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There are just hours to go to submit your most spectacular and creative visions of wildlife caught on camera to the 50th Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. It closes at 12.00 GMT on Thursday 27 February. So enter now.

 

This year's competition saw a simpler set of subject and photographic categories introduced as well as new awards. So far there have been tens of thousands of entries from around the world, with a lot of interest in the new TIMElapse and portfolio adult categories as well as the WILD-I category for young smartphone photographers.

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Magic mushrooms by Agorastos Papatsanis. Agorastos spotted these two parasol mushrooms growing in woodland in Greece's Grevena region. 'Nature is the true designer,' he says of his fairytale shot, taken with double exposure, in-camera.

 

Here are some words of advice from the WPY team for last-minute entrants:

 

'We want to see outstanding shots of any species, like these three 2013 award winning images pictured here. Photographs that depict the familiar to the less well known, the widespread to the endangered, the charismatic to the overlooked, and the urban to the wild.

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Grand raven by Chris Aydlett. This is a perfect example of a familiar subject presented in an original, dramatic way. Using the strong midday light, Chris created the shot in black and white, to give the scene impact and boost the metallic gloss of the raven's plumage.

'Our competition judges, as ever, are looking for fresh, creative images that reveal the diversity, majesty and beauty of life on Earth. As well as those that highlight the fragility of the natural world.

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Feast of the ancient mariner by Brian Skerry. Brian's vivid underwater shot shows the elusive leatherback turtle feasting on a free-floating colony of  tiny tunicates (sea squirts). It's a rare portrait of an incredible surivor.

'It doesn't matter where you take your shot. It could be in a garden or car park, underwater or in a remote corner of our planet. Just take a closer look and share your vision with us, wherever you are. There's still time. And good luck!'

 

The first round of the judging for the 50th competition entries starts on 10 March.

 

Find out about the competition's adult categories and young categories before you enter the competition.

 

Visit the WPY 2013 exhibition

 

Follow the WPY blog to get behind the scenes with winning photographers and judges

 

Stay connected with WPY on Facebook and Twitter

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We have announced the 50th Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition official call for entries. To mark the occasion we also unveiled a grand new website, sure to wow all WPY fans and the nature photography community around the world.

 

Take a look at the website's lightbox for the full-screen experience of each award winning image from this year's collection. You can view your favourite images in the gallery and find out about the people and stories behind them and much more. We want your comments and votes on this year's winners and we want you to be part of our WPY community.

 

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Visit www.nhm.ac.uk/wpy to explore our beautiful new website celebrating Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Select images to enlarge

 

Most importantly, though, we want your most outstanding wildlife photographs enterered in the 50th competition. WPY chair of the jury, Jim Brandenburg, introduces this special competition year:

 

'For almost 50 years, Wildlife Photographer of the Year has pushed boundaries. In the 60s we raised wildlife and nature photography from a simple scientific record into an art form... Now, as we launch our 50th competition, we are setting the stage for the future. We’ve been listening to our community, reflecting on what we do well and perhaps what we could do better to herald our new dawn.'

 

Gemma Ward, WPY competition manager, highlights some of the changes to the competition this year:

 

'The new adult categories have been simplified and their subject matter is now broader and all-encompassing rather than specific to behaviour or portraits, for example. We've made sure that all species are covered and the introduction of a category for Invertebrates should please the insect and arachnid lovers amongst you. We're really hoping this approach will encourage the full range of photographic styles and disciplines. And to increase the creative quota even further, we've introduced a new special award for moving images, TIMElapse. I really can't wait to see what entries we get this year - it's exciting.

 

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Sticky situation by Isak Pretorius. Behaviour: Birds winner. There's an amazing story behind Isak's masterful shot of a seafaring lesser noddie trapped in the web of red-legged golden orb-web spiders, taken on a tiny island in the Seychelles.

 

'Creativity is the key as always. Looking at a familiar subject or a scene, that's known to you, and capturing it in a original way. From this year's competition, images like Isak Pretorius' Sticky situation and Agorastos Papatsanis' Magic mushrooms really stood out to me in the judging sessions for their almost choreographed composition and aesthetic vision.

 

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Magic mushrooms by Agorastos Papatsanis. Creative Visions, commended. Agorastos captures two parasol muchrooms in a woodland of Greece's Grevena region, against the tree trunks behind, to fairytale effect. The slight optical illusion is the result of a double exposure, in-camera.

 

'We’re also looking for a wider range of subject matter from our younger entrants of 17 or under. To encourage new creative styles and ways of reporting on the world, we’ve introduced a new category called WILD-I, specifically for images taken on a mobile device, which together tell a news story. So, documentary photojournalism is an important part of the competition for both adult and younger photographers now.'

 

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The juggling jacamar by Sander Broström. 15-17Years, specially commended. Top of Sander's Trinidad and Tobago holiday wish-list was to photograph a rufous-tailed jacamar. He found a pair nesting not far from his hotel and caught this luminous shot in a split second.

 

'Going back to previous years, I loved these two images (below) for their originality. It's always refreshing to see the more commonly photographed wild places and species taken from a different viewpoint. And I look forward to seeing more of nature's diversity represented over the coming weeks of the 50th competition entry period.'

 

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Paradise performance by Tim Laman. Creative Visions, specially commended, 2010. Tim shows the brilliant colours of the king bird of paradise observing the Arfak Mountain forest from a unique perspective.

 

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Out of the ashes by Britta Jaschinski. Nature in Black and White, highly commended, 2010. Britta's ghostly shot used a long exposure to catch the mood of the moment when a cheetah melted into the background of this blackened scene in Ndutu, Tanzania, after a huge bushfire.

 

So photographers everywhere, amateur and established, you now have until 27 February 2014 to submit your images into WPY 2014's 18 award categories.

 

Entrants compete for one of two coveted grand titles, plus a share of a prize pot worth £50,000, and the chance to be showcased in the annual exhibition that debuts at the Natural History Museum in London before touring six continents. The entries will be reviewed by an internationally renowned jury, shortly to be announced.