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Press release

Wildlife photographer of the year comes of age

21 years old and the search for the best wildlife images begins
Competition closes 2 April 2004

You don’t have to climb a mountain, dive to the bottom of the ocean or come face to face with a man-eating tiger to be adventurous with a camera. Curiosity, determination and a sense of humour in your own back garden can win you awards, too. Celebrating its twenty-first birthday, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition is looking for the best wildlife photographs in the world from both amateurs and professionals. All entries must be submitted by 2 April 2004 to have a chance to win a share of the £16,500 prize pool.

‘We’re excited that on its twenty-first birthday the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition continues to inspire photographers to produce expressive interpretations of nature’, says Sarah Kavanagh, Competition Manager. ‘If you’ve ever considered entering, this is the year to do it. We want you to help make our twenty-first year the biggest and best ever.’

‘Wildlife photographers come from all walks of life’, Sarah continues. ‘Last year, taxi drivers, teachers, students, a land surveyor and an electrician were among the winning photographers. What unites them all is a love of nature and an eye for capturing nature in a unique or memorable way.’

Organised by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine, last year’s competition received a staggering 20,500 entries from over 60 countries including New Zealand, Mexico, India, Italy and Canada. The diversity of subjects captured on film shows the wonder, drama and variety of life on Earth – from polar bears scavenging in the ice and a fox crossing a bridge, to the moon rising through the trees and a loggerhead turtle’s swim to freedom.

The coveted titles Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year will be chosen from award categories ranging from Wild Places and Animal Portraits to Urban and Garden Wildlife and the Underwater World, and three age categories for photographers under 17. The winning images – those considered the most outstanding and memorable across the competition – will be on display at the Natural History Museum from October 2004 before travelling the UK and across the world. The winning images will also be published in BBC Wildlife Magazine, and in the best-selling hardback book, Portfolio 14.

Entry forms are available in the February issue of BBC Wildlife Magazine and from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition Office at the Natural History Museum, via the competition website or by telephone on +44 (0) 20 7942 5015. The closing date for entries is 2 April 2004.

- Ends-

Notes for editors:

  • The Natural History Museum (co-organiser and exhibition venue) and BBC Wildlife Magazine (co-organiser) must be mentioned in all editorial pieces.
  • An official entry form must accompany all entries. These are available from the competition web site and in the February issue of BBC Wildlife Magazine or the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition Office: The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD

    Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7942 5015
    Fax: +44 (0) 20 7942 5084
  • The 12 adult entry categories are:
    Animals in their Environment Animal Behaviour: Birds; Animal Behaviour: Mammals; Animal Behaviour: All Other Animals; The Underwater World; Animal Portraits; In Praise of Plants; Urban and Garden Wildlife; Composition and Form; From Dusk to Dawn; Wild Places and The World in Our Hands category.
  • The Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition is open to photographers aged 17 years and under, in three age categories: 10 years and under, 11–14 years old and 15–17 years old.
  • The three special awards are:
    The Eric Hosking Award given to the best portfolio of six images taken by a photographer in the age-range 18–26; the Gerald Durrell Award for Endangered Wildlife; the Innovation Award given for the image that best illustrates originality of both composition and execution.


Tickets: £5, £3 concessions, £12 family, free to under 5s, NHM Patrons and Members
Hours: Monday to Saturday 10.00–17.50, Sunday 11.00–17.50
Public enquiries: 020 7942 5000
Nearest tube: South Kensington
NHM website:
Competition website:


For further information, please contact:

Mairi Allan, Press Officer Wildlife Photographer of the Year
The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road,
London SW7 5BD
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7942 5156 / 5654
Fax: + 44 (0) 20 7942 5354

Issued: January 2004