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7 Posts tagged with the nature_photos tag
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The ruffled raven in John Mariott's Fluff-up and Steven Kovacs' freaky-faced jawfish, aptly entitled Father’s little mouthful, are two of the photographic stars that will appear in the 2012 Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition which opens to the public here at the Museum on 19 October.

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Today we announced tickets going on sale and now wait eagerly for September when all the commended images will be unveiled on our website. As the weeks go by, you'll see more of Mariott's portrait (left) which has been selected to be the publicity image for the exhibition.

 

Since the 2012 competition closed in February this year, the judges have spent many days and nights whittling over 48,000 international entries down to 100 winning pictures. There were photographs from 98 countries and new entries this year from Mozambique, Kazakstan, Svalbad and French Guayana.

 

As usual, the winners and runners-up from the competition are strictly embargoed until the award-winning ceremony in October, but I'm told that - unlike some previous years - all 18 categories have winners this year.

 

Father's little mouthful (below) is the only official preview image revealed now in all its gorgeous glory.

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Steven Kovacs' Father's little mouthful, one of 100 images entered into the 2012 Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition which will light up the new exhbition. It shows the strange phenomenon of the male jawfish protecting its offspring in its mouth until they are ready to hatch. Select the image to enlarge it.

To get his technically challenging shot of the diligent dad jawfish, which was taken off the coast of Florida, Canadian photographer Steven Kovacs used three strobes and home-made snoots - tubes that control the direction and radius of light. He recalls:

 

'What struck me about this particular jawfish when I first encountered it was how docile and unafraid it was of my presence. Most jawfish will retreat into their burrows when approached closely, but this particular fish did not seem concerned and did not move at all even when I came very close.

 

'I had been recently experimenting with snoots placed over my strobes to create different lighting effects on my subjects so when I realized how cooperative this subject was I immediately knew it had potential...This jawfish allowed for ample time to work with different strobe positions at very close quarters.

 

'It always provides a great sense of satisfaction when all the elements come together in a technically difficult photograph. To create something different and beautiful is why I photograph. It has been a dream of mine for years to win a place in this competition.'


As judge Soichi Hayashi says of Kovacs' portrait: 'This image has a strong sense of mystery. Epecially impressive is the delicate and elaborate lighting, which gives it a ghastly power.'

 

We look forward to many more weird and wonderful wildlife apparitions when the exhibition opens on 19 October.

 

Visit the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition website

 

Book tickets for the 2012 exhibition

 

Join the wildlife photography community online

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The entries have been pouring in for the 2012 Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition but I can't believe there's just under one week to go before the competition closes.

 

The entry period has flown by this year, even though there's been almost an extra month due to the early opening in December for the first time. If you want to be in with a chance of winning, you will need to submit the very best of your wildlife photographs and catch the deadline of 23.59 GMT on Thursday 23 February.

 

The competition is open to everyone, from budding amateurs to professionals to young photographers across the world, but you'll need images that stand out from the crowd to get the judges' notice during the thorough selection process. So, for last-minute entrants, here are a few suggestions:

 

From those of you just starting out to those of you already firmly established in your chosen field, there are categories for everyone. Whatever your favourite subject is, be it plants, insects, reptiles, underwater shots, landscapes, urban wildlife, mammals and birds, or more find the category that is best-suited to your skills and interests before you enter. And if you can tell a riveting story through a series of themed photographs, then the photojournalism category could be the one for you.

 

Whatever your age or your experience, get the judges to stop in their tracks with a new angle or an evocative and innovative use of technique or framing and you'll be part-way there.

 

From common subjects to once-in-a-lifetime events, enter photographs that turn them into moments of magic, like this year's Boy meets nature by Alexander Badyaev, Pelican perspective by Bence Máté, Swoop of the sea scavenger by Roy Mangersnes or the techinical simplicity of Great tit poised from one of our youngest entrants in 2011, Corentin Graillot Denaix.

 

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Urban wildlife is full of surprises as captured perfectly in Alexander Badyaev's 2011 winning image, Boy meets nature. From bats in cabins in the Montana wilderness, to coyotes on railway tracks in Canada's Burnaby to Moorish geckoes on the Italian Riviera, last year's winners in this award really captured the moment. (Click images to see them full size)

 

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We must have all seen pictures of pelicans before, but none quite like this. Bence Máté's award-winning photograph doesn't just provide a different perspective, it frames the pelican's most recognisable feature in a fantastically unique way and was just one of a captivating series that won Bence the Eric Hosking Portfolio Award in 2011.

 

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With its striking silhouette and the tight-framing of its subject, Roy's highly commended photograph successfully reflects the sheer size of the white-tailed eagle shortly after it's successful swoop to scavenge a fish.

 

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Keeping the adult entrants on their toes...  one of the youngest 2011 award-winners was Great tit poised by Corentin Graillot Denaix in the Under 10 years category. His simple but carefully framed shot was taken in his garden where he observed the birds who visited the hide constructed by his dad.

