Tim has a passion for birds of paradise, and in the lowland forest at the base of the Arfak Mountains of West Papua, Indonesia, he set out to photograph the king bird of paradise. Having identified the most promising male and his vine-covered display tree, Tim built a platform in a tree opposite it and waited. The king tries to interest potential mates by showing off his spectacular plumage, often hanging upside down, jigging his tail wires so the iridescent-green discs flash above him. 'What I really wanted,' Tim says, 'was to highlight his distinctive features, especially those tail wires and his blue legs contrasting with his brilliant red body.' And that's the prize-winning composition he got.
Canon EOS 5D Mark II + 600mm f4 lens; 1/180 sec at f5.6; ISO 800.
Arfak Mountains, West Papua, Indonesia
Tim Laman, USA
Tim is a field biologist and wildlife photojournalist with a reputation for returning from the wild with shots of nearly impossible subjects. His pioneering research in the rainforest canopy led to a PhD from Harvard University and the first of many articles for National Geographic magazine. His work has garnered numerous awards, including many in Wildlife Photographer of the Year.