A global search for the most inspirational and provocative nature photography has begun. Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year is calling on photographers of all ages to enter images that reveal the natural world as it has never been seen before.
The 2011 competition opens today and closes on 18 March 2011, and images can be entered online at www.nhm.ac.uk/wildphoto
Now in its 47th year, the competition is an international leader in the visual representation of the natural world, stimulating engagement with its diversity and beauty while engendering a sense of awe, wonderment and respect.
As well as the much-coveted title of Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year, the adult winner is awarded £10,000, while special award winners receive £1,000 and category winners £500 each.
The overall winner of the Veolia Environnement Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year title receives £500 and a day’s masterclass with a leading light from the photographic world, while category winners receive £250.
Winning images are featured in a hardback commemorative portfolio book, which is translated into key languages including Finnish and German, as well as a special supplement to the November issue of BBC Wildlife Magazine.
All commended and winning images are then showcased in an international exhibition that debuts at London’s Natural History Museum in October. It then tours venues around the world, inspiring more then 2.5 million people, and ensuring international recognition for the photographers.
25-year-old Hungarian photographer Bence Máté was the 2010 overall winner with his A marvel of ants shown at the top. He says, ‘Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year is a competition that photographers worldwide aspire to win. It provides a fantastic platform for up-and-coming photographers to showcase their work.
'Being presented with this prestigious award in the iconic surroundings of the Natural History Museum and in front of photographers whose work I’ve always admired was one of the proudest moments of my career.’
For the 7th year running, Mark Carwardine will chair the judging panel to ensure consistency, quality and excellence is maintained. Mark said, ‘This is the most prestigious competition of its kind. A beautiful and technically strong image is not enough: the key to winning and standing out from the crowd is originality and creativity.
'Last year’s competition received more than 31,000 entries, but only 118 of the strongest images made the grade. The judges will be looking for something they haven’t seen before, a fresh and exciting way of portraying life on Earth.’
Jean Dominique-Mallet, Chief Executive Office at Veolia Environmental Services said, 'This is the 3rd year that Veolia Environnement has sponsored this prestigious competition as we believe it embodies our own values together with our on-going commitment to corporate responsibility and sustainable development.
'The competition also highlights the importance of protecting the environment, conserving natural resources and the very real need to educate and inspire people of all ages.'