 

It's photos like these above that make us catch our breath at the unimaginable wonders of our world. So, whatever your passion, pay heed to some wise words from the youthful Mateusz Piesiak of Poland, the 2011 Veolia Environnement Wildlife Young Photographer of the Year who won with his Pester Power oystercatchers. Mateusz says:

 

"I started with a compact camera and then in 2007 had a major breakthrough in my development when my parents bought me a digital SLR. I also met several nature photographers who showed me how to approach birds and build special photographic hides. As the months and years passed I learnt the secrets of photography and became infected with the rather incurable disease that is bird photography!

 

"I think that what counts above all in photography is creativity and the ability to look at a commonly captured subject and make something new out of it, something that nobody has ever seen before."

 

All the information you need to enter the competition is online, so good luck!

 

Haven't seen the 2011 exhibition yet? You've got until 11 March to catch it here at the Museum in London (attend in the morning if you can to enjoy more space at the exhibition).

 

Can't make it to the Museum? See where where it's touring next, throughout the UK and worldwide.

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Tonight, at a star studded awards ceremony at the Natural History Museum, London, the overall winners of the prestigious Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2011 competition were revealed. The awards ceremony hosts were wildlife expert and Chair of the Judges, Mark Carwardine, and eco lifestyle campaigner and advocate for organic living, Jo Wood.

 

 

The coveted title of Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year was presented to Daniel Beltrá from Spain for Still life in oil, a haunting image of 8 brown pelicans rescued from an oil spill, from his 6-image story for the Wildlife Photojournalist of the Year Award.
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Still life in oil by Daniel Beltra, 2011 Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Daniel took his winning image at a temporary bird-rescue facility in Fort Jackson, Louisiana. It’s the final frame in his incredible story of 6 photographs entered in the Wildlife Photojournalist category. Select all images to enlarge them.

 

Describing his winning image, Daniel says:

 

‘Crude oil trickles off the feathers of the rescued brown pelicans, turning the white lining sheets into a sticky, stinking mess. The pelicans are going through the first stage of cleaning. They’ve already been sprayed with a light oil to break up the heavy crude trapped in their feathers.'

 

The sheer simplicity of this powerful image makes it really beautiful and shocking at the same time, ’ said the Chair of the judging panel, Mark Carwardine. He and the international jury of photography experts pored over tens of 1000s of entries earlier in the year to make their winning selection.

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The price of oil by Daniel Beltra. The 6-frame winner of the Wildlife Photojournalist of the Year Award 2011. Flying over BP's Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010 made Daniel grasp the immensity of the problem. Photographing from a plane, Daniel 'was blown away by the insane colours' of oil gushing to the surface. He captured flashes of fluorescent orange as the boat propellers churned up the dispersant and left paths of clean water through the patches of black oil. Oiled brown pelicans awaiting a second bout of cleaning were for Daniel, 'an icon of the disaster'.

 

The Wildlife Photojournalist of the Year Award category was introduced in the 2010 competition and is given to a group of 6 photographs that tell a memorable story, whether about animal behaviour or environmental issues (both positive or negative).

 

 

Daniel Beltra reflects on his photographic work and interest: ‘It is in nature’s beauty and complexity that I find my inspiration. While in college in Madrid, I studied biology and forestry and developed a passion for the environment. Over the past two decades, I have honed my focus to concentrate on the need for conservation through photography.

 

 

Photographing from the air has allowed me to showcase the stark reality of the state of our environment. This perspective reveals a broader context to the beauty and destruction I witness, as well as a delicate sense of scale.’

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Mateusz Piesiak from Poland was named 2011 Veolia Environnement Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year for his image Pester power above, in the 11–14 Years category. The 14-year-old Mateusz spent so long watching this pester power at work as he crawled along the wet sand off Long Island, New York, he didn’t notice the tide coming in until a big wave washed over him. ‘I managed to hold my camera up high,’ he says. ‘I was cold and wet, but I had my shot.’

 

Judge Mark Carwardine described the 2011 Young Wildlife Photographer's winning image, Pester power, as ‘Pin sharp, gorgeous subdued light, interesting behaviour, oodles of atmosphere, and beautiful composition. This would make any professional proud – and is doubly impressive for someone so young.’


Read more about the wildilife photography winners and the competition in the latest news story

 

See the true beauty and power of these images and the other commended and award-winning photographs at the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2011 exhibition when it opens on Friday 21 October.
Book exhibition tickets online now.

 

In the meantime feast your eyes on all the 2011 exhibtion photographs on the website's online gallery.

 

 

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Congratulations to 8-year-old Beth Sparkes pictured here, who is the overall winner in the Wild Planet Art Competition organised by Oldfield Park Junior School, following their visit to the Wild Planet exhibition currently on show in the centre of Bath.

