The highly commended images from the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2011 competition are revealed today.
Ron McCombe has been highly commended for his image Extreme foraging in the Behaviour: Birds category of Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year, the international competition recognised as the ‘Oscars’ of nature photography.
Three weeks of snow had forced this female red grouse down from the high moor to the lower slopes of the Lmamermuir Hills in an attempt to find food. There was a bitter east wind bringing the temperature down to -10°C (14°F).
Territorial strut, highly commended image by Ross Hoddinott © Ross Hoddinott/ Veolia EnvironnementWildlife Photographer of the Year 2011
Ron says, 'She had to stand on tiptoe to pick the seeds at the top of the heather. It looked so elegant, even though the situation was so harsh. It’s hard to imagine how they find enough food to survive such a winter.’
Ross Hoddinott has been highly commended for his image Territorial strut, in the Animal Portraits category.
Ross’s Devon garden was covered in thick snow after southern Britain experienced an unusually cold spell last December. This robin is striking a warning pose, scattering snow in response to an approaching male.
Ross captured the moment by setting his exposure meter so it wasn’t fooled by the brightness of the snow and using a shutter speed fast enough to freeze the movement but slow enough to blur the motion of the scattering snow.
The photographs by Ron McCombe and Ross Hoddinott are among 108 images hand-picked by a jury of industry-recognised experts from a pool of almost 41,000 entries from 95 countries. You can see the highly commended images now online at www.nhm.ac.uk/wildphoto.
The images will feature in the critically acclaimed photographic showcase consisting of winning, runner-up and commended photographers that makes its debut at the Natural History Museum on 21 October 2011. The exhibition also tours nationally and internationally.
Interactive stations provide an insight into what the judges, scientists and the photographers think about each photograph.
Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year is owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine.
The competition uniquely combines the work of gifted amateurs, professionals and young photographers. It celebrates the beauty and magnificence of the world in which we live, as well as acting as a stark reminder of the fragility of nature.