Last Friday we made our annual pilgrimage to the Natural History Museum to see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year. We have a tradition to go to one of the great “late events” to see the exhibition and enjoy a nice glass of wine after work on a friday every year. This year we saw the exhibition a little earlier than usual which might explain why it was so busy. The evening had completely sold out. I prefer to see it when its slightly less busy but that didnt make the photographs any less spectacular, just harder to get to.
Please click on the images in this post to show more information about each, these are copyright the artists and Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2012 so please don’t reuse without their permission.
In previous years I’ve often been disappointed with the underwater section, with maybe one of two outstanding images but the rest – and often the winners – being somehow less good than I know the images out there by some underwater photographers to be. However, not the case this year. The excellent Paul Nicklen took overall winner of the whole shebang and well deserved it was too. I’ve long been a fan (if you dont have his book on polar bears, you should hot foot it over to amazon now). I couldn’t quite make up my mind whether I liked the winner (with the many penguins, shown above at the top of the post) or the runner up in the underwater category (with the single penguin streaming to the surface – not shown here) better, but they were both amazing. He also took winner for the birds behaviour category with these cute little penguins springing into view (above).
And a huge well done to all the other underwater photographers who made the list for making the show for me! This one by Claudio Gazzaroli was specially commended and taken in the Grand Cayman sandbar which I know well, although I’ve never been there at evening time.
I was also very pleased to see more and more underwater photographs creeping into the other categories. This photo by Luciano Candisani won the Behaviour: Cold-Blooded Animals category.
Also in that category was a close up of a jawfish brooding his eggs in his mouth by Steven Kovacs.
As usual for this competition there was a strong sustainability theme (although not as strong as last years). These photographs from the special award category “The world in ours hands” show the seedier side of humanity and our impact on the natural world and are quite upsetting ….
Hopefully photographs such as those will raise even more awareness about the horrors of captive dolphin shows and perhaps even bring and end to sharks-fin soup – before we bring an end to sharks for good.
There seemed to be a lot of polar bears in the show (although none from Paul Nicklen that I saw). This one by Anna Henly won the “The world in ours hands” category.
I also enjoyed the Animal portraits category – this is often the best in the show. I liked the winning crocodile well enough but this little guy made me laugh so I had to feature him here (as runner up). It seems that I’m not the only one to think so too as he seemed to be the face of the exhibition:
And last but not least, the landscape section blew me away again this year…
I hope you enjoyed my little review. Thanks to the guys who gave me access to the press pack to use these amazing images with permission. You can see an online preview of the show here, but I strongly urge you to get down there and visit the exhibition in person.
[Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year is owned by the Natural History Museum and