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Today, 4 October, we can give you the first glimpse of a selection of the commended images from this year's competition that will be on show at the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2010 exhibition.

 

Click here to see a slideshow of the selected commended images.

 

The exhibition opens on 22 October and the Waterhouse gallery is currently being adorned with this year's spectacular images we all can't wait to see.

 

For now, feast on this wonderful photo story that is specially commended in the new Wildlife Photojournalist of Year Award. The award is for six pictures that tell a memorable story, whether featuring animal behaviour or environmental issues. The story is called 'The House in the Woods' by Finnish photographer Kai Fagerstrom.

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Kai Fagerstrom. From his series 'A House in the Woods'

 

Here's what Kai says about the series of 6 photos: The sun’s last rays bounce off the old windowpanes, as though a fire roars within. But this old  house near Salo, Finland has long  been deserted. The roof has holes, the walls are crumbling and draughts hiss through the windows. But as darkness falls, the house comes alive. It was a waiting game for the yellow-necked mouse. ‘Many days passed before conditions were right, and the setting sun threw shadows on the peeling, textured wallpaper,’ Kai explained. The raccoon dog puppy dropped by at the same time every night. He paused by the half-open door, sniffing the air. ‘The light was perfect and, a moment later, he melted back into the night.’ The pygmy owl seemed to know the house well and wasn’t happy about Kai’s  presence. ‘It seemed to stamp its foot and say, “Go away, this is my place”, so I went.’ Red squirrels often build their dreys inside abandoned homes, and so Kai was not in the least surprised  to discover one inside the house. ‘I love the fact that it is looking out of the window,’ he said, ‘as though expecting guests to arrive any minute’. The badger cubs were born in a sett under the floorboards, and the fireplace was their entrance to the house. Taking the picture through the window, Kai wanted to give an impression of the badger family going about its daily business. ‘Badgers hardly feature in Finnish folklore and people don’t realise what fascinating characters they really are.’

 

And here's another little favourite of mine, Tim Laman's Night Eyes, which has been highly commended for the competition’s Gerald Durrell Award for Endangered Wildlife.

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