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3 Posts tagged with the wildlife_photographer_of_the_year_competition tag
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A luminous Portuguese man o' war has floated onto our horizon to light up the last days of summer and herald the countdown to October's big reveal of all 100 winning images in the 50th Willdlife Photographer of the Year competition. Tickets for the 2014 exhibition have also just gone on sale.

 

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Sailing by: Matthew Smith. Finalist in the Invertebrates category. Photographing at dawn's high tide in New South Wales, Matt used fibre-optic snoots to pinpoint the light and bring out the luminosity and beauty of an often unappreciated creature. Despite wearing a wet suit, he didn't avoid getting stung. Select images to enlarge.

 

The enigmatic shot (above) of a Portuguese man o' war, taken by Matthew Smith at sunrise in the strong winds and coastal waters off Australia's New South Wales, is one of the 100 fnalists chosen from almost 42,000 entries and will be the face of the WPY 2014 exhibition. Soon its presence will be felt in many London underground stations, around the Museum, and beyond to announce the opening of the exhibition here on 24 October.

 

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Snake eyes: Marc Montes. Finalist in the 11-14 Years category. Marc took this skilful shot while trekking in a forest near his home in northern Spain. To snatch the portrait of the quick-moving three-foot snake, he used a wide aperture for a narrow depth of field.

 

A large Spanish grass snake's staring eyes, a Daubenton's bat snuggled in an abandoned German WWII bunker in Poland - taking a breath just once every 90 minutes - and a crowd of migrating cranes in a Rajasthan village are among several other wildlife wonders revealed now from the first finalists announced.

 

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Lukasz Bozycki: Winter hang-out. Finalist in the Mammals category. Lukasz spent a week in an abandoned German WWII bunker in northern Poland photographing hibernating Daubenton's bats. He captured the frozen eeriness here with a cool-white balance camera setting and a flashlight on one bat on the ceiling.

 

This year of course is special for WPY. We celebrate the 50th competition, we launched our first ever People's Choice Award (which has received tens of thousands of votes to date), the exhibition will run a lot longer (all the way to next August), there are some great exclusive events coming up with big names in the photography world, and we have new categories to enjoy. I'm particularly intrigued to see the winning entries in the new mobile and timelapse awards.

 

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The elegant crowd: Jasper Doest. Finalist in the Black and White category. Captivated by cranes and their migratory behaviour, Jasper took this on the roof of a friend's house in the village of Khichan in Rajasthan, where the demoiselle cranes flocked to feed. In black and white, the size and dynamics of the flock are emphasised.

 

We must wait now until October to discover who will be the 100 finalists and the overall winner of the 50th Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Only the panel of judges (below), who came to their decision in May following a rigorous selection process, already know all.judges-345.jpg

 

Watch this space and feel the tension mount. The overall winner and all the finalists will be announced at the prestigious awards ceremony held on the evening of 21 October.

 

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Just a short while ago, at the awards ceremony held here at the Museum, the grand title winners of the 2012 Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition were announced by hosts Philippa Forrester and Yann Arthus-Bertrand at a gathering of 280 guests. As acclaimed photographer and filmmaker Yann describes, the annual awards ceremony has become 'rather like the Oscars of the world of photography... an event that puts the spotlight on wildlife, showing us how beautiful and strong it can be, but also how fragile.' Both grand title winners won their individual category awards, of which there are 18 varying from single images to stories and portfolios.

nicklen-image.jpgBubble-jetting emperors (above) has made Canada’s Paul Nicklen the 2012 Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Frozen-fingered, Paul took his shot of frenzied, surging Emperor penguins while immersed in Antarctica’s remote Ross Sea. The image won the Underwater Worlds category award. Select images to enlarge them.

 

The shimmering blues and bubbles framing the chaotic upward surge of a mass of Emperor penguins in Paul Nicklen’s astonishing underwater shot captivated the judges completely. The sheer energy and life force of Bubble-jetting emperors made Paul the deserving overall 2012 Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year. He waited submerged in the icy waters of the Ross Sea, Antarctica, to capture this scene on camera, climbing into the only likely exit hole to catch the blast of birds whooshing up to the surface to feed their chicks. No stranger to photographing polar regions, Paul is passionate about the creatures that inhabit such isolated and endangered environments.

 

Competition judge and acclaimed underwater photographer David Doubilet, said: ‘I love this image because it shows perfectly organised, infinite chaos. My eyes linger over it trying to absorb everything that’s going on here.’

hearn-kite-1000.jpgFlight paths by British teenager Owen Hearn earned him the title of 2012 Veolia Environnement Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Owen’s topical and symbolic image of a perfectly poised red kite and ghostly airplane was taken in Bedfordshire. It captures two very different subjects at the right moment in exactly the right place. The image won the 11-14 Years category award.

 

In contrast, the airborne stillness of British teenager Owen Hearn’s Flight paths shows a poised and resplendent red kite mirroring a distant plane in the skies near his grandparents' farm in Bedfordshire. The judges loved the mastery and metaphor in the image and Owen has become the 2012 Veolia Environnement Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Owen’s grandparents’ farm is on the site that was nearly chosen as London’s third airport back in the late 1960s. Opposition to the runway was fierce but successful and as a result wildlife is now thriving in this region. The red kite is a particular success story: at one point facing extinction, their numbers have now increased dramatically. Owen says: ‘I sent in this image as I think it’s unique.’


These 2 exceptional images and the other 98 winners taken by the 77 winning photographers can now be viewed in the online gallery on our website. And from this Friday, 19 October, you can see them all close-up as large back-lit installations in the spectacular exhibition here at the Museum.

liina-1000.jpgAnother young talent, Finnish 9-year-old Liina Heikkinen hard at work on her bird photographs - one of which, Squabbling jays, is runner-up in the 10 Years and Under category award this year.

 

And for those of you who, like me, often want to know more about the people behind the pictures, here is a great shot (above) of young Finnish photographer, Liina Heikkinen, on the job. Look out for her brilliant image of Squabbling jays which is runner-up in the 10 Years and Under category award, and one of my favourites of all the winners so far.

 

View all the winning images in the online gallery on our Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year website

 

Book tickets for the exhibition opening on Friday, 19 October


Read the news story about the winners' announcement

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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.