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Young Beth with her winning Leopard Cub painting in front of Peter Chadwick's Leopard Cub image at Wild Planet in Bath. Photo courtesy Bath Chronicle

Beth’s picture of a leopard cub was selected from more than 50 pieces of artwork created by the Year 3 pupils. As part of their study of habitats they were encouraged to choose one of the Wild Planet photographs.

 

All of the completed artworks will be on display during the summer holidays in the shop next to the Wild Planet store on Stall Street (opposite the Roman Bath's shop).

 

Oldfield Park Junior School teacher Penny Jenner said, ‘The Year 3 children have shown great enthusiasm for this project. They enjoyed visiting the Wild Planet exhibition and have shown talent and ingenuity in their artwork. We were proud of the results which will be shown in this special exhibition throughout the summer.’

 

Our Wild Planet outdoor photographic exhibition is displayed in Bath’s Abbey Churchyard and along Union Street until 23 September and features images from the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

 

A visit to the Wild Planet exhibition has something for all ages. From cheeky meerkats and baby gorillas, to strolling tigers and snorkelling elephants, children can get close to nature with the large-scale, dramatic images that aim to inspire and educate a new generation of nature enthusiasts.

 

There's also the chance to become a nature explorer by collecting a special quiz from the Wild Planet Store on Stall Street opposite the Roman Bath’s shop, and have fun hunting down the answers. Children who return their completed questionnaires are invited to choose a free Wild Planet postcard from the shop as a memento of their wild day out.

 

Other mementoes of this magical exhibition include affordable gifts for children like their own fluffy meerkat to take home, sticker books and animal fridge magnets. The Wild Planet Store also has Animal Detective; Travel the Globe animal spotting game, crystal growing boxes, pocket microscopes, paint and play African animals, and rock hopper penguin and green turtle jigsaw puzzles for rainy day entertainment.

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Last night, after months of anticipation, Bence Máté became the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year for 2010. The winners were announced at a gala awards ceremony held here at the Natural History Museum. The ceremony was hosted by BBC presenter and wildlife expert, Chris Packham.

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The coveted title of Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year was awarded to Hungarian photographer Bence Máté from Pusztaszer for his image A marvel of ants. This simple shot captures the complexity of the behaviour of leaf-cutter ants in the Costa Rican rainforest. Bence’s winning photograph is from the competition’s Erik Hosking Award given to the portfolio of 6 images that represent the best work of young, talented photographers between the ages of 18 and 26. This award has not been given since 2007, when Bence last won it.

 

Go to the overall winners in the exhibition 2010 online gallery

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Fergus Gill from Scotland was crowned Veolia Environnement Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year for the 2nd year in a row. His image of a fieldfare, The frozen moment, was judged to be the most memorable of all the pictures by photographers aged 17 or under.

 

Browse all the winning and commended images in the exhibition 2010 online gallery

 

The amazing exhibition opens on Friday, 22 October.

Book Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition tickets now

 

Join our great new online community area, where you can upload your own wildlife photos, share photography tips and talk about the exhibition and your favourite images.

Visit the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2010 forum.

 

Read the Winning wildlife photos announced news story

 

Find out about leaf-cutter ants in our special Species of the day
.

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Cry wolf, no... Fly wolf
It’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.

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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.

 

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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:

 

BBC News

Guardian

Mail online

Nature


The exhibition is also open late on the last Friday of the month (except December).

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Who's walking on the wild side? Footprints by Robert Friel

At this very moment, the most outstanding wildlife images from photographers around the world are being mounted for display in their new bigger gallery for this year’s Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2009 exhibition. The popular exhibition of the competition winners, now in its 24th year, opens to the public on 23 October.

 

The Museum's iconic Waterhouse Gallery (home to previous sell-out Darwin exhibition) will enable us to show off the winning wildlife photographs in larger format than was possible in the exhibition's former Jerwood Gallery. This year's event also features an atmospheric new design themed on a pavilion of shadows. Very intriguing. Hopefully I can take a peak soon.

 

Another new highlight of the exhibition experience this year is an audio guide with judges, photographers and scientists comments, and an audio guide for the visually impaired (the latter is a first for the UK).

 

We are also very proud that this exhibition is the most eco-friendly one staged yet, boasting the latest power-saving LED light panel technology.

 

To whet your wildlife appetite, get a preview of the highly commended winners on our website from Monday, 5 October. You can find out who the overall winners are on 21 October.

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Algae, leaf, forest? Think again

Personally, I love the brilliant green image on the website banner. But do you know what the 'filter-feeding forest' - the image's name - really is? Most people reckon it's algae, I think it looks like a weirdly lit under-water jungle, but it is in fact the inside of a sea squirt's mouth. This species of sea squirt, photographed in the Philippines by Lawrence Alex Wu, is fairly common in tropical waters. Alex spent years looking inside the little creatures' mouths to get this ghostly image. It's the chlorophyll of the microbes inside the food-trapping, tree-like water filters that cause the vivid green colour that Alex captured. I just wonder how he managed to get the 3-cm long squirters to be still enough to get his open-mouth shot?