Cry wolf, no... Fly wolfIt’s amazing. You have to go and see The Storybook wolf image at the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, open today at the Museum.
The Spanish photographer José Luis Rodríguez took several months to set up the shot of the Iberian wolf leaping through the air over a wooden gate in pursuit of its prey. ‘It was a dream shot,’ says Jose, ‘it took ages to find the ideal location, let alone a wolf that would jump a gate. When I got the shot of my dreams I couldn’t believe it. I think the Spanish can be proud to have such a beautiful animal.’
The fairytale, night-time atmosphere of the photograph was captured with a traditional analogue Hasselblad camera (Jose ditched his usual digital camera for the shot). He spent several months beforehand in preparation and hope, and set up an infrared camera trap as a trigger. Judging by the light, he thinks the image was probably taken at very early dawn. The image is one of a handful of the 95 winning photographs in the exhibition that were not taken with a digital camera.
At the packed press opening of the exhibition yesterday in the Museum’s Waterhouse Gallery, 100s of media photographers and journalists witnessed Jose’s joy at receiving the award. He spoke of his wish to dissolve the superstitions that many Spanish people have for their emblematic wolves with his photograph that shows the agile grace of the creature.
The much coveted Veolia Environnement Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year award went to teenage Fergus Gill for his dramatic Clash of the Yellowhammers picture taken in his own garden in Scotland.
Other striking winners, that will no doubt be pleasing visitors to the exhibition, include the pretty-in-pink ant of Raindrop refresher by András Mészáros, and the proud silhouetted Richmond Park deer in young Sam Rowley’s Royal headgear image. Browse all the winners in our online gallery and choose the one you wish to vote your favourite.
Lots of the images are availalabe as prints in our Museum shop and you can customise them to your preference.
Have a look at some of the early enthusiastic press coverage for the winners:
The exhibition is also open late on the last Friday of the month (except December).