend I made my annual pilgrimage to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition on display at the Natural History Museum. I always love seeing the winning photographs in this competition, and I marvel at the patience and perseverance of the photographers to catch the perfect shot – sometime sitting for hours in freezing conditions!

Here are some of my favourite shots from this year’s competition.

The overall winner is Bence Máté (Hungary) with his ‘A marvel of ants’ photograph.  Taken in the Costa Rican rainforest, Bence was covered in chigger bites in order to take this photograph.  I love the fact that the ants, in all their different shapes and sizes, are silhouetted on the leaf.  It gives this photograph and almost abstract look.

A marvel of ants

My absolute favourite this year is Morkel Erasmus’ (South Africa) ‘Desert survivor’ from the ‘Nature in Black and White’ category.  I love the moodiness of this scene of the wildebeest in the empty Kalahari, with a wonderfully streaked African sky above.

Desert survivor

Then there is Axel Gomille’s (Germany) ‘A miracle of monarchs’, taken high in the mountains of central Mexico where the monarch butterflies spend the winter.

The miracle of monarchs

I have a love of scuba diving, and have swum with these wonderful creatures on a number of occasions.  Michael AW (Australia) captured his ‘Manta-ray feast’ photograph whilst diving in the Maldives.  Huge schools of manta rays go there to gorge on plankton.

Manta-ray feast

I think Laurent Geslin (France) did a wonderful job of capturing this photograph of ‘Paris life’ for the ‘Urban Wildlife’ category.

Paris life

The lighting in Pierre Vernay’s (France) ‘Dawn call’ photograph is amazing – captured in Denmark at dawn, just as the very first beams of sunshine lit up the grass.

Dawn call

Kah Kit Yoong (Australia) took this wonderfully dramatic photo, ‘Southern swell’ on Kangaroo Island, South Australia, the slow shutter speed giving the ethereal effect of the sea were draining away at the edge of the world.

Southern swell

I can’t help wondering if the rhino photographed in Greg du Toit’s (South Africa) ‘Golden forest rhino’ is the same endangered black rhino that I saw at Lake Nakuru in Kenya!  This magical photograph was taken in the golden light of dawn.

Golden forest rhino

And, as the snow swirls outside my office window, what better shot to end on than Sandra Bartocha’s (Germany) ‘The magical forest’?

The magical forest

“Design in art, is a recognition of the relation between various things, various elements in the creative flux. You can’t invent a design. You recognize it, in the fourth dimension. That is, with your blood and your bones, as well as with your eyes.”
D. H. Lawrence